Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Last female Moncadista dies

Melba Hernández with Ricardo Alarcón
Melba Hernández died March 9. She and Haydee Santamaria were the only women who took part in Fidel Castro's failed attack on the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953.
Santamaria died in 1980. Alan Woods wrote in El Militante:
Haydée always opposed the "Sovietization", ie, the attempt to impose on Cuba rigid Stalinist bureaucracy and dogmatic thought and methodology. Tragically, she committed suicide in 1980.
A lawyer by profession, Hernandez remained faithful to Fidel and Raúl Castro. She was a constant presence in the front row of rallies marking the July 26 attack that began the Cuban revolution.
Reaction to her death at age 92 was mixed.

Granma, the newspaper of Cuba's Communist Party, reported:
With deep sorrow, the leadership of the Party and the State informed our people that Moncada heroine Melba Hernández Rodríguez del Rey, member of the Central Party Committee and deputy to the National People's Assembly, died in Havana the night of Sunday March 9, as a result of complications associated with diabetes mellitus, a disease she suffered for many years.
Marc Masferrer, creator of Uncommon Sense, a blog dedicated to political prisoners in Cuba, wrote simply:
Good riddance.
Clarissa Lima, one of his Facebook friends, replied:
Wish she'd taken some of her "friends" with her.
Raúl Castro greets Hernández during a July 26 rally


Antonio said...

2 things. Small error in one of the pics, you wrote July 28 event.

Also, how come you did not give any press to Comandante Huber Matos, the guy Fidel and Celia Sanchez betrayed and jailed for over two decades just for resigning. He died last week.

Tracey Eaton said...

Hi Antonio - I fixed the mistake in the caption. Thanks for letting me know.
Comandante Huber Matos certainly is worthy of a blog post and more. I am so swamped sometimes with my day job that I just don't have time to write anything on Along the Malecón.
One day when I win the lottery, I'll have much more time to read and blog to my heart's content.
On another subject, I received the Bay of Pigs book you told me about and have started going through it. It is very interesting. Thanks for telling me about it.