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Celia Sanchez

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Title: Celia Sanchez  
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Subject: Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolution, Fidel (film), Che (film), Women in warfare and the military (1945–99)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Celia Sanchez

Celia Sanchez
Born (1920-05-09)May 9, 1920
Manzanillo, Cuba
Died January 11, 1980(1980-01-11) (aged 59)

Celia Sánchez Manduley (May 9, 1920 – January 11, 1980) was a participant of the Cuban Revolution and a close friend, and rumored lover of Fidel Castro.[1]

She was born in Media Luna,[2] Oriente, Cuba. Sánchez joined the struggle against the Batista government following the coup of March 10, 1952. She was the founder of the 26th of July Movement in Manzanillo.[3] Together with Frank País she was one of the first women to assemble a combat squad during the revolution.[4] she was tasked with making all the necessary arrangements throughout the southwest coast region of Cuba, for the Granma landing, and was responsible for organising reinforcements once the revolutionaries landed.[5] In 1957, she joined the guerrillas and served as messenger. Celia placed small telegrams inside a Butterfly flower, so the messages would remain in secret and would not be exposed to the enemy. As a member of the general staff of the Rebel Army she managed to supply Che Guevara and other rebels with weapons, occasionally food and medical supplies.[6]

During the mid to late 1960's, René Vallejo, Castro's physician since 1958,[7] and Sanchez became the Cuban leader's two closest companions.[7] Sánchez was bestowed with the title of Secretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers[8] and served in the Department of Services of the Council of State until her death of lung cancer in 1980.[7] The Celia Sánchez Memorial in Manzanillo honors her name.

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Celia Sánchez died on January 11, 1980 at age 59. (Rich Haney edited this correction. The World Heritage Encyclopedia bio of Celia Sanchez incorrectly lists her death as 1982).

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