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Cuba remembers Birthday of heroine Melba Hernandez

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Jul 28 (Prensa Latina) Today, the central ceremony for the 102nd anniversary of the birth of the outstanding Cuban revolutionary and diplomat Melba Hernández Rodríguez del Rey is being held in the Cienfuegos municipality of Cruces.

Melba was born on July 28, 1921, in Cruces, former province of Las Villas, in a family of Mambisa lineage. She attended primary education in the public school of Cruces, where her principal, Corina Rodriguez, had been a messenger of the Mambi general Higinio Esquerra, one of the leaders of the War of Independence.

She graduated as a lawyer from the Law School of the University of Havana in 1943 and later graduated in Social Sciences.

Furthermore, she was an outstanding revolutionary fighter, heroine of the Republic of Cuba and Doctor Honoris Causa of the Higher Institute of International Relations. She actively participated in the struggle against Batista’s tyranny, being one of the first to join the ranks of the revolutionary movement led by Fidel Castro.

She was one of the two women who participated in the seizure of the provincial hospital Saturnino Lora, on July 26, 1953, together with Haydée Santamaría Cuadrado. After this action, she was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison in the Guanajay jail. Later, a court considered her a political prisoner and sentenced her to seven months in prison.

She was also Cuban ambassador to Vietnam and Cambodia and Secretary General of the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America (Ospaal), vice president of the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples, and member of the Presidium of the World Peace Council.

The Catalan anthropologist and feminist activist Isabel Holgado Fernandez said about her that “this woman was one of the most decisive people in the revolutionary triumph in Cuba”. Her figure serves as an example of a great fighter for just causes.