from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

Huber Matos, R.I.P.

February 27, 2014

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Huber Matos, a great hero of the struggle for freedom in Cuba died today at age 95.

Matos was a revolutionary comandante in the Cuban revolution, a leader of the struggle against the Batista dictatorship. He later broke with Fidel Castro when it became apparent that Castro was fighting for personal power and for a communist system, not for freedom. For this, Castro had him imprisoned for twenty years, from 1959 to 1979, and he described the maltreatment, brutality, and torture to which he was subjected in his memoir Como Llego La Noche (How The Night Came).

I had the opportunity to know Matos when he came to the United States after his release from prison, and in the years since. He never lost his faith that Cuba would some day be free, nor did he ever flag in fighting against the communist regime there. That struggle, and his two decades in Castro’s prisons, never embittered Huber Matos; the twinkle in his eye never departed, the humor and laughter never ceased.

Huber Matos devoted his life to freedom and human rights in Cuba, but did not live to see them achieved. When they are, you can be sure that Cuban schoolchildren will study the story of his life and his struggle. He was a true national hero.

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