Hernandez, heroine of Cuban revolution, dies at 92

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HAVANA (AP) -- Melba Hernandez, who helped Fidel Castro launch his revolutionary battle with a failed 1953 attack on a military barracks and was later named a "heroine of the Cuban Revolution," has died. She was 92.

Communist Party newspaper Granma said Monday that Hernandez died the previous night of complications from diabetes.

With her crown of snowy white curls, Hernandez was occasionally seen at official events in her later years accompanied by one or the other of the Castro brothers. Fidel stepped down due to ill health in 2006, passing command to his younger brother Raul.

Born on July 28, 1921, Hernandez was five years older than Fidel and remained faithful to him throughout her life.

Hernandez helped found the Communist Party of Cuba and served as ambassador in Vietnam and Cambodia.

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