Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression
Haydée Santamaría was one of the great heroines of the Cuban Revolution. Throughout her life she was tormented by memories of being brought her brother’s eye and lover’s testicle following the attack on Moncada Barracks. The regime wanted to make her divulge Fidel’s whereabouts. She defied her own torturers and remained silent. After the war, she was assigned an important job in the restructuring of society, that of founding and running an arts institution with the goal of shattering the cultural blockade. She was enormously successful, but plagued by periodic bouts of depression, and committed suicide at age 57. In this chapter, two nieces—her closest remaining relatives—speak about her life. A friend expresses an ultimately contrary point of view. And readers hear from Haydée’s daughter, Celia María Hart, in extraordinary testimony written before Celia’s untimely death in 2008.