Celia Sanchez was at the heart of Cuba's revolutionary government for over two decades.
When she died of lung cancer in 1980, her death plunged her comrade, Fidel Castro, into a bout of depressive grief. Since 1957, the two had been virtually inseparable. Celia prepared the ground for the rebel movement in the Sierra Maestra of Cuba against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. She was Castro's principle ally in organising the rebel rear-guard, and once the revolution triumphed, became his secretary, and most trusted aide.
Outside Cuba, little has been written about Celia Sanchez - there are numerous accounts of the revolutionary thought and policies of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, but virtually nothing about her. Inside Cuba, she is idolised as the ideal revolutionary woman.
One of the obstacles to knowing more about her role in the revolution is that Fidel Castro has never talked about her at length - nor has he ever addressed the continued rumours that the two of them were lovers.
In this programme, Linda Pressly explores the life and legacy of Celia Sanchez - from small-town beginnings as a doctor's daughter in Oriente, to her pivotal position in Havana. It delves into her associations, professional and personal... What were the mechanics of her everyday relationship with Cuba's maximo leader, Fidel Castro? How profound was her political influence? And what was her contribution to the distinctive revolutionary culture that emerged in Cuba?
In Search of Celia Sanchez uncovers a fascinating, untold story of revolutionary Cuba, and the part played by a small, steely, determined woman.