14ymedio, Yaiza Santos, Madrid, 12 January 2022 — Roberto Batista Fernández will not be able to fulfill his desire to return to a democratic Cuba, where human rights are respected and there is a Constitution based on the division of powers. The lawyer, the son of Fulgencio Batista and his second wife, Marta Fernández, died this Wednesday in Madrid at the age of 74 as a result of pancreatic cancer.
“They cannot operate on the tumor at the moment. While waiting they will administer chemo and in three months there will be a revaluation,” he had written to his friends in September, on the eve of the presentation of Hijo de Batista (Son of Batista) at the Madrid Book Fair, leaving, at the same time, a halo of good humor: “I’m in good spirits.”
This newspaper witnessed his spirit when it interviewed him on the occasion of the publication of his memoirs, which caused no little controversy. In them, he reported on the mixed feelings towards his father, who staged a coup in Cuba in 1952 and was in power until he was overthrown by the Castro Revolution on January 1, 1959.
‘Bobby’, as Roberto insisted on being called, described Fulgencio Batista as an extraordinary father who breached the constitutional mandate and that mistake “took a heavy toll,” but even worse was releasing Fidel Castro from jail in 1955, acquitting him, months after the assault on the Moncada Barracks.
Born in New York, Roberto Batista returned to that same city at the age of 11, together with his younger brother Carlos Manuel, two days before los barbudos [the bearded ones] entered Havana, and he practiced there for many years as a lawyer.
In his book, he vividly describes the shock of exile and of having that surname. That experience was for him, he repeated insistently, “a wound that never healed and will remain there until I die.”
There will be a wake for him this Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. in the funeral home of the San Isidro Cemetery in Madrid. He will be buried there, in the family pantheon, where the remains of his parents and his brother Carlos Manuel lie.
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