Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, a comandante of the Cuban Revolution who later turned against Fidel Castro, died Friday in Havana, sources close to the dissident told Efe. He was 77.

Gutierrez Menoyo, who was born in Spain, had been living in Havana for years and suffered from an aneurysm, the sources said, recalling that he was very ill for some time.

With the rank of comandante he was one of the faces of the Cuban Revolution, but in January 1961, by then opposed to the policies of Fidel Castro, he left Cuba on a raft to Florida and joined the Alpha 66 anti-Castro movement.

In late 1964 he returned secretly to the island to organize an armed movement against the Communist government but was captured, accused of espionage and subversion and was condemned to death, but his sentence was commuted to 30 years in prison.

He was freed in December 1986 following the intervention of then-Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez and, once in Miami, founded in 1993 the moderate opposition group Cambio Cubano.

After several visits to the island since 1995, where he even met up with Fidel Castro at a seminar on participative democracy, he decided to take up residence in Havana in 2003. EFE