Ricardo Alarcón

, former Cuban foreign minister and who was a close collaborator of

Fidel Castro

, died on Saturday night at the age of 84, after living his last years away from power, the Foreign Ministry confirmed without specifying the causes of death.

"All our tribute to dear

Ricardo Alarcón

in his loyalty to the

Revolution

, to the

Party

, to foreign policy and to the glorious tradition of

CubaMinrex

," Foreign Minister

Bruno Rodríguez

said on his Twitter account.

Former representative of

Cuba

in the

United Nations

,

Alarcón

was a key figure with

Fidel Castro

in the design of the national policy against the

United States

, his enemy since 1959.

However, in June 2013 he was excluded from the leadership of

the Communist Party

(

PCC

, only) during the seventh plenary session of

the Central Committee

, when

Raúl Castro

had already succeeded his brother

Fidel

(1926-2016) as president.

The removal occurred after his main aide,

Miguel Álvarez

, was tried and convicted in a discreet trial for espionage.

"Master of the diplomats of our generation, we will always keep deep respect, admiration and infinite affection for you," said the vice-chancellor,

Josefina Vidal

, on her Twitter account in the early hours of the morning.

The diplomat sent her "heartfelt condolences" to

Alarcón

's children ,

Margarita

and

Ricardo

.

President of the Cuban Parliament from 1998 to 2013, he also held a position in the select

Political Bureau

of the

PCC

.

With his health evidently deteriorating, he nonetheless remained in advisory work with a small office in the

Council of State

.

The last telephone interview on relations between

Cuba

and the

United States

was granted last Friday to the virtual program

Conversaciones Americanas

, by academician

Arturo López-Levy

.

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