Wilfredo Rodriguez Cardenas: a man of the radio

For logical reasons of age, many young new arrivals on the Cuban Radio may not know what it meant for our country this man of very firm ideas and values, which took root in him from his time at the Institute of Secondary School in Santiago de Cuba, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts.

In such Institute was among a group of comedy and declamation, in which his performances began to call the attention, especially when he joined the staging of the play “The lively genius” by the brothers Quintero.

A recent conversation I had with Salvador Wood, Pujols and his wife Yolanda is Carmen’s sister, prominent and beloved figures of the action on Radio, Television and Film Cubans who saw Wilfredo emerge as an actor, tells us of a smart couple, who are under 16 years joined the Radio as an actor through CMKW radio station for many known as Radio Cadena Oriental.

He worked there until the station was relocated to Havana in the early 1950s, to become a domestic plant with its repeaters in Las Villas, Camagüey and Oriente. His new location was at 215 Bell Street corner to Concordia, where he held two apartments of the building that was there. Compared with the same, Wilfredo rented a modest room.

It was man who met to start work on the Chain Newsletter, full of tips that were instrumental during my stay in the Radio. It was he who entered the July 26 Movement.

It was not long that the young man arrived from Santiago de Cuba was won, gradually, the sympathies of artistic groups, journalists, technicians and administrative staff. Sociable, measured in speech, in solidarity with fellow crossing problems. He looked almost always wearing a suit and tie.

Salvador Wood’s companion in the order specified that Wilfredo had the artistic quality of being a generic player, with great histrionic value which could assume characters of different ages, both novels and comedies that were broadcast by the stations Radio Progreso Radio Cadena Habana, Radio García Serra.

Personal qualities cited, in addition to the organizational gift he possessed, and mobility that performed daily between the stations in the capital helped him to fulfill all tasks assigned to it as Head of the July 26 Movement in the field of Radio and Television, both technical sabotage and propaganda, the construction of radio facilities for various guerrilla fronts and the implementation of actions to circumvent censorship of the dictatorship.

Before the May 20, 1955 had been the organizer of the immediate plan of visits he had made Fidel – just five days of their departure from the Isle of Pines – several stations in the capital starting at the Cadena Oriental de Radio. Thanks to Wilfred, the undersigned was privileged to be presented on that occasion the Chairman of the Centennial Generation.

With an authority gained from day to day for their risky clandestine activity, while working as an actor, he made hard work in organizing underground cells at the stations, one of the strongest in CMQ, which had as its chief Julio Ariosa. He knew joining the movement, with a responsible choice, to companions as Salvador Wood, Gabriel Palau, Maritza Rosales, Alberto Luberta and dozens of other fighters.

Commander Arnol Rodriguez Faustino Perez with great success and address of the July 26 Movement in Havana’s voice Wilfredo selected for recording on acetate sheets and tapes, the appeal to the revolutionary general strike of April 9, 1958 , which was distributed to all stations in the country, to be released that day, at eleven in the morning.

That day in the times when moving from place to place distributing arms, providing guidance, was arrested by the repressive forces of the dictatorship, brutally beaten and eventually sent to prison Castillo del Principe where it remained until January 1st,1959.

Wilfredo Rodriguez was a man entirely on the Radio. He was never seen working in television, not for lack of qualities and another by the attachment and attraction that always led the industry in which it started. We always said that the Radio was his life.

After the triumph of the Revolution he was appointed as auditor of the Union Radio and worked intensely on the Organizing Committee of Radio Free Independent Front (FEEL), which brought together small and medium transmitting plant owners to form the National Radio Chain . It was a crackdown to defend the revolution at a time when powerful interests that control the radio and made the game to the counter.

Until his death on January 8, 2005, Wilfredo went on to hold various responsibilities outside the Radio, among others, Ambassador to the Republic of Korea and Vice-President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples. But above all, was an example of Communist Party member.

Everything we do as soon expressed as a modest tribute to Wilfred, when met today, September 3rd 78 years of his birth. Wilfredo,  the dear brother who was a faithful to Fidel and our media.


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