Category Archives: Arnaldo G. Barron

Arnaldo Barron and the July 26th Movement in the United States

Casa de las Americas invites you to an afternoon celebration of the history of the July 26th Movement in New York and in the United States

Founding leader of the July 26th Movement Arnaldo Barron and his wife Gloria Goenaga will recount their experiences as they organized this movement which eventually became the organization we know today as Casa de las Americas. This past summer in Havana, Cuba, Companero Barron was awarded the Friendship Medal by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) for the sacrifices made and his instrumental role in support of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Guest of Honor Ambassador Pedro Nunez Mosquera, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations.

Agenda:

  • Greetings from Nancy Cabrero, President of Casa de las Americas
  • Presentation: Arnaldo Barron and Gloria Goenaga (followed by Q&A)
  • Video of the Award Ceremony of Arnaldo Barron in Cuba
  • Musical Selections by Guitarist and Singer from Venezuela, Abraham Alberto
  • Brunch

Where – Casa de las Americas, 182 E. 111th Street, between Third and Lexington Avenues
When – Saturday, October 6, 2012
Time – Beginning at 2:00PM

Suggested Donation – $15.00 (includes food) profits of which will go to Casa’s work for the liberation of the Cuban Five and the Lifting of the Blockade on Cuba

Due to limited space, we are asking that you call Franklin Flores at 917-945-9877 to reserve your attendance at this event.

The program will be in spanish with translation by Martin Koppel

Arnaldo Barron and the July 26th Movement in the United States

Tribute to Barrón


On July 24, 2012, a tribute to our compañero Arnaldo Goenaga Barrón was held in Havana for his valiant service to the Revolution and to his homeland, Cuba. Our compañero was awarded the Friendship Medal. This acknowledgement was presented to him by the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and was certified by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba and its President, the Honorable Raúl Castro Ruz.

The hot, tropical summer afternoon was no impediment for his friends and comrades in struggle, which included representatives of the revolutionary government, to gather in honor of Barrón. The celebration was led by Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada. Also present were the Ambassador of Cuba to the United Nations, Pedro Núñez Mosquera, comrade Rafael Dauza, who represented the Minister of Foreign Relations, Kenia Serrano, President of the ICAP, the Executive Board of Casa de las Américas, and Andrés Morejón and Esperanza Luzbert, officials of the ICAP who had the task of organizing this auspicious event. The proclamation was read by Esperanza Luzberty. In a moment of great honor, Alarcón decorated Barrón with his deserved medal, which he placed on Barrón’s guayabera, over his heart. As soon as the medal was pinned, the audience erupted in thunderous applause.

What follows is a brief explanation of the reasons for which this distinction was given to our beloved Barrón. Compañero Barrón tells us that the motivation to involve himself fully in the struggle to eradicate from Cuba Fulgencio Batista’s bloody dictatorship was the failed attempt during the attack on the Moncada Barracks by that valiant group of Cuban patriots, led by Fidel Castro on July 26, 1953. With close attention and with great pain, Barrón followed the infamous trial and the conditions of imprisonment to which Fidel and the other survivors of that heroic endeavor were subjected by the bloodthirsty Batista regime.

International pressure and the criticisms of the atrocities committed by the henchmen of Batista against the prisoners of that heroic deed resulted in the freedom of Fidel and the other imprisoned comrades. Fidel went abroad and in Mexico, he began to organize Cubans in the Diaspora. It was at that time that a group of young Cubans from the committee of the Orthodox Party of Cuba in New York, led by Arnaldo Goenaga Barrón, made contact with Fidel and asked that he visit them in that city. Fidel accepts the invitation and travels from Mexico to Texas and continuing by train to New York City, arriving on October 15, 1955. He was received by the members of the Committee of the Orthodox Party.

Gloria Goenaga and Arnaldo Barrón welcomed Fidel into their home for the 15 days he was in New York City. During his stay, Fidel commits all his efforts toward organizing the different sectors of the Cuban Diaspora in order to unite them into one organization. On October 28, 1955, the July 26 Movement is established in the United States, and was led by comrade Arnaldo Goenaga Barrón.

Members of the July 26Movement in the United States, including those who are no longer with us, knew how to valiantly respond to the call of the homeland and dedicate their lives to the ultimate expression of the apostle Jose Martí who tells us that, “The genuine person does not look toward what side lives better but rather on which side his duty lies.”

Who better than the President of Cuban Parliament, Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, to elaborate upon these magnificent individuals? Alarcón, in an emotional and eloquent dissertation about Barrón at the ceremony, spoke precisely and clearly about the revolutionary history of these anonymous heroes of the Revolution. Alarcón declared that if anyone deserved the recognition being given, it was Arnaldo Barrón, saying: “At the very least we can give him that distinction today and with how many more could we express the gratitude that we Cubans should have toward this comrade who represents so many others who, in the ‘belly of the beast’ knew how to defend and maintain a living image of the homeland and live the revolutionary ideals?” What the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba has done through the action of the ICAP has been simply to carry out an act of justice.

Further on, Alarcón forges a framework for the accomplishments and virtues of Arnaldo and his fellow Movement comrades. He goes on to explain step by step the most daring moments of the revolutionary struggles in which those tireless Cuban fighters participated, under the leadership of our beloved Barrón. Alarcón next addresses those present in order to point out that “I have allowed myself to speak these words on this occasion to tell those who did not know him, that what we have here is a living and inseparable part of what is best in the Cuban revolutionary struggle. And in all those years that Arnaldo was not here in his homeland, he was there struggling for his homeland every second and for his people. He had to wage a little known and very hidden struggle in order to gather arms and organize actions, and he had to do this confronted with groups that were in opposition to the revolutionary process.”

“Martí said that to honor, honors, but to honor is also a duty of gratitude for those whom should never be forgotten. If we have come this far in this prolonged struggle it is because many people sacrificed their lives along the way and among these is comrade Barrón.”

In conclusion, the history of the Cuban Revolution is incomplete without the inclusion of the activities that occurred in the Cuban Diaspora in the United States and its struggles and sacrifices against the Batista dictatorship and in defense of the Revolution. We have presented here some of the actions that took place in the struggle during those times. The history of the July 26 Movement in the United States encompasses many more activities and actions unknown by many. Casa de las Américas has taken up the task of compiling and documenting everything that is relevant to that incredible history so that it may be known in the future as a gift for those who today struggle for social justice and the rights of the peoples to genuine independence. To honor the memory of all those who with so much valor and sacrifice knew how to raise the banner of the Cuban homeland on high, without caring about the risks that this entails, is our patriotic duty.

¡Viva Arnaldo Barrón, Viva Gloria Goenaga!

Eternal glory to the Fallen of our glorious revolution!
Casa de las Américas

Cuban American Receives Friendship Medal in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 25 (acn) The Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP by its Spanish acronym) awarded the Friendship Medal on Tuesday in Havana to Cuban-American Arnaldo Goenaba Barron .

At the request of ICAP, the Cuban Council of State approved a decree grantng the distinction to Goenaba Barron for his longstanding struggle in the defense of the Revolution before and after 1959.

Ricardo Alarcon, President of the Cuban Parliament present at the ceremony said that when he learned that Barron would be getting the Friendship Medal he knew that it was been given to “someone that is inseparable to our history”. He said “Barron is a combatant, revolutionary, Cuban of the old vanguard”.

Barron, as he is known among his closest friends, was leader of the July 26th Movement in the United States. Alarcon said that he “fought during a period of time that was not easy”. He represents something that is also very important. “He is from a group of Cubans whose history has been distorted in the US”, said Alarcon.

Not all Cubans that live in the US “oppose our revolutionary process, he is from that period of Cubans that migrated to the US during the 1940’s and 1950’s, fleeing the dictatorship and ready to fight for a change on the island”, said the President of the Cuban Parliament.

“Barron, alongside thousands of Cubans in the US that supported the leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro in the revolutionary process, led the way to the victory in 1959”, said Alarcon.

He added that he is one of millions of Cubans in the United States that currently defend the island’s independence, sovereignty and self determination and want normalization of ties with between the two countries.

The President of Casa de las Americas solidarity organization based in New York, Nancy Cabrero said that it is an honor for them to see Barron receive such a distinction.

She informed those present in the ceremony that Casa de la Americas was founded in 1955, when Fidel Castro visited New York looking for support among the Cuban emigrants. Fidel, with the support of Barron and other members of the Orthodox Party in New York, organized the July 26th Movement in the United States. This committee helped the movement with monetary donations and other materials for the liberation movement underway on the island.

After the triumph of the Revolution, this committee was known as Casa Cuba and later Casa de las Americas which Baron and his wife Gloria, also helped organize.

Nancy concluded her words by quoting Cuba’s National Hero Jose Marti who said “Hacer es la Mejor Forma de Decir”, Action is Better Than Words. This she said, “is the slogan of Casa de las Americas and Barron and Gloria have been vivid examples of Marti’s words.”

Also present in the distinction ceremony were, Rafael Dausa, representative of the Cuban Foreign Ministry; Pedro Nunez Mosquera, Cuban ambassador to the United Nations; Kenia Serrano, ICAP President; members of Casa de las Americas in NY and other guests.

Cuban American Receives Friendship Medal in Havana

Other related articles

Cuban Rebel Trial Starts Here MondayBrownsville Herald, May 18, 1958 (front page)

Cuban Rebel Trial Starts

Brownsville Herald, May 18, 1958 (front page)

Cuban Rebel Trial Starts Here Monday

The trial in Federal District Court here of 15 Cubans charged with conspiring to violate U.S. neutrality laws is slated to being Monday.
The group under the leadership of Arnaldo Goenaga Barron was captured off Padre Island last March while en route to join the revolutionary forces of Fidel Castro in his fight against the regime of President Fulgencio Batista of Cuba.

After a hunger strike the rebel group was freed on bond, and many of them have stayed in Brownsville pending their trial. Barron returned from New York Friday.
Coincidentally with Barron’s return the rebels launched a wave of handbill propaganda, apparently to drum up popular support for their position.
The rebels’ newest “manifesto” asks that “the people of Brownsville be present at Federal Court when we stand accused of fighting for liberty and democracy in our country.”
The manifesto charges “the bestial assassin of Cuba” with the death of “more than 5,000 persons, especially among the youth.”

36 Nabbed On Way To Cuba

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 28, 1958

36 Nabbed On Way To Cuba Rebels New Yorkers’ Boat, With Arms, Halted by U.S. in Gulf

BROWNSVILLE, Tex., Mar. 27 (AP)—The United States today seized 36 New Yorkers—all uniformed and heavily armed and on the way to join Fidel Castro, Cuban rebel leader.
The cloak-and-dagger sea action came just before dawn in the Gulf of Mexico. Their boat was stopped off shore by the Coast Guard.
The little band’s fiery commander, Arnaldo G. Barron, said all 36 had saved for months to buy the $20,000 in arms seized with the men.
Interviewed in Jail

Barron, in a jail interview, told the Associated Press most of the men are United States citizens. All were born in Cuba except one Puerto Rican. Some fought for the United States in World War II, he said.

The roster of the little band included a doctor and a man described as “a Protestant minister.” They range in age from 17 to 53.
Most of the information on the pre-dawn action came from Barron. Here is his story:
He flew to Mexico about 40 days ago to make arrangements. He made a deal for the arms—he won’t say with whom—which, he says, came from the United States. Barron rented a boat in Panama. The boat is the El Orion of Nicaraguan registry, an 83-footer.
The volunteers assembled last night on a beach on the Gulf of Mexico after arriving during the night from San Antonio, Tex. The arms and ammunition were delivered to him—Barron would not say how.
Then the band began ferrying the weapons to the El Orion, using rubber boats.
One Boat Overturns

One boat overturned but the weapons in it were saved. Barron blames this mishap for the capture because the rebels took time to dry the weapons.
Just before dawn the El Orion pushed into the gulf and was about ten miles from shore when a Coast Guard cutter hailed it.
The El Orion sought to make a run for it but was no match for the fast cutter.

The commander of the ban is 34. he was a construction worker in New York, and has a wife and two children still there. He was born in Camaguey, Cuba, he said, and is a naturalized United States citizen. He wears a small mustache and is 5 feet 10. He identified the doctor as Carlos Torreons. The minister, he said, is the Reverend Ignacio Mosquezo, a “Protestant” but not pastor of any church. The rebels wore gray-green uniforms resembling United States military battle dress.

“This expedition was stopped by the United States Coast Guard but there will be lots of others,” Barron said.