She died at the age of 92 from complications linked to diabetes mellitus, a disease she had suffered for a number of years.
Melba Hernandez was born July 28, 1921, in the town of Cruces, in the former Las Villas province -today Villa Clara- located in the central part the country. Hernandez graduated as a lawyer in 1943 at the University of Havana.
She was among the first women to join the revolutionary movement headed by Fidel Castro and she actively fought against the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship. She participated in the July 26, 1953 attack on the Moncada garrison, in eastern Santiago de Cuba, and witnessed the murder of many of her compatriots.
Melba joined the Rebel Army in the Third Guerrilla Front, under the command of Juan Almeida Bosque. After the victory of the Cuban Revolution she was assigned important responsibilities, such as president of the Cuban Committee in Solidarity with Vietnam and similar committees in solidarity with Laos and Cambodia. She also served as Cuba’s ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Kampuchea, and director of the Center for Studies on Asia and Oceania.
She received countless decorations and national and international distinctions, including Labor Heroine of the Republic of Cuba. According to her will, her body will be cremated and temporarily under the custody of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. Her ashes will be transferred to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, where she will find her final resting place among the mortal remains of her comrades who assaulted the Moncada Garrison.