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Cuban Revolutionary Juan Almeida Bosque Dead from Heart Attack


One of the original leaders of the Cuban revolution has died.

Cuba's communist government says Vice President Juan Almeida Bosque - one of just three Cubans to hold the title of Revolutionary Commander - died Friday from heart failure. He was 82 years old.

Almeida was born in February of 1927 in Havana and began working in construction. After meeting Fidel Castro he took part in the 1953 attack on the Moncada military barracks in the city of Santiago de Cuba, an incident that failed militarily, but that helped to start the Cuban revolution.

After prison and exile Almeida returned to Cuba with Fidel Castro, helping to lead the fight against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in Cuba's Sierra Maestra mountains.

Almeida was considered one of the more influential voices in Cuba's government following the successful overthrow of Batista in 1959. And he continued to play an important role under both Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul, who became president last year.

The Cuban government has declared Sunday a day of mourning.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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