MIAMI -- A Cuban exile who helped lead a group that tried for decades to overthrow Cuban President Fidel Castro died late Wednesday. He was 88.
Andres Nazario Sargen, who helped lead the paramilitary group Alpha 66, died of colon cancer, said his daughter, Olguita Nazario.
He was diagnosed with the disease 18 months ago but continued working at the group's headquarters until about three weeks ago. "He told everyone, 'I'm fine. I'm fine.' He was so convinced. He never thought he would die," his daughter said.
During the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, Mr. Nazario worked with guerrillas operating independently of Castro's rebel movement.
When Castro came to power on Jan. 1, 1959, Mr. Nazario and other guerrilla leaders had faced execution.
They left for Miami in 1961 and joined with other Cuban exiles to form Alpha 66 -- named for its 66 original members.
The group is the oldest anti-Castro group in Miami and claims to have staged clandestine operations in Cuba to overthrow Castro. It still advocates an armed civil uprising in Cuba.
Mr. Nazario was born in the town of Zaza del Medio in central Cuba. He and his brother also helped found the Orthodox Party, a reformist party that fought corruption.