By Miguel Arias Sanchez
HAVANA TIMES – Miguel Jesus Jimenez Rojo is 72 years old, he enlisted himself into the whirlwind of the Revolution, faithfully collaborating with it in any corner of the world where he was needed. Today, he lives in very modest conditions.
HT: Last year, it was the FAR’s (Revolutionary Armed Forces) 60th anniversary and they were giving out a commemorative medal. Did you receive it?
Miguel Jimenez: Yes, in an event at the school in my community, with the pioneers (school kids) and other fighters. It was very exciting.
HT: What does this medal mean to you?
MJ: It means recognition for the sacrifice and sweat I have given to the cause and an ideal, over all these years.
HT: How many military campaigns did you take part in?
MJ: In all of them. I was at the Cuban Missile Crisis in October ‘62, at the Escambray rebellion and at the Bay of Pigs.
HT: Did you also go to Africa?
MJ: Of course, to Ethiopia and Angola.
HT: Didn’t you think that you might die in one of those wars?
MJ: I was convinced that I was fighting for a just cause and that I could come back alive or die.
HT: Were you ever scared?
MJ: Like every human being, there were moments when I felt afraid, but the heat of battle made that fear disappear and all that was left, was the longing to live.
HT: Did you ever think that you would receive future benefits for having given your all and even risking your life?
MJ: I never thought about that, I simply went to give everything I had for nothing in return; I don’t have anything today, just the satisfaction of knowing that I fulfilled my duty and my ideals.
HT: Were you ever pressured to go and fight in another country that wasn’t your own at any point?
MJ: No, I always went out of conviction and it was my own decision, I don’t regret what I did.
HT: Are you a Communist Party member?
MJ: No, if only I were, I am a fidelista 100%.
HT: So, what does Fidel mean to you?
MJ: He was an example of altruism, convictions and a guide for my life.
HT: In one of the postulates of his Concept of the Revolution, Fidel stated: Revolution, is changing everything that needs to be changed.
MJ: Yes, it has changed in style, in many concepts, in many decisions, to always improve socialism and to make it long-lasting.
HT: What did you feel when you received the news of Fidel’s death?
MJ: A deep sadness and pain, because he was the most important man in these two centuries and I believe that his example will always live on in the Cuban people.
HT: Sixty years have gone by ever since you began this struggle. If you could start all over would you do it again?
MJ: Yes, I believe I would, I would do the same, I would become involved with the Revolution and be willing to go wherever they needed me and I would continue to feel proud of what I did and who I am. It doesn’t matter if I don’t have a better life, I’m at peace, I contributed with my actions so that everyone else could have peace.
HT: To round this off, would you like to add anything else?
MJ: Yes, “Hasta la victoria siempre” (Until victory always).