Anti-communist warrior who as a young girl fought against Cuba’s Castro dictatorship dies at 82

Zoila Águila Almeida, the legend known as “La Niña del Escambray,” was just a young girl when she took up arms to fight against the tyranny of the communist Castro dictatorship. The Cuban exile community has lost another hero.

Via ADN Cuba (my translation):

‘The Girl from Escambray,’ who fought against Castroism, dies in Florida

Zoila Aguila Almeida, a Cuban known as “The Girl from Escambray” when at a young age she joined the military forces challenging the communist rule imposed by Fidel Castro after the 1959 revolution, died in Hialeah, FL at the age of 82, a victim of COVID-19. News of her death was confirmed by associates of the woman on Monday.

“With deep regret, the Cuban Historic Political Prison announces the death of Zoila Aguila Almeida, “The Girl from Placetas” or “The Girl from Escambray,” a victim of the Chinese COVID-19 virus,” said the exile organization based in Miami.

Luis G. Infante, the president of this group of exiled Cubans, said that the “Girl” died on Sunday in Hialeah, a city neighboring Miami, and was at all moments in the care of doctors.

“For a while now many have wondered if “The Girl” (who was born in Placetas in central Cuba) was alive or not, if she was here or somewhere else in the U.S.,” said Infante, clearing up any doubt the former anti-communist soldier who fought against the Castros in the mountains of Escambray died in that city.

A guerrilla force formed in Escambray under the command of Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo (1934-2012), who went up to the mountains to fight Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and then later against the communist regime imposed by Fidel Castro.

On the news website 14yMedio, led by Cuban journalist Yoani Sanchez, “The Girl from Placetas,” which she was also known as, was “the only woman who participated in armed battles and was always up in the mountains on the front lines, fighting alongside the others.”

Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.

1 thought on “Anti-communist warrior who as a young girl fought against Cuba’s Castro dictatorship dies at 82”

  1. May she rest in peace. The Escambray rebels were not urban middle class, let alone “oligarchs,” but simple country people, guajiros, whose bravery, tenacity and heroism is still obscured by the regime’s malicious propaganda to demonize them and practically absolute foreign indifference/complicity. They were one hell of a lot braver than the Castro rebels in the Sierra Maestra mountains, who spent most of their time there hiding out in their remote location and at most engaging in minor skirmishes against the corrupt (as in for sale) and ineffectual Batista forces. The Escambray rebels deserve major recognition, honor and respect.

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