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“Save the Life of the Five,” said Daughter of Olga Benario and Luiz Carlos Prestes

Anita Prestes

Anita Prestes

Anita Prestes, daughter of internationalist fighters Olga Benario and Luiz Carlos Prestes, sent this statement to Aldo Fidel, Cuba’s Commercial Consul in Sao Paulo, in which she calls for saving the lives of the Cuban Five who have been held in U.S. prisons.

Anita, a Brazilian historian, was born in a Nazi women’s prison of Bressinimstrasse, and at the end of

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her lactation, with only 14 months, thanks to international solidarity, was received by her paternal grandmother Leocadia Prestes. Olga was transferred to the Lichtenburg concentration camp and then to Ravensbruck. In February, 1942, shortly before turning 34 years, Olga was sent to the extermination camp of Bernburg, where she was killed in a gas chamber.

In the last letter Olga wrote to Carlos Prestes and her daughter, she said goodbye to them, while knowing that she was running out of time to live:

“I’ve fought for what is just, for good and for the best in the world … I want you to understand me well: prepare me for death does not mean I give up, but knowing how to face death when it comes.”


As everyone knows, the absurd violation of human rights remains while being perpetrated by the U.S. government, led by President Obama, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, which, despite worldwide protests, continues holding in prisons four Cuban heroes: Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez and Ramon Labañino, and has deprived another, René González, already in probation, from the right to return permanently to his homeland.

As the daughter of Luiz Carlos Prestes and Olga Benario, two internationalist heroes, I am witness of the inestimable value of international solidarity to save the victims of fascist repression and rage. I consider myself as a daughter of international solidarity, because it saved me from the clutches of fascism, a great global campaign led by Leocadia Prestes, my grandmother, of whom Pablo Neruda wrote: “You made great, greatest Our Americas.”

Let us save, then, the life of the Cuban Five!

Rio de Janeiro, March, 2012

Anita Leocadia Prestes
Historian and professor at the UFRJ

Taken from Cubadebate

Translated by Osmany González Tocabens

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