"No one here gives up!"

Juan Almeida Bosque

Thousands turned out early Sunday to pay their respects to Juan Almeida Bosque, 82 who died Friday night of cardio respiratory failure.

Almeida, who was a member of the PCC Political Bureau and Vice President of the Council of State, was one of three surviving rebel leaders who carried the title "Commander of the Revolution” in recognition of the role he played in 1959 revolution.

He met Fidel in 1952 at the University of Havana and was a participant in the 1953 Moncada attack for which he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Upon release in May 1955, as part of general amnesty, he joined his July 26 Movement comrades in exile in Mexico returning to Cuba aboard the Granma as a combatant.

Almeida was among the 16 rebels who survived the landing and is known for shouting "No one here gives up!" during the firelight that wiped out most of the expeditionary force, giving the Cuban revolution one of its most lasting slogans. He lead the Rebel Army’s 3rd Column and later commanded the Third Eastern Front.

At the Revolutions triumph he became a General of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and in 1966 a member of the Central Committee and Political Bureau. In 1976 he was elected to the National Assembly.

Almeida was granted the title, "Hero of the Republic of Cuba" 1998. For many years he was the third ranking member of the Council of State for Cuba, with the title of Vice-President. He also headed the National Association of Veterans and Combatants of the Revolution.

In addition to his political activity, Almeida was also known as a composer and author having written 300 + songs and a dozen of books on Cuban history.

"He defended principles of justice that will be defended at all times and during any period, as long as human beings breathe on Earth."