CUBAN Communist Armando Hart, who oversaw the island’s huge literacy campaign as education minister in the early 1960s, died on Sunday of respiratory failure at the age of 87.
He was responsible for sending more than 100,000 volunteers across Cuba for the literacy campaign and served later as culture minister.
This veteran of the July 26 Movement set up by revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in 1953 focused in later years on promoting the life and works of independence hero Jose Marti.
Mr Hart was re-elected as a member of the Communist Party central committee in 2011 but stood down from the politburo.
He studied law at the University of Havana, where he joined the Orthodox Party youth wing, before involving himself in protests organised the Federation of University Students against new dictator Fulgencio Batista’s government.
He was in jail for his urban support group role’s in helping anti-Batista fighters when the revolution triumphed on New Year’s Day 1959.