Message to Cuban Women’s Federation from Gabriela Women’s Party

20 June 2007

Havana, Cuba

Dear sisters,

The Officers and members of the Gabriela Women’s Party Philippines express our profound sorrow on the passing away of Vilma Espin Guillois, leader of the Federation of Cuban Women and untiring fighter for the emancipation of women and the defense of the rights of children, a leader of the international women’s movement.

With her death the international women’s movement lost one of its most important pillars and fighter for women’s emancipation.

Vilma Espin, dedicated her entire life to the struggles of the Cuban people for liberation and to the cause of women earning her the title, heroine of the clandistine struggle.

Upon the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, she headed the unification of women’s organizations and the setting-up of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC). She tirelessly led the organization until the last minute of her life. From its inception Cuba launched a campaign against rigid traditional roles for men and women and Vilma Espin was quoted then by one of her colleagues as saying, “We have not conquered all but we must defend what we have conquered.”

She was a member of the National Assembly since its first legislature and a member of the Council of State since its constitution. Vilma presided over the National Commission of Prevention and Social Attention from its creation and the Commission of Children and Youth, as well as the Commission on Women’s Equal Rights of the National Assembly of People’s Power.

Her name will be eternally remembered and linked to the most significant achievements of Cuban women in the Revolution and as one of the most important fighters for the emancipation of women in Cuba and throughout the world.

While we mourn the death of Vilma Espin, we are inspired and strengthened by her life story and her achievements in the Cuban Revolution and in advancing the struggle for women’s liberation.

Together with you, we will mourn Vilma Espin’s passing away. But we will turn our sorrow into strength, we will turn our tears into courage to defend what we have conqured and achieved for the good of the women and the people, and to advance further the struggles of women and the marginalized peoples in our country and worldwide against economic plunder and war on terror by the United States and its allies, and against all forms of inequities in our country and the world.

Our highest salute to the Heroine of the Republic of Cuba.


Gabriela Women’s Party


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