Celia Hart Santamaría (1963 – 2008)
At 3.30pm on Saturday, February 21, more than 50 people gathered at the F. Engels Foundation stand at the Havana Book Fair to participate in a brief but moving homage to Celia Hart. The tragic death of comrade Celia Hart and her brother Abel, in a car accident last September was a great shock to her many friends and comrades all over the world.
During the last years of her life Celia developed a very close relationship with the International Marxist Tendency, attending its world congress in 2004. It was at Celia's insistence that the Frederick Engels Foundation began to participate in the Havana International Book Fair, which it has done on a regular basis for the last five years with great success.
Celia was always a very active participant in our bookstand, enthusiastically recommending books by Trotsky to the Cuban public, which up to then had had little or no access to these works. Over the last five years the sale of books by Trotsky, Ted Grant and Alan Woods, as well as books by Marx, Engels and Lenin, has become a regular feature.
Last year there was a very successful launch meeting of the Spanish edition of Trotsky's The Revolution Betrayed in which Celia spoke with her customary passion. The Frederick Engels Foundation has published a collection of Celia's articles under the title of Revolutionary Notes (Apuntes Revolucionarios). Sadly, this year, Celia was no longer with us. Every one of us felt that it was not the same without her cheerful and ebullient presence.
On Thursday 19, a small delegation of comrades from the IMT accompanied by Celia's close friend and collaborator in the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, Ida Garberi, went to the Cristobal Colon cemetery to lay flowers at her grave. This is situated within the Revolutionary Armed Forces pantheon, where many Cuban revolutionary fighters are buried. Comrade Alan Woods delivered a brief speech paying tribute to Celia's memory, after which the Internationale was sung.
At the memorial meeting on Saturday, those present included friends, comrades and relatives of Celia and Abel. To start the proceedings, Ana Muñoz read out an article which Celia had written one year earlier, after the launch of Revolution Betrayed, in which she expressed her firm support for the Cuban revolution. Then, her friend Ida Garberi read out a message from the Argentine Communist Workers' Party (Partido Comunista de los Trabajadores).
Finally, Alan Woods delivered a speech in which he expressed the deep sense of loss of his dear friend and comrade, but concluded that the only monument that Celia Hart would want us to build was an imperishable monument in the form of a powerful worldwide movement capable of ending exploitation and oppression forever. After these words, everyone present sang the Internationale with a kind of revolutionary passion that Celia Hart had always shown in life. Her spirit lives on.
Articles by Celia
Interviews with Celia
Article by Celia in Spanish
Entrevista a Celia Hart
- Celia Hart Santamaría (1963 – 2008) by Alan Woods (September 8, 2008)