|Manuel Jorge Cutillas, gentleman, Cuban patriot and businessman|
Manuel Jorge Cutillas was the chairman of the Center for a Free Cuba in Washington DC. He passed away on November 2, 2013 of a heart attack in Panama. Born in Cuba on March 1, 1932; Mr. Cutillas is the great-great grandson of Don Facundo Bacardi, the founder of the Bacardi Company. He left Cuba in 1960 after the Castro regime confiscated the family business. He resided in Nassau, Bahamas. He graduated in 1955 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering. He retired in 1997 after serving for many years as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Bacardi Ltd., one of the world's largest liquor manufacturers.
Following the Bacardi family tradition of service he gave of his time in various causes including that of a free Cuba. His passing is a great loss to Cuban democrats everywhere and he will be sorely missed.
On June 25, 2012 he was the lead signer among prominent Cuban exile businessmen of a document titled Commitment to Freedom which denounced the fraudulent efforts of the Castro regime to divide and confuse that concluded stating:
We reject that outrageous proposition, since for us, and for most Cuban-Americans, there is no substitute for freedom. We believe that, absent the dismantling of the totalitarian apparatus on the island, along with the unconditional release of all political prisoners and the restoration of fundamental human rights, there should be no U.S. unilateral concessions to the Castro regime.Prayers and thoughts go out to him and his family. A mass in his memory will be held at the Epiphany Catholic Church at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.
The future of the island-nation lies not with the current failed, octogenarian rulers, but with the leaders of the growing pro-democracy movement. They, and not their oppressors, are worthy of receiving international recognition, financial resources and communications technology to carry out their heroic struggle.
We pledge our continued support to them--the vanguard of the emerging civil society--and look forward to helping in the reconstruction of the island where we were born, but only when the Cuban people can enjoy the blessings of freedom we cherish and they deserve.
Requiescat in pace