Every cell in my body breathes for Cuba
Maria Werlau was born August 15, 1959 in Havana. Her father fought against the regime of general Fulgencio Batista. Because of that he had to emigrate to the U.S. where Maria’s parents got married in 1958. They returned to Cuba immediately after the victory of the Cuban Revolution. Her father got a job in the management of a company operating production and processing of sugar cane. However, her parents soon realized the direction Fidel Castro’s rule was taking and started to engage in resistance activities targeted against the newly established regime. For that, the family had to once again seek refuge in the U.S. There her father was involved in trainings for the planned Bay of Pigs Invasion. His two brothers also underwent the trainings. The failure of the whole operation resulted in Maria’s father and one of his brother’s attempt to hide in Cuba. However, the group was exposed and Maria’s father was shot by the members of the Cuban Army. The family moved to Puerto Rico where Maria started college. She also studied at the Georgetown University in Washington D.C. She worked in banking in several Latin American countries after graduation. She returned to U.S. in 1993 and got involved in the fight for human rights in Cuba straight away. She took part in many different projects, some of which she led herself. Among those are projects such as Archivo Cuba or Memorial Cubano. She has cooperated with prominent figures of the Cuban exile, such as Ricardo Bofill, Armando Lagos or Elena Mederos.