Local news network of Havana reported on 27th November 2017 that a key figure of the Cuban revolution and a close friend of Fidel Castro, Armando Hart Davalos died on Sunday 26th November 2017 at the age of 87 in Havana. The state media of Cuba has reported that the elderly revolutionary figure spearheaded the huge literacy drive of the country has passed away on Sunday afternoon due to respiratory failure. Hart Davalos suffered from health problems and he was wheelchair-bound in his last couple of years. He was a lawyer by training, but soon he became caught up in the political dedication that swept through Cuba in the 1950s. He joined Castro in 1953 following the botched raid on the Moncada military barracks by the former communist leader. It also planted the seed of the revolution that finally achieved in 1959.
Hart Davalos was also imprisoned and tortured under the Dictator Fulgencio Batista. But, when Castro came to power he was officially appointed the education minister of Cuba. He also married fellow revolutionary Haydee Santamaria. She also took part in the Moncada barracks raid and became one of communist most senior female figures in Cuba. Hart Davalos launched a literacy campaign across the island nation in 1961. The main objective was to equip entire Cubans with perfect reading and writing skills. In 1976, he took over the newly created Cuban Ministry of Culture and it was a position he continued until 1997. In his last a number of years, he dedicated himself to promoting the extensive works of Jose Marti a famous poet who came to symbolize Cuba’s push for independence from Spain.