A self-declared anti-communist, he was one of the band of Castro's active guerrillas that became known as the 26th of July Movement, named after the raid on Moncada Barracks on 26 July 1953, though he is not mentioned as one of the participants. He is reported to have been gaoled in 1955 on 'moral charges', with an alias of 'Jomeguia'. In December 1956, he was among 82 of Castro's guerrillas on board the yacht Granma that sailed from Tuxpan, Mexico to Punta de las Coloradas, in Oriente Province, Cuba. He fought with the guerillas in the Sierra Maestra, and took part in an attack on El Uvero barracks on 28 May 1957. In 1958 he served as the leader of Company B of the guerrillas in Guantanamo Province.
After the revolution on 1 January 1959, he served as the Head of the National Revolutionary Police. On 15 April 1961, in response to the air attacks by CIA/Brigade 2506 Douglas B-26 Invader aircraft on Cuban airfields, he led the round-up and detention and execution of thousands of suspected opponents to the Cuban government.
During the Bay of Pigs Invasion, on 19 April 1961, he commanded a battalion of about 200 police and militia moving south towards Giron, that was attacked by Brigade B-26s. His narratives of fighting and arrival at Playa Giron are widely quoted.
He later served in the Cuban Army with the ranks of Major General and Brigadier General. From 1963-64 he commanded the Cuban contingent sent to aid Algeria during its border war with Morocco. In 1966 he was expelled from the new Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), for alleged 'moral offences'.
References and notes
- Thomas (1971), p.289
- Thomas (1971), pp.113-5
- Thomas (1971), pp.154-5
- Thomas (1971), pp.210-2
- Thomas (1971), p.578
- Rodriguez (1999), pp.202,208-9
- Franqui (1984), pp.111-128 "We lost a lot of men. This frontal attack of men against machines (the enemy tanks) had nothing to do with guerrilla war; in fact it was a Russian tactic, probably the idea of the two Soviet generals, both of Spanish origin (they fought for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War and fled to the Soviet Union to later fight in World War II). One of them was a veteran, a fox named Ciutah (sic). He (Ciutah) was sent by the Red Army and the Party as an advisor and was the father of the new Cuban army. He was the only person who could have taken charge of the Girón campaign. The other Hispano-Russian general was an expert in anti-guerrilla warfare who ran the Escambray cleanup. But the real factor in our favor at Girón was the militias: Almejeira’s (Ameijeiras's) column embarked on a suicide mission, they were massacred but they reached the beach."
- Thomas (1971), p.691
- Ameijeiras, Efigenio. Beyond Us (trilogy, along with volumes Secrecy and The Sierra Maestra)
- Escalante, Fabian. 1993. Cuba: La guerra secreta de la CIA.(in Spanish).
- Escalante, Fabian. 1995. The Secret War: CIA Covert Operations Against Cuba, 1959-1962. Translation of "La guerra secreta de la CIA" (1993) by Maxine Shaw and edited by Mirta Muniz. Melbourne, Australia: Ocean Press. ISBN 1-875284-86-9
- Franqui, Carlos. 1984. Family Portrait with Fidel. 1985 edition Random House First Vintage Books, New York. ISBN 0-394-72620-0
- Rodriguez, Juan Carlos. 1999. Bay of Pigs and the CIA. Ocean Press Melbourne. ISBN 1-875284-98-2 ISBN 9781875284986
- Thomas, Hugh. 1971, 1986. The Cuban Revolution. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. London. (Shortened version of Cuba: The Pursuit of Freedom, includes all history 1952-1970) ISBN 0-297-79037-4 ISBN 0-297-78954-6