Cuba Hid the Death of an Engineer and Now Uses His Name in a ‘Revolutionary’ Act

The official singer Duany Ramos receives recognition from Gerardo Hernández, the national coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), in the act of “revolutionary reaffirmation.” (Radio Rebelde)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 22 October 2021 — Almost a month after the death of the engineer Miguel Díaz Sistachs in a work accident, the Central Equipment Company, known as Cubiza, has mentioned his name for the first time in public. It was in an act of “revolutionary reaffirmation” in Havana, with the presence of former spy Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, national coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR).

Díaz Sistachs, 31, died on September 27, when his crane company was trying to place a pole in the José Martí de Marianao Civic Square, in Havana, for the celebrations for the 61st anniversary of the CDR.

A note from Radio Rebelde this Friday states that in the event of “unconditional support for the Cuban Revolution” a minute of silence was kept in memory of the young engineer, whom they say “fell in the line of duty.”

“The white helmets gave their support to the Declaration of the Workers’ Central Union of Cuba (CTC) that condemns the destabilizing attempts of mercenaries and annexationists to destroy the Cuban Revolution,” the note also says, without offering further details.

In the photographs offered by the official media, there is no image of the young man who died in the act, but there are portraits of Fidel Castro, Raúl Castro and Miguel Díaz-Canel. A painting with the effigy of the three leaders was given by Gerardo Hernández to the singer Duany Ramos, of the Moncada Group, as a “recognition”.

The death of Díaz Sistachs was totally ignored by the official press, and Cubiza refused to give an explanation for what happened, after briefly posting on its Facebook page: “Cubiza is in mourning. Goodbye, Migue, we will always remember you as the great young man you were. You will always live up to the times.”

This newspaper contacted Díaz Sistachs’ family and friends at the time, but almost none of them dared to break the imposed silence. Only one of them agreed to speak with 14ymedio, under a false name to avoid identification, and did so to demand an investigation into the circumstances of the accident.

“That the causes are known, that it be reported and that there is compensation for the family,” said the young man, who met Díaz Sistachs when they were studying Mechanical Engineering together at the José Antonio Echeverría Higher Polytechnic Institute.

Cubiza blocked from their networks the profiles that posted on their Facebook wall the link to the 14ymedio article on the case.

A neighbor from the scene of the Marianao tragedy told this newspaper that the flagpole fell from a “tremendous height” when a crane tried to place it. “The crane sheave came loose and that tube fell to the ground,” injuring Díaz Sistachs, who died shortly after being transferred to the Military Hospital.

The witness lamented that, the next day, the CDRs carried out the event “as if nothing had happened” and that Criminalística went to the scene after the celebration.

It was, in the words of the neighbors, “a total disgrace.”


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