Mexican who helped Castro launch his revolution mourns his death

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Mexico City, Nov 27 (IANS) Antonio del Conde, who obtained for Fidel Castro the yacht Granma, on which the latter sailed from Mexico to Cuba in 1956 to launch his revolution, went to the Cuban Embassy on Saturday with other Mexican admirers to express his sorrow for the death of someone who became his friend.

“No words can express what Fidel’s death means. He taught me a new life; now he has to teach me to live without him,” EFE news quoted Del Conde as telling reporters in front of the embassy in Mexico City.

He said that just yesterday he was in Tuxpan for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Granma setting sail from that port in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

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“In one talk I gave I asked for a round of applause for Commander Fidel Castro. It was the last applause he had, the one we gave him,” said the author of “Memorias del Dueño del Yate Granma” (Memoirs of the Owner of the Yacht Granma).

Del Conde met Castro in July 1955 when the latter went to his armoury in downtown Mexico City to ask about some equipment. That was when the Mexican began a connection that led him to get involved in the logistics of the Cuban Revolution and to become known as “el Cuate”, the Friend.

Today at nearly 91 years old, he says he tries to live “putting up with all the kidnappings and so many other problems there are” in Mexico.

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