Former revolutionary fighter Huber Matos – the only exiled dissident among the original leaders of the 1959 Cuban revolution – has died in Miami at the age of 95.
Huber Matos was arrested in 1960 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for sedition.
Human rights groups campaigned for his case until his release and expulsion from Cuba in 1979.
Huber Matos eventually settled in Florida after a period in Costa Rica, where his remains are to be taken after a funeral in Miami.
He fought the troops of General Fulgencio Batista in 1959 alongside Fidel Castro but later fell out with the communist leader.
A statement released by relatives said Huber Matos had died on February 27 at Miami’s Kendall Regional Hospital of a massive heart attack he had suffered two days earlier.
The former revolutionary fighter’s funeral will be in Miami on Sunday before his remains are taken to Costa Rica, as he had wished.
Born in Yara in 1918, Huber Matos graduated as a teacher in Santiago, before pursuing a PhD in the capital, Havana.
The first time Costa Rica welcomed him was in 1957, when he had to leave Cuba because of his opposition of the rule of Gen. Fulgencio Batista.
Huber Matos is thought to have been instrumental in the Cuban insurrection by Fidel Castro’s Sierra Maestra rebels by smuggling the weapons they used from Costa Rica
When Huber Matos stepped down as a rebel military commander, Fidel Castro ordered his arrest.
Sentenced to 20 years in prison for sedition, he was released in 1979 and immediately left for San Jose, Costa Rica.
Huber Matos eventually settled in Miami, where he became involved in Cuban politics as he considered the government led by Fidel and Raul Castro a “dictatorship”.
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