Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Comandante Victor Dreke on Playa Giron

An extended extract from Comandante Victor Dreke Cruz's speech to a Cuba Solidarity Campaign meeting marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban victory at Playa Giron (the Bay of Pigs).

Dreke fought alongside Ernesto Che Guevara during the Cuba Revolution and assumed control of two companies during the Playa Giron invasion. He served as second in command, under Che Guevara, of the Cuba internationalist combatants in the Congo. On this mission, Che wrote about Dreke in his report to Fidel Castro: 'He of the pillars on which I relied. The only reason I am not recommending that he be promoted is that he already holds the highest rank'.

Dreke then went back to Africa in 1966-68 to head Cuba's military mission in Guinea-Bissau in their fight for independence from Portugal. In 1969 he was head of the Political Directorate of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.
In 1973 he was named chief of the newly formed Youth Army of Labour (EJT) in Oriente province, working on the most difficult and challenging agricultural developments in the area. In 1981 he graduated from the University of Santiago de Cuba with a degree in law. He retired from active military service in 1990.

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