Antonio del Conde is the man who helped Fidel Castro set sail for revolution. The Mexican arms dealer nicknamed ‘The Friend’ bought Castro the boat Granma on which he sailed from Mexico to Cuba to change the course of history.
Conde had just arrived in Tuxpan, Mexico when he was told the news of Castro’s death. He said he was speechless.
“He changed my life, like he changed the lives of many people in different countries around the world, not just in the Americas,” he said about the mark Fidel left on him.
“I met him around 1955 at an arms dealership I owned. He came into my store to buy from me…We prepared the expedition on my boat, in the Granma yacht, and just yesterday in Tuxpan, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Granma’s voyage.”
The boat only built to carry a few passengers, held 82 insurgents who left Mexico for Cuba in the early hours of November 25 1956. Two years later they would overthrow the government and establish the first communist state in the western hemisphere.