The official position of the present Cuban government is that President Machado had Mella assassinated, but it recognizes that both Vittorio Vidali and the vivacious Tina Modotti were Stalinist operatives. Vidali was well known in Spain as Carlos or Comandante Contreras, the Commander of the Communist 5th Régiment of the Republican Militia. He was greatly feared, being a known assassin, and was allegedly responsible for the deaths of many anti-Stalinists within the Communist ranks. Later when he returned to Mexico, Vidali was acknowledged as having been involved in the May 24, 1940, failed attack on Trotsky’s life. On August 20, 1940, another Stalinist and Soviet NKVD agent, Ramón Mercader, an accomplice to Vidali, sank a mountaineering pickaxe deep into Trotsky’s skull. Taken to a Mexico City hospital, Trotsky lingered long enough to identify his attacker and died the following day. Mercader was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in a Mexican prison for the murder. During his time in prison, Joseph Stalin as leader of the Soviet Union awarded him the Order of Lenin, in absentia. After his release in 1961, Mercader officially became a Hero of the Soviet Union. On October 18, 1978, at the age of 65, Ramón Mercader died in Havana.
Visit Facebook for Photo Caption: Stalinist and Soviet NKVD agent, Ramón Mercader
Captain Hank Bracker, who served with the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps, is the author of the multi-award winning book; “The Exciting Story of Cuba” has now written “Suppressed I Rise.” This book is for anyone interested in a very personal human view, of the history of World War II. A mother’s attempt to protect and raise her two young daughters in hostile NAZI Germany challenges her sensibilities and resourcefulness. Both books will be at the NYC Book Exhibit this summer and are available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Shops.