Early Castro Compatriot Almeida Dead at 82

Rebel leader coined revolutionary slogan 'Here, nobody surrenders!'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2009 12:32 PM CDT
Cuba's Commander of the Revolution, Juan Almeida Bosque, right, and Cuba's President Raul Castro speak during the National Assembly of Popular Power in Havana in August.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – One of the original leaders of the Cuban Revolution and a general in Fidel Castro’s military has died, the BBC reports. Juan Almeida Bosque, 82, was the third most senior member in Raul Castro’s Council of State and the only black member of the Cuban leadership. Almeida met Fidel at the University of Havana in 1952, was jailed after a failed 1953 insurrection, and led troops in the successful 1959 revolution.

Flags will fly at half-mast tomorrow, and the Cuban state media announced Almeida is “in the hearts and minds of his compatriots.” The cause of death was heart failure. Almeida fled with other rebels to Mexico in 1956, and returned to fight from the Sierra Maestra in 1959. In one pivotal battle, he led his troops in an attack on a superior force with the cry, “Here, nobody surrenders!” The exhortation became a motto of the revolutionary movement.