On the 14th anniversary of Vilma Espin’s death, Cubans recall her as someone in love with life, who long after abandoning this world, continues at our side
Granma | June 18, 2021
Death is a definitive word, but there are beings for whom it is hardly fitting, since dying means that something has ended. Vilma is among those who, in love with life, would give it up for her people, to live on in glory. Even after abandoning this world 14 years ago, she continues at our side.
We could say a great deal about what she did, about the girl from Santiago – the second Cuban woman to graduate in Chemical Engineering – who chose a path that took her away from a comfortable existence, to Revolution.
Among the many images that come to mind is that of the young student conspiring to put an end to a corrupt, subservient regime, who began writing pamphlets and went on to become a member of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and Political Bureau and president of the Federation of Cuban Women, the FMC, a huge organization fighting for women´s rights and dignity.
Lucid and confident, her words shone just as brightly alongside Frank País, in the early days of the July 26th Movement, as they did in every struggle she undertook. She was indispensable in the underground; in the Sierra Maestra; in the educational mission she assumed within the Revolution, changing mentalities and challenging prejudices; on the international stage, where she defended Cuba’s revolutionary work; whenever she spoke, with the warmth of her spirit, on any subject.
She chose to live on the side of duty; overcoming fear in the face of horror, never trembling; participating in events that others would have avoided; building the first childcare centers with other FMC members; supported by the family she founded, to serve as an example of a woman in Revolution, speaking to us every time we recall all that we have achieved.
Vilma: The feminine force shaped by your teachings, which today defends Cuba in Revolution and our people’s irrevocable decision never to return to the past you fought, are more than enough evidence to confirm that your death is a lie.