Legacies: Lives lived / past progressive – Susana Lee Lopez

Founder of Cuba’s Granma newspaper. “In the media, we have tried, with heart and conviction, to continue defending the work that we started very young.” – Susana Lee Lopez.
susana lee lopez founder of granma 2

Susana Lee Lopez, founder of Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, died on May Day at 67 years old after over half a century of prominent reporting about the daily issues and achievements of the Cuban Revolution.

Susana’s life was one of service.  Following the triumph of the revolution, she was among the intrepid and committed young Cubans who didn’t hesitate to sign up for the literacy campaign.

She began her career in journalism without prior training, in May 1962, when she was still a high school student at the Institute of Secondary Education in Havana. Initially she worked with the paper Hoy, where she became a dedicated reporter of youth and women’s issues.

Between 1972 and 1976, she undertook a degree course for workers, graduating in Law, a profession she never practiced as she devoted herself completely to her vocation as a journalist. She was a founder of the papers Juventud Rebelde and Granma, in which she left her mark as a reporter. In the former, she worked for 15 years from 1966, when the paper was founded as a merger of the publications La Tarde and Mella.

At Granma, she carried out various reports personally assigned by Fidel Castro

She never tried to shine, but her work radiates from her modesty

As a result of her rich revolutionary journalistic career she earned numerous awards, medals, diplomas, and, more highly valued, the confidence of her party and the revolution which allowed her to be often beside the Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro.  Included among these  were the Dignity Award presented last year by the Union of Cuban Journalists and, less than two months ago, the highest professional recognition awarded by this body, the Jose Marti National Award for the work of a lifetime.

susana lee with miguel.jpg

Thanks to her work, said the jury on the day of the award ceremony, “we can read the historical review of the Revolution in detail, with investigative precision and reliability … She never tried to shine, but her work radiates from her modesty.”

We consider our profession as a reason to live

In her speech at the Jose Marti Memorial Theatre, where she spoke on March 11 last, on behalf of the winners of the national journalism awards, Susana Lee Lopez, born in Cuba from Chinese origins, thanked the jury saying, “As Fidel once said in the 1980s, the working day is sacred … we consider our profession as a reason to live …  in one way or another in the media, we have tried, with heart and conviction, to continue defending the work that we started very young, when others were not even born.”

“We receive (the prize) as the eyes and ears of the people, as the spokespersons of its resistance and sacrifices, its achievements and victories, its errors and failures,” she added, insisting that everyone should feel rewarded.

A simple, modest woman with much discipline

She joined the Communist Party of Cuba in 1992 and was deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power for three terms (15 years).

She is  remembered by her colleagues and those who knew her as a simple, modest woman with much discipline.

Various tributes were paid to Susana this May 2, by relatives, friends and colleagues, while floral wreaths were sent by the leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro and Army General Raúl Castro Ruz.

Source: Granma & TeleSUR, May 1 2015

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