Cuba: Our Dear Iroel Sanchez; Until Victory Always

By Graciela Ramírez on May 19, 2023 from Havana

Photo: Victor Villalba Gutiérrez

All of us who work on Resumen Latinoamericano in English are mourning the passing of Cuban journalist Iroel Sanchez at the age of 58. Frequently, over the past several years, from his popular blog La Pupilia Insomne, Iroel’s articles could be found featured here. His clear and hard hitting analysis of the vicious media attacks on Cuba, to the struggle that the Cuban people are waging against the blockade, were always done with the pride and determination of the Cuban Revolution. Iroel will be missed.  – Bill Hackwell, editor

Our colleague and soul mate Iroel… so early in the morning the news of your departure arrived and it hurts so much.

Today we honor you, from 9 in the morning until after 2 in the afternoon at the Casa de la Amistad. But we will always carry you in our soul and in our thoughts.

The small urn wrapped in the Cuban flag, the seven medals awarded for your extraordinary work and a photo where you look at us as always from the front, with that rebellious pride that characterized you. We surrounded you with precious flowers, so many flowers for a brave, noble, sensitive and revolutionary man like you. They were from Army General Raúl Castro, from President Miguel Díaz-Canel, from the Ministry of Culture, from the Union of Journalists of Cuba, from the Communist Youth of Cuba… so many flowers for you, Iroel… Together with your mother, your partner, your children, your blood family and your extended family made up of your co-workers, friends, colleagues and Argentine, Chilean, Bolivian and Spanish supporters.

The haters say that they do not regret your departure, they say that you were sectarian, that you were “one of the main defenders of the regime”.  So grotesque, so uneducated, so soulless the fascists of today to whom you gave so much displeasure with your immense battle. Poor Judas who for four coins renounced to have the sacred flag of the lone star on their tomb and the love of the people.

Iroel Sanchez

Today we mourn you so much, the good ones of always, the young ones who follow you as the leader you were and will be forever, those of your generation and the older ones. We cry and sing for you with Fidelito Diaz, Raulito Torres, Eduardo Sosa and Nelson Valdes. But the most precious voice was that of your young son. We gave you a standing ovation Iroel, you were never comfortable, you were not complacent, you were not false, you did not know hypocrisy. Like Che, you did not care if your shoelaces were loose, if you did not have a belt or if you wore your clothes inside out as Fidelito Diaz says in the beautiful poem he dedicated to you last night.

I read your biography in the notes that reflect all the Cuban press, I thought you were a philosopher, poet, journalist, writer, filmmaker and even musicologist… your immense culture and capacity, your infinite love for the Revolution and Fidel made you embrace the most beautiful of letters and arts. You were an engineer, now I understand, your great engineering work was everything you did and you leave us as a legacy. I met you when you directed the Cuban Book Institute during the difficult times of the special period, I followed you in La Jiribilla, in the creation of the Network in Defense of Humanity, I discover that you were also behind ECURED. In countless national and international events your anti-imperialist, courageous and clear voice was raised.

From your “Pupila” you filled ours with decolonizing knowledge, you warned and taught us how to fight the deceitful social networks. You gave us the thrill of every Thursday night with your beautiful “Pupila”, going through history and always looking to the future; of pride for your youth Con Filo, of analysis and greater understanding to understand the economy from this blockaded and besieged island.

Lis Cuesta arrived early in the morning, companion of the Cuban president, director of events of the Ministry of Culture, did not move from your mother’s side until the end of the tribute. And Mariela Castro Espín, daughter of Raúl and Vilma, and Alex Castro, Fidel’s son. And there among the people were the Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso, Fernando Rojas Vice Minister; Fernando González Llort, President of ICAP, René González, Hero of the Republic, Vice Ministers Roberto Morales Ojeda and Inés María Chapman; former Cuban Ambassador to the US;José Ramón Cabañas all the leaders of the country honored you with their presence on behalf of the Cuban people.

“Exemplary comrade, even in contradictions” says your sister Arleen Rodriguez after the impact of your departure on her Twitter account (…) “a million nameless battles internalize him. That inspiring legacy will make you be reborn many times, brother”.

Death took flight early in the morning

Early the dawn rose early

I do not forgive death in love

I do not forgive inattentive life

I do not forgive the earth or nothingness


And you will return to my orchard and to my fig tree.

Through the high scaffolds of flowers

You will return to the lullaby of the bars

Of the enamored farmers


To the winged souls of the roses

Of the almond tree of cream I require you

We have many things to talk about

Companion of the soul, companion.

“Elegy”, by Miguel Hernández

Source: Cuba en Resumen