Cuban Brigadier General Humberto Francis Pardo, in Charge of Fidel Castro’s Security, Dies

General Humberto Francis Pardo, who died this Monday in Havana. (Archive)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Luz Escobar / Natalia López Moya, Havana, 28 December 2021 — Reserve Brigadier General Humberto Omar Francis Pardo died this Monday in Havana, as 14ymedio confirmed on Tuesday. His body, which will be cremated, is at the Calzada y K funeral home, located at Calzada number 52, in El Vedado. A source close to the family told this newspaper that the military man had suffered from Alzheimer’s for years.

He was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1945 and studied in the Soviet Union between 1965 and 1969, according to the Internet forum Secretos de Cuba. “When he returned to Cuba, he carried out military missions, at least in Angola, Ethiopia and Nicaragua,” says this website.

As brigadier general, Francis Pardo was in charge of the the Ministry of the Interior’s Personal Security Directorate, the invisible apparatus with the most power on the island, and was in charge of Fidel Castro’s security. He had under his command the “elite” brigade that has more than 3,000 troops, “shock troops” to face protests.

Considered one of the most powerful Cuban military personnel, Francis Pardo was replaced from his duties as Head of the General Directorate of Personal Security (DGSP) in August 2016. Raúl Castro replaced him with his grandson Raúl Guillermo Rodríguez Castro, son of Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja, the “czar” of the State company Gaesa.

Until that moment, within the military scheme, General Francis at the head of the DGSP commanded an anti-attacks brigade that was made up of snipers and experts in all types of explosives, in addition to the counterintelligence service, which in coordination with other State agencies controlled all the information of that brotherhood, the family circle and friends. Vice Minister of the Interior under Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, the military man was also in charge of an international relations department that coordinated with other secret services visits to Cuba by persons of interest and personalities.

General Francis was awarded the Order “June 6” of the First Degree in recognition of 55 years of accumulated service in the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior. His “consecration, skill and reliability performance, fundamentally in the organization and direction of protection activities for the main leaders,” of the Cuban regime was highlighted.

All the official reactions after the death of Francis Pardo were published long after 14ymedio reported the death of the soldier. The first communiqué was released by the Interior Ministry, which specified that Francis Pardo had “a brilliant record of service in protecting the physical integrity” of the main Cuban leaders and “in defense of the Revolution.”

It also noted that “his remains were on view” at the Calzada and K funeral home, “for a subsequent ceremony with the corresponding military honors.”

For his part, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez on his Twitter account described Francis Pardo as “a brave combatant of Personal Security,” who was “head of that troop of loyalists during 30 of his 56 years of service in the Ministry of Interior, under the orders of Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl.


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