Never heard of this man until only yesterday.
American soldier of fortune fighting with the Cuban revolutionaries in opposition to the dictator Batista. Revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro.
William Alexander Morgan.
"William Alexander Morgan (April 19, 1928 – March 11, 1961) was a United States citizen who fought in the Cuban Revolution. He was one of about two dozen U.S. citizens to fight with Castro's forces and one of only three foreign nationals to hold the rank of Comandante in the revolutionary forces."
From a variety of sources:
1. "An 'Americano' Revolutionary in Castro's Cuba"
"William Morgan was not your typical Cuban Revolutionary. Not only was he an American, but he was also anti-communist."
Morgan a man having some attributes of the "white messiah". A man almost in a league with the likes of T.E. Lawrence, Orde Wingate, Brookes Rajah of Sarawak, Homer Lea, Frederick Townsend Ward.
That "white messiah" a charismatic foreigner, most often an American or Englishman, possessing a military background, able to lead the forces of an indigenous insurgency to victory over the despot.
The "white messiah" able to organize, train, plan, lead into battle the insurgents. Those insurgents ultimately victorious in large measure to the efforts of the charismatic outsider.
That "white messiah" often a subject of fable and film, "The Last Samurai", "Avatar", "Dances with Wolves", etc.
Morgan having military background but not so exceptional in any manner. Rather it seems the man was a ne'er-do-well so army service was what they refer to as checkered.
But Morgan successful as a guerrilla fighter during the uprising against the Batista regime. Displayed courage and bravery and became a commandante, such was his value to the revolution esteemed.
"Morgan went to Cuba in 1957. He opposed the Batista dictatorship and led a guerrilla force of the Second National Front of the Escambray (Segundo Frente Nacional de Escambray or SFNE) that operated against Batista's soldiers in the Escambray Mountains in central Cuba."
Morgan it seems a confidant of both Castro and Che Guevera!
Morgan on the far right. Apparently Fidel on the far left and Che third from the left. Some indication of the importance of Morgan his position in the front ranks of the victorious revolutionaries?
Morgan an anti-Batista but ALSO anti-communist. Only several years after victory Morgan having run afoul of Castro and shot by firing squad, his body never returned to the United States!
Here Morgan with his Cuban wife Olga, the latter also a guerrilla! Please note that in those Hollywood versions of the "white messiah" the guy always gets the girl too! "The Last Samurai", "Dances with Wolves", "Avatar". As it is in the cinema so it was with Morgan in real life.
"I am here because I believe that the most important thing for free men to do is to protect the freedom of others. I am here so that my son, when he is grown, will not have to fight or die in a land not his own, because one man or group of men try to take his liberty from him. I am here because I believe that free men should take up arms and stand together and fight and destroy the groups and forces that want to take the rights of people away." - - William A. Morgan.
Olga today and living in the United States. Many decades after events as originally transpired.
Morgan long gone many years now but NOT forgotten. Even consideration being given to make a movie about the man. Again, almost in the manner of a T.E. Lawrence.
2. "Cuban war story lures George Clooney from Hollywood"
"Clooney wants to film Toledoan's fight for spouse's remains"
Olga resolute to repatriate the body of Morgan to his homeland, the Cuban government steadfast unto this day, no repatriation possible.
Morgan si, Castro no? Such perhaps someday will be the legacy of the Cuban Revolution?