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Former Cuban Ambassador Ulises Estrada is dead

Wednesday, January 29, 2014    

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HAVANA, Cuba (AFP) Ulises Estrada, the Cuban revolutionary who aided Ernesto Che Guevara's campaigns in Africa during the 1960s, has died, the official Cuban newspaper Granma said yesterday.

He was 79.

Estrada, who died Sunday, held important posts in the Cuban Interior Ministry over the years, performing "sensitive missions" related to Latin American guerrilla movements in the 1960s, Granma said.

Older Jamaicans will remember Estrada as the Cuban ambassador stationed in Kingston who was declared persona non grata and expelled by the Edward Seaga-led Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government shortly after it took office following the bloody 1980 General Elections.

The JLP had accused Estrada of interference in Jamaica's internal affairs after he publicly criticised the JLP.

Estrada was the lover of the East German-born communist revolutionary known as Tania, nee Tamara Bunke, who was killed fighting alongside Guevara in Bolivia in 1967.

He was close to the legendary Guevara, a leader of the Cuban revolution who left the island in the 1960s to foment revolutions in Africa and Latin America before his death in Bolivia in 1967.

Estrada "collaborated with commandante Ernesto Che Guerra in his internationalist cause in the Congo and the national liberation struggle in Guinea Bissau, alongside Amilcar Cabral", Granma said.

In 1975, Estrada was named to the number two position in the Communist Party's America Department, which managed relations with the region's leftist guerrilla movements.

In addition to Jamaica, he also served as Cuba's ambassador in Yemen, Algeria and Mauritania, and was a journalist for Granma and other Cuban media.

In recent years, he was the editor of the magazine Tricontinental.

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