El español que retó a Castro.

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El español que retó a Castro. Aquella noche el Marqués de Vellisca se hallaba en su casa de la Embajada española en La Habana viendo tranquilamente la televisión. En su San Sebastián natal se celebraba la tradicional Tamborrada, por lo que el diplomático se hallaba de buen ánimo. De pronto, en la pequeña pantalla irrumpió Fidel Castro, quien desde los estudios de la CMQ, ‘Telemundo’, pronunciaba uno de sus ya célebres discursos. Lojendio se arrellana en su sillón dispuesto a seguir la arenga. Fidel Castro tiene en sus manos una carta de un pariente del jefe de la Fuerza Aérea, Pedro Díaz Lanz, huido a Estados Unidos, en la que se afirma que desde las embajadas española y norteamericana se… More
That night the Marqués de Vellisca was at his Spanish Embassy house in Havana quietly watching television. In his native San Sebastian the traditional Torrada was celebrated, so the diplomat was in good spirits. Suddenly, Fidel Castro broke into the small screen, who from the CMQ studios, ‘Telemundo’, gave one of his already celebrated speeches. Lojendio rakes up in his chair willing to follow the aranga. Fidel Castro has in his hands a letter from a relative from Air Force chief Pedro Diaz Lanz, fled to the United States, claiming that the Spanish and North American embassies helped counter-revolutionary movements. In it the signer Antonio Miguel Yehor, also fled to that country a few weeks ago after belonging to the forces of the revolutionary leader, claims, Castro explains, that Lanz had been helped by Spanish priests in Cuba and that there are weapons, dynamite and a clandestine printing press ‘hidden in some church in this country’. The head of the Government shows the letter to the screen and claims he makes it available to church entities so they can decide on its authenticity. After reading, one of the three journalists accompanying Castro refers to the same, asking him to comment on the recent visit of several priests to the Spanish ambassador, involved in supporting the fight against the castroist revolution. In his chair, Lojendio cannot give credit to what he he hears: outraged and willing to defend the honor of the patriotic diplomat leaves the embassy, situated in one of the suburbs of Havana, not far from television studios. At 12:38 o’clock the ambassador, a man of imposing, thick and thick presence, from black and lustrous scalp, enters the studies. Resolved addresses program moderator and director Alfredo Mu ñooz Pascual and asks him: ‘ Wait please. I come to rebut the allegations made against the Spanish Embassy ‘. As this one cuts him off, sentence: ‘This is a democracy and the moderator is the one who heads’. To what Castro replies angry: ‘ The ambassador of Europe’s greatest dictatorship is going to tell me about democracy. ‘ Lojendio exalts himself even more and says he has been ‘insulted’ by his slanderous demonstrations and climbs impetuous to the platform where the revolutionary is located and asks to be allowed to respond to the microphone. Castro, overwhelmed by the vehemence of the Spanish aguerrido, reacts clearly angry and bothers Lojendio, with a voice contained, if he has permission from the ‘head of the government to speak’, to which the ambassador replies that he had not asked because he was offended. Meanwhile, the studio has become a real pandemonium: Castro’s bodyguards, journalists and television staff surround the ambassador. Everyone profiles screams and outbursts. The program is done live with public presence and is broadcast nationwide. The broadcast is interrupted but not sound, allowing viewers to follow the episode. Until seven minutes later it doesn’t resume. Castro continues his speech. Lojendio, who of course is prohibited from speaking, is forced to leave the compound accompanied by officials of the Cuban Army. Fidel Castro calls for the ambassador to leave the country in 24 hours, an order that is immediately transmitted by Cuban President Oswaldo Dortic óss, who was present during the incident. The revolutionary leader accuses the Spanish representative of abusing his diplomatic situation, while announcing that the Cuban ambassador in Madrid has been telegraphed, Jose Mir ó Cardona, ordering him to return to Havana immediately. In the following hours, the director of the television show reads a statement declaring the Spanish ambassador Juan Pablo Lojendio, Marqués de Vellisca, person ‘non grata’, reporting his expulsion from the country. After the incident and before leaving Havana, the Spanish Embassy unveils a text written by the patriotic ambassador in which he strongly reaffirms that the allegations made during the programme against the Embassy are unfounded. And he concludes with a message showing, this time, his good diplomat: ‘I wish Cuba all the best’. Three days later, January 23, at 23 o’clock above Barajas airport, where it is met in crowds. Official personalities, press and hundreds of citizens hail and applaud him. Marques’s quirky behavior has made him a true hero. Before heading to Madrid, he declares to journalists that he appreciates the warm welcome, apostering that a similar welcome had been given to him in New York, adding that neither there nor at that time could make any statement until he submitted his report to the Foreign Minister Fernando M to Castiella. It is said that Franco received Lojendio with cold and soarron, I spit to him: ‘As a Spanish, very good… as a diplomat, very bad’. Be that as it may, the ambassador’s fervent patriotic behavior was never awarded by the dictator, although he was not punished as he continued his diplomatic career. After the incident, Franco, always stunned not to break with Cuba, maintained diplomatic relations, although they stooped to the level of business managers for ten years, keeping a discreet and properly agreed trade exchange. But it is known that Franco’s Spain never participated in the US embargo on Castro. It wouldn’t be until 1975 when everything would return to normal after the visit of Nemesio Fernandez Cuesta, Minister of Commerce, who would be welcomed in Havana by the revolutionary, keeping ties with the appointment of ambassadors normal. That same year, the man who challenged Castro died in his position as ambassador to the Holy See, aged 67, leaving behind a fertilizing diplomatic career and an episode to remember. Watch video: 🚨 https://youtu.be/hmS83SvFgYU https://www.lavanguardia.com/hemeroteca/20161128/412221673171/fidel-castro-marques-de-vellisca-cuba-embajadores-espana.html
By: TERESA FRIEND. The Vanguard. ·