Chief of Cuba’s Eastern Army, General Agustin Pena, Dies of Covid in the Middle of the Tense Situation

Agustín Peña’s ashes were deposited in the Pantheon of the Fallen by the Defense of Holguín. (Granma)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 July 2021 — The head of the Eastern Cuban Army Agustín Peña (1963) died this Saturday of causes that were not specified, according to the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), although some close sources point to Covid-19 as the cause of his death.

A television report this Sunday, lamenting the death of the general, reported that Peña joined the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) in 1978, after passing through the Camilo Cienfuegos military school and that he later held different positions as the a platoon, company and tank brigade leader.

Peña directed the military regions of the provinces of Granma, Holguín and Ciego de Ávila and was also in charge of the Army logistics department. In 2020 he was promoted to the rank of Major General and participated as a delegate of the eighth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, where he was elected a member of the Central Committee.

In a tweet, Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel expressed: “Heartfelt condolences to family members, friends and combatants of our #Eastern Army, whose Chief, Division General Agustín Peña, has just passed away. The news is very painful and sad.”

Although the official media have not given information on the cause of Peña’s death, a journalist from Radio Rebelde el Holguín, Aroldo García Fombellida, wrote on his Facebook profile: “It was always, until his last fight, fought today, against the deadly pandemic of Covid-19 ”.

According to the official press, his body was cremated and his ashes placed in the Pantheon of the Fallen for the Defense of Holguín.

Last May, Peña celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Eastern Army, which was founded on April 21, 1961 by orders of the then Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, and its first chief was then-FAR Minister, Raúl Castro.

The news of his death comes amid the repression and arrests deployed by the Government against citizens who took to the streets last Sunday to participate in protests that are already historic and covered almost all the country’s provinces, especially areas of the country in eastern Cuba such as the city of Santiago de Cuba, Palma Soriano and Holguín.


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