The Spanish dictator Francisco Franco was a rabid anti-Communist and a staunch ally of the United States. But that did not keep him from forging a friendship with a Communist nation that was America's sworn enemy: Fidel Castro's Cuba. Washington was furious and considered cutting off the economic aid it gave Spain in return for allowing American bases there. Meanwhile, CIA-funded anti-Castro groups attacked Spanish vessels for having dared to break the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Three Spanish sailors were killed in these attacks. Yet Franco was loathe to quarrel with Cuba. Not even a live televised heated argument between the Spanish ambassador and Fidel Castro shook Franco's resolve. "Anything but break relations with Cuba" is what Franco purportedly said. And this bond was to last right up to his death. When Franco died in 1976, Cuba decreed three days of official mourning.