14ymedio, Havana, December 25, 2019 — Born in Pilón on February 10, 1928, of peasant origin, García Frías was a muleteer for Crescencio Pérez, a peasant who collaborated with the rebels on their expedition through the Sierra Maestra, and who asked the young García Frías to do the same, guiding Castro’s men. Thus he rose through the ranks of the army, and in 1959 became a Commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.
He has been the head of the Western Army, Vice President of the Council of State and Ministries and the Minister of Transport and was decorated as a Hero of the Republic of Cuba. Presently he is the head of the National Enterprise for the Protection of Flora and Fauna.
In 2019, he became the focus of one of the most popular posts on social networks when he appeared on the state TV show Mesa Redonda (Roundtable) and said that the meat of the hutía, a large rodent found in the countryside, has “more protein than any meat” and a skin of “high quality.” He also praised the ostrich and said it produced more meat than a cow. These statements made him a focal point of national humor, and the words “crocodile”, “hutía” and “ostrich” started trending on social media, where an infinity of memes and jokes circulated.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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