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Memoirs of Violeta Teresa Casal, a Rebellious Voice
Cuban younger generations know little of the woman who owned the familiar and seductive voice that filled the henchmen of dictator Fulgencio Batista with terror when she said, "Radio Rebelde Here!" Who would be celebrated her centenary this March 26.

Violeta Teresa Casal y Perez was an actress and combatant of the Rebel Army and pedagogue. She was born in Calzada de Tirry, No. 61, in the city of Matanzas. "In addition to having many histrionic talents, she stood out for being an outstanding student, with a high culture, deep human feelings, infinite love for her country, for the humble and for solidarity among peoples," said Regino Rivas Diaz, President of the Commission on history of the Union of Education, Science and Sport in the province of Matanzas and dedicated student of the life of this figure of revolutionary history.

The also teacher at the Conrado Benitez Garcia school says that she starred in the theatre in more than 60 works of world literature. She reached relevance in both drama and comedy. The famed theatre and television director Antonio Vazquez Gallo said that in the early 1950s Violeta was considered one of the best artists of Cuban theatre.

Through his brother Manolo she joined the July 26 Movement in search activities for medicines and weapons. After being caught she was constantly persecuted and threatened by the thugs of the regime. Her house was systematically subjected to searches. All this led to her departure to the Sierra Maestra.

«I've been waiting for ten days!" Were the words of welcome from Fidel in the Sierra Maestra, where she was appointed to work in Radio Rebelde. And on the steep hills also she worked as a secretary, practiced shooting and climbed mountains.

"The serious and passionate voice of Violeta has been recorded on tape forever," said Regino.

After the victory of January 1959, with a group of revolutionaries she travelled to Colombia, Panama, Mexico and Chile, as part of the mission she represented the revolutionary government in Operation Truth. For several years she was director of Radio Rebelde, leader of the Union of Artists and worked in the Office of Historical Affairs of the State Council.

Her last performance in the theatre, after the revolutionary triumph, was a version of the play The Mother, by Maxim Gorky, staged by the Theatre Studio in 1975.

No task assigned was uncompleted with the discipline and enthusiasm that always characterized her. She participated with Vilma Espin in the founding of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) in the Payret theatre, Havana.

This authentic Cuban defender of the legitimate values of her people died on October 28, 1992, and was buried in the Pantheon of the FAR, in the necropolis of Colon. Her companion in the struggles in the Sierra, Jorge Enrique Mendoza, in her obituary highlighted among her qualities not only her great culture and relevant skills as an actress, but her heroics to fight and defend freedom of the country. / By Hugo Garcia – Juventud Rebelde / Translated by ESTI.

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