Cuban Norma Porras Reyes, who in the late 1950s fought in Havana against the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship, died last Monday of septic shock. He was 83 years old.
Norma, who was a member of the so-called action groups of the July 26 Movement, served as inspiration for the character of Nereida in the multi-award-winning film “Clandestinos”, which was played by the renowned actress Isabel Santos.
As detailed by the official portal Cubadebate, the former clandestine combatant was born in the Regla municipality, in Havana, on October 10, 1938.
From a very young age, she joined the Civic Front of Martian Women, a group that visited political prisoners in jails. This is how she met Ángel ‘Machaco’ Ameijeiras, who would become her husband. She was fully involved in the struggle led by Fidel Castro, collecting weapons and setting firecrackers, actions for which she was imprisoned twice.
Norma was the only survivor of a fierce combat between the Batista police and four revolutionaries who were hiding in a house located on Goicuría and O’Farrill streets, in the La Víbora neighborhood, on November 8, 1958. At that time she was pregnant and in the confrontation she was shot four times: two in the hip, one in the chest and another with a line.
That shooting, in which her husband Machaco Ameijeiras and two other revolutionaries died, was recreated in the aforementioned film “Clandestinos”, directed by Fernando Pérez in 1988, and co-starring Luis Alberto García.
The combatant was arrested and tried for the crimes of possession of weapons and an attack on the powers of the State. The 1959 triumph surprised her in the Guanajay women’s prison, located in the old province of Havana, today Artemisa.
Last March, Norma Porras, together with former underground fighters Natalia Bolívar and Gladys Marel, sent a paper public to the governor Miguel Díaz-Canel in which they denounced that the “veterans of the Revolution are also homeless with the pensions received” after the application of the so-called Ordinance Task.
The three women reported that the task has affected many citizens, especially the poorest and most needy, mostly the elderly.
“In this way, the social justice for which so many years ago we risked our lives is violated. (…) The economic income of veterans and combatants, previously restricted, has been greatly affected. The modest subsidies we received have been affected. On what is based a political decision that ignores the precarious situation of the elderly who dedicated their lives to working for the sake of what they believed to be a more humanistic society? “, They stressed.
Norma Porras was trained after 1959 as a livestock agronomist with a degree in Sociology, and was a member of the Communist Party.
By his own will his body was cremated and his ashes deposited in the Pantheon of the Veterans of the Necropolis of Colón.