Vilma Lucila EspínMany of the leaders of the Cuban revolution were among the very Latin elites whose supremacy over the masses they set out to topple — i.e., they were male and from the professional class. Fidel Castro was trained as a lawyer, while Ernesto “Che” Guevara studied medicine. But the spirit of the rebellion was most vividly embodied by the “First Lady” of Cuba’s communist revolution, Vilma Lucila Espín. Her father was a lawyer for the rum company Bacardi, whose business exploits in Cuba were viewed by Castro’s July 26 Movement as treating the island nation like a Yankee playground. After training as a chemical engineer, including a year of study at MIT, Espín took up arms against the Batista dictatorship in the 1950s and debunked the notion of the docile Caribbean woman with her public appearances in full army fatigues.

Vilma Lucila Espín
Many of the leaders of the Cuban revolution were among the very Latin elites whose supremacy over the masses they set out to topple — i.e., they were male and from the professional class. Fidel Castro was trained as a lawyer, while Ernesto “Che” Guevara studied medicine. But the spirit of the rebellion was most vividly embodied by the “First Lady” of Cuba’s communist revolution, Vilma Lucila Espín. Her father was a lawyer for the rum company Bacardi, whose business exploits in Cuba were viewed by Castro’s July 26 Movement as treating the island nation like a Yankee playground. After training as a chemical engineer, including a year of study at MIT, Espín took up arms against the Batista dictatorship in the 1950s and debunked the notion of the docile Caribbean woman with her public appearances in full army fatigues.