Funeral held for Cuban revolutionary Huber Matos

MIAMI – Saturday's viewing for Huber Matos, Cuban revolutionary turned Fidel Castro foe, was held Sunday at the Caballero Rivero Woodlawn Funeral Home in Miami. He was 95 years old when he died.

In attendance were several former Cuban political prisoners, many of whom spent time behind bars with Matos.

"About 85 percent of the people in there were political prisoners in Cuba," said Eugenio Zaldivar, with the group gathered inside the funeral home.

Matos was one of Fidel Castro's top commanders but grew disillusioned when he realized communism would supplant democracy. He resigned his post and served 20 years in prison.

"Prison was really nasty and cruel," said Zaldivar, who spent 13 years in a Cuban prison, "Then he came to this country and he kept on fighting."

The former political prisoners worry about whether the younger generation will embrace their cause with as much passion.

"Somehow, they haven't received our legacy," said Carlos Ponce.

"The people behind us, are they going to sacrifice what we did?" asked Zaldivar.

Those in attendance also spent much of the night reflecting about whether, like Matos, they too won't live to see a free Cuba.

"We all dream to go back to Cuba, at least 10 minutes, you know, to die," said Ponce, "We don't know if we have that."

"They wanted him to see the end of the communist dictatorship, the end of the Castro regime and I understand that, but the important thing is not that he sees it or that anybody sees it. The important thing is that it happens," said Matos' son, Rogelio.

Rogelio Matos said his father requested to be buried in Costa Rica. That is the country, he said, that secured him a visa to escape Cuba. His father also asked the family to move his remains to Cuba once democracy comes to the island.