The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Camilo Cienfuegos

Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán (February 6, 1932 - October 28, 1959) was a Cuban revolutionary born in Havana.

Camilo Cienfuegos was active in underground activities against the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and played an important role in the Cuban Revolution. He was one of the revolution's four major figures, together with Fidel Castro, Raúl Castro and Che Guevara.

He did not participate in the 1953 attack on the Moncada Barracks, and during the revolution led the so-called second column (Antonio Maceo) of the rebel forces together with Che Guevara. After the revolution's victory, Cienfuegos served in the Army's high command, fought counter-revolutionary uprisings, and played an important role instituting agrarian reforms.

Cienfuegos was not a communist, and during the Revolution, the army he led was primarily non-communist too.


Supposedly, Camilo Cienfuegos died on October 28, 1959, in an Cessna accident thanks to bad weather.

However, it is often claimed, especially amongst the Cuban exile community in United States, that Castro ordered his plane to be shot down by a Cuban Air Force Hawker Sea Fury fighter flown by Castro's personal pilot, and that the weather was perfect on the night of his death.

According to Robeto Cardenas , a Captain in the Cuban Air Force , Cienfuegos was shot down because he refused to countenance the incarceration of Huber Matos , a commander who had attempted a coup de etat because his opposition to the Sovietization of Cuba.

Fidel Castro steadfastly denies these claims.


  • "The rebel army is the people in uniform."

Last updated: 02-07-2005 15:09:46
Last updated: 05-03-2005 02:30:17