Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression
This chapter explores Haydée’s birth in 1922 and childhood on a sugar plantation in rural Cuba, what life was like for a girl and young woman in that restrictive atmosphere, and how class and gender norms affected her. It describes her place in the family, relationships with her parents and four siblings, and devotion to her youngest brother, Abel. Her father and mother were immigrants from Galicia, Spain; he became a foreman and carpenter at the mill, she a housewife. Haydée was only able to study through sixth grade, at a one-room country schoolhouse. Conservative values and her courageous transgression of those values are explored. As the author takes the reader on a 2014 trip to Haydée’s birthplace and childhood home, the protagonist’s early life and young adulthood are revealed.