Cuba's oldest man dies at 126

By Xinhua
Updated: 2006-10-12 10:26

HAVANA - Benito Martinez Abogan, the oldest man in Cuba, on Wednesday died at the age of 126, in a hospital in the city of Ciego de Avila, east of Cuba's capital Havana, local media reported.

Martinez had long suffered from decompensation - a chronic weakness of the heart, which relates to blood not reaching the whole body. He entered a local hospital a few days ago, after his existing condition deteriorated due to a respiratory problem.

Friends of Martinez, who was born on June 19, 1880, nicknamed him Avion. He was born in Caballones, a mountain village in Haiti, and came to Cuba in 1925 to seek better work and to earn more money.

He never went to school, and worked in the fields and on construction sites most of his life. Martinez always remained in excellent health and began to seek medical help only in 2000, aged 120.

Martinez never had a family, and lived in the Camilo Cienfuegos Gerontological Center, where specialists cared for him.