Photo: Ronald Suárez Rivas

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."
After a complicated birth, requiring numerous procedures, Madelaine states that the reason she can hold her son in her arms today, is because of the Revolution and all its achievements in the field of health.
"Imagine, I was admitted four months ago, and the hospital has provided me with everything I’ve needed. My husband has taken good care of me, but here I haven’t wanted for anything, from medicine to the blood transfusions I needed, due to my low hemoglobin levels.
"Fidel did a lot for this people, for people that had nothing when the dictatorship was overthrown, or those who lost everything in hurricanes."
As well as naming him after the historic leader of the Revolution, Madelaine admits that there are other qualities of the Comandante she would like her son to possess.
"I’d like him to play sports like Fidel, be good, affectionate, and honest. Never betray his father or his homeland," she states with the assurance of someone who knows that their little one has been born in a country where children are prioritized, where vaccinations and education are guaranteed, where there will be a doctor to attend him whenever he needs it; who won't ask if his parents have the money to pay for his treatment, because although Fidel died this November 25, he will continue to be reborn everyday.