November 25, 2016. As the health of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution deteriorates in Havana, a team of doctors at the Abel Santamaría Hospital’s maternity ward in de Pinar del Río, prepare to bring Fidel Alejandro Acosta Rodríguez into the world.
At that moment his parents still hadn’t chosen a name, but the tragic events that would mark that day compelled them to reach a decision.
“We always wanted to call him Alejandro, which was the name the Comandante used during the war, and combine it with Tomás, after by husband. However, when we heard about his death, we decided to name him Fidel, as a sort of tribute,” states Madelaine, the newborn’s mother.
“For me it’s an honor that my son bears the name of the man that began the Revolution and led it to where it is today,” she says.
The news of the Comandante’s death was met with disbelief in the ward, where among other coincidences, Madelaine and Fidel were given bed number 13, the day on which the Comandante was born in August 1926.
“When I found out about his death, I felt very sad. I wanted to go and sign the oath, but it was a bit far from here and I couldn’t leave my son.”