Cuban writer, activist Carlos Franqui dies at 89


Franqui died late Thursday in Puerto Rico after a brief hospitalization for bronchial and heart problems, according to family friend Andres Candelario.

The son of a poor farmer, Franqui entered leftist political movements as a youth, joined and left the Communist Party and became a journalist who eventually joined Castro's rebellion against dictator Fulgencio Batista.

He edited the movement newspaper "Revolucion" before and after Castro's insurgents defeated Batista, but increasingly clashed with hard-liners who were restricting cultural and political dissent.

Franqui moved abroad in 1963 and openly broke with the communist government in 1968 when he denounced the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

"For him, the experience of having helped build a revolution that destroyed his country was extraordinarily bitter," Candelario said. "He was immensely affected by having forced a system that in the end he had to confront and fight against."

In a 2006 interview with the Mexican magazine "Letras Libres," Franqui said he had rejected Fidel Castro's offer to be a military commander and later a minister. (

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