Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression
This chapter begins at the small Havana apartment where Abel Santamaría moved in 1952, bringing his sister Haydée to live with him there a few months later. The author takes readers to the museum it is today, and in that atmosphere begins to tell one of the most audacious and heroic stories in modern revolutionary history. In this same year, dictator Fulgencio Batista staged a military coup and political takeover, heightening the young revolutionaries’ sense of political urgency. Haydée meets Fidel Castro, and joins his incipient movement. Readers are privy to the group’s preparations to attack the country’s second largest military garrison, an action that involved 160 men and two women. Through first-person testimony, we relive the attack in vivid detail, including the cruel loss of Haydée’s beloved brother and her fiancé, both of whom were tortured to death in its aftermath. The chapter ends with a detailed description of Haydée’s trial, from her viewpoint as well as that of a young reporter who covered it. Readers also share her experience of imprisonment.