If God so wanted, I wouldn’t have been here anymore
Sirley Avila Leon was born in 1959 in Las Tunas in the former Cuban province of Oriente. Her father owned a profitable farm. When she was young, she took part in regime-based organisations. In 2004, she began running a farm in Limones and became a local councillor. She spent several years fighting for the creation of a school. She repeatedly complained against the bad situation of the village people and demanded this to be remedied. Ever since 2010, she was targeted by attacks led by the secret police which in 2015 culminated in an assasination attempt. The attacker cut her arm off with a machette and maimed her legs. She became active in the dissident movement striving to overthrow the communist dictatorship. Ever since 2016, she lives in Miami.