Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tocororo Libre Died A Hero

When I wrote my tribute to Tocororo, I asked two things: that is name be made known and his work conserved. We owed, I thought, no less to such a man who exemplified in his short life an ennobling and selfless love of country.

Well, we have learned his name and the circumstances of his death. His name was Hugo Valdés, a resident of Union City, NJ. And he drowned saving the life of his 10-year-old son, in Myrtle Beach, SC. on July 4th. Add to that the fact that Tocororo suffered from glaucoma and was nearly blind and the picture is finally complete of this moral giant.

It is said that the elements of our death are found in our lives. Tocororo loved the ocean and all its creatures. For him, it was the ocean that connected him to our lost country and it was through that passage that he returned to it, much, much too soon to satisfy any sense of justice, but at the time and place where the sacrifice of his life was the most meaningful. The tragedy is that Tocororo died. The blessing is that he did not die in vain.

I actually read the story of his death in the local newspaper and was deeply moved by it even without making the connection that the hero was Tocororo. What really can one say? It is a Greek tragedy and also the Christian story of redemption. The greatest, purest love in life calls forth the greatest sacrifice. Can there be a death more natural and more human? Can there be a greater vindication of man's innate nobility or more convincing proof that man, created in God's image, like God is capable of perfect love?

We extend our condolences to his wife of 12 years, Marelys Valdés, his three children Belinda (6), Teresa (5) and David (10), his parents and all his family.


Vana said...


I know how Tocororo felt, it is the ocean that binds me to my Island, when I vacation, I go looking for that bit of Cuba in the Caribbean, or the Atlantic, needles to say I seldom find it.

Tocororo died a hero's death, saving his son, who will never forget his dad died in order to save him, that will be a heavy cross to bear for his son, this will live in him forever, and that is the saddest part of this tragedy, I'm very much moved by this sad ending.

Hugo (Toco) Rest in peace in the assurance that you gave your son life for a second time, may God bless you, and keep you in his Glory

KillCastro said...

Mr. T - As I mentioned on Killcastro , I went on a quest to find TOCO's "lost postings". It used to be quite easy to go back 3-4 years on Google and find cached copies of original web pages , however google seems to have changed policies ( I can imagine how much storage this archiving would require)and their cached web pages just go back a couple of months. I belive TOCO posted through blogger so we would need his username and password to try to get in and see if the blog still exists. In the meantime I will keep on searching.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I believe that Cubanology (José Reyes) may be able to help you. He somehow managed to find and now displays on his blog the first page of Tocororo's Spanglish a lo cubano.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Thankfully, something has been preserved. Not by Google but by the Web Archive (also known as the Wayback Machine), which conserves the content of expired websites.

This is what remains of Spanglish a lo cubano for now:

Albert Quiroga said...

I just saw this and was deeply shocked...had visited Tocororo's blog many times, and enjoyed his passionate, honest writing...he gifted me with kind comments on some of havana5060's posts. I have to remember and say my prayers for a brave and noble man tonight.