Jesús Menéndez Larrondo, General of the Sugar Canes

Jesús Menéndez, the face of redeemed sugar. Photo: Granma newspaper

The sales of the sugar harvests of 1946 and 1947 to the United States represented an additional income of 177 million dollars for Cuba, of which 129 corresponded to the workers.

Thanks to the clause established in the Payment of the sugar differential, the increase in the prices that that nation would pay for Cuban sugar was guaranteed in the same proportion as those of the products that the largest of the Antilles acquired in that country.

The payment of the sugar differential was proposed and tenaciously defended by Jesús Menéndez Larrondo in Washington.

The large US purchasing companies did not sit idly by in the face of large disbursements, and through pressure they succeeded in making the then president, Ramón Grau San Martín, change his initial nationalist stance in support of the just labor demand and launch it against its main promoters, Menendez special.

But Menéndez Larrondo, the incorruptible and indefatigable general secretary of the sugar union, whom the magnates tried to bribe on more than one occasion, even offered him a million pesos in exchange for him to abandon the fight, he set out to visit bateyes and colonies and began talks aimed at establishing agreements in the most important plants in the country.

Precisely, from visiting the Estrada Palma plant, he returned on January 22, 1948, after also passing through the Mabay, when taking the train in Yara, Captain Joaquín Casillas Lumpuy tried to stop him and they had a strong argument.

When Jesús got off in Manzanillo with the intention of boarding the train that was heading to Havana, Casillas unloaded his weapon against him, who at that moment was turning his back on the murderer.

Transferred to the aid house by Francisco Rosales Benítez, Paquito died shortly after.

Upon learning of the event, thousands of Manzanilleros took to the streets and, despite the fact that the rural guard tried to prevent the demonstrations, finally the body was taken to the premises of the Fraternidad del Puerto organization, where workers from all sectors they paid honors until their transfer to Havana, on the 23rd.

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Isamary Valero Padrón

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