Born in eastern Cuba, Sánchez was involved in organizations that opposed the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista (1952-1959) until she became a member of the July 26 Movement, commanded by the historic leader Fidel Castro.
Her arduous work underground led her to play a decisive role in preparing the landing in eastern Cuba of the 82 expeditionary members of the Granma yacht, which had set sail from Mexico on November 25, 1956, to begin the armed struggle against the dictatorship.
She later became the first female combatant of the Rebel Army in the Sierra Maestra mountain range where she founded the Mariana Grajales Women’s Platoon to support the guerrilla rearguard.
After the revolutionary triumph of January 1, 1959, she undertook multiple responsibilities, such as Secretary of the Council of State and lawmaker to the National People’s Power Assembly.
She left her legacy on several social programs and national development projects.
Considered one of the most beloved prominent figures of the Cuban people, Celia Sánchez worked with Fidel Castro for over two decades.
The Cuban heroine died of cancer in Havana on January 11, 1980.