This Sunday, Harry Villegas Tamayo, ‘Pombo,’ died in Havana, one of the five survivors of the guerrilla group promoted by Argentine-Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara in Bolivia. Villegas was 79 when he died of a multi-organ failure.
His body has been cremated by the will of the family and this Monday he will be paid official posthumous tribute, reports the Cuban news portal Cubadebate.
Villegas was born in 1940 in a family of poor peasants, in Yara, near Sierra Maestra. He was part of the July 26 Movement founded by Fidel Castro in a clandestine cell and subsequently joined the guerrillas, where he served under Guevara, who was escorted.
In 1961, already after the triumph of the Revolution, he was administrator of the state company Sanitarios Nacionales. In 1965 he marched to fight the Democratic Republic of the Congo and between 1966 and 1967 he participated in the guerrilla focus installed in Bolivia, where Che died. Only five guerrillas managed to escape the siege of the Bolivian Army of the dictator René Barrientos: three Cubans and two Bolivians.
Later he was a military advisor in Angola and Nicaragua. He reached the rank of brigadier general of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) and was vice president and executive secretary of the National Directorate of the Association of Combatants of the Cuban Revolution. He was also a scholar of the military thought of Che Guevara.