ALEXANDER Kollontai was a Russian Marxist in the early twentieth century involved in the organization of women workers and the development of Marxist theory regarding women’s liberation: “women, their fate, occupied me all my life” she once wrote. “Women’s lot pushed me to socialism”. She was one of those active in the creation of Russia’s first women’s movement after the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution.
Collontai’s approach to organizing among women was based upon class and gender following the lead of German socialists, she began to actively organize a working women’s movement in 1906 as an alternative to the middle class or “bourgeois” feminist movement.
The bourgeois Russian Feminists emphasized the common interest shared by women of all classes and urged working class women to submerge their class demands in a united women’s movement.
In 1908, Kollontai wrote what would become a defining contribution to Marxist theory on women’s liberation. “The social Basis of the women question”, in which she spelled out why there could be no genuine alliance between working class and ruling class women. She wrote.
“The women’s world is divided just as is the world of men, into two camps: the interests and aspirations of one group bring it close to the bourgeois class, while the other group has close connections to the proletariat, and its claims for liberation encompass a full solution to the woman question. Thus, although both camps follow the general slogan of the “liberation of women” their aims and interests are different. Each of the groups unconsciously take its starting point from the interests and aspirations of its own class, which gives a specific class colouring to the targets and tasks it sets for itself.
However, apparently as radical as the demands of the feminists, one must not lose sight of the fact that the feminists cannot, on account of their class position, fight for that fundamental transformation of society, without which liberation of women cannot be complete the three mirabal sisters
Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression malcomx.
The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people Martin Lutter King Jnr.
The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and hate very much to leave it – Ernest H Emigsway.
Mirabel sisters of the Dominican Republic who were strongly opposed to the cruel nature of governance in the Dominican Republic were:
Patria Mercedes Mirabal, born February 27, 1924 to November 25, 1960.
Minerva Argentina Mirabal, March 12, 1926 to November 25, 1960;
Anthonia Maria Teresa Mirabal, October 15, 1935 to November 25, 1960.
All three sisters were natives of the Dominican Republic and were fervently opposed to the cruel dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. There is a fourth sister who is alive today and her name is Begliea Adela Dede Mirabal-Reyes, known as Dede. She did not have an active role in working against the dictator, Trujillo.
The take of the Mirabal sisters is an ongoing tale bravery and compassion in order to save the lives of many people in the Dominican Republic. They defied the flow of conformity and stood out as National Heroines.
The Mirabal sisters grew up in an affluent family and were well cultured and educated women at a time when most women did not receive a good education. It is important to recognize what the Mirabal sisters did for their country and how their past actions still affect and influence people today in the Dominican Republic.
The Mirabal-Reyes family was a prosperous family from a town in Salcedo called Ojo de Ague on the North Coast, near to La Vega. Patria the eldest of the Mirabal daughters was born in 1924 to Enrique Mirabal Fernandez who married Mercedes Reyes Camilo. Don Enrique was a successful farmer and merchant who was born in one of the small towns in Santiago called Tamboril. He owned his own farm, shop, coffee mill, meat market and rice factory.
His wife Donachea was also from a middle class family in Oso de Agna.
Patricia Mercedes Mirabal, born on the 27th February, 1924, was given her name as her birth coincided with the anniversary of the Dominican Republic’s Independence Day. Patria means fatherland. Patria had an affinity with painting and art and at the age of fourteen she was sent to the colegio Immaculate Conception in La Vega, a Catholic Boarding School. Her sisters  Dede and Minerva also went. When she was seventeen Patria married a farmer named Pedro Gonzalez and had four children, Nelson Enrique, Noris Mercedes, Paul Ernesto and Juan Antonio (who sadly dies 5 months after his birth). Patria supported her sister mineral in her anti-government efforts and opposed the dictator Trujillo and in their attempts to overthrow Trujillo had all their property and home seized by the government. Patria was concerned for the future of the country along with all of the country’s children.
She was famous for saying, “we cannot allow our children to grow up in this corrupt and tyrannical regime, we have to fight against it, and I am willing to give up everything, including my life if necessary”.
Minerva Argentina Mirabal was born on March 12 and showed signs of great intelligence from a very early age. By the time she was just 7 years old, she could recite the verses of French poets. She was also at age 12 sent to the Catholic Secondary School, Immaculate Conception with her sisters Patria and Dede. Like her sister Patria, she too appreciated and enjoyed art especially that of Pablio Picasso, her main love was of writing and reading poetry and favoured that of Juan Pablo Neruda. Mineral attended the University of Santo Domingo and it was there she met her future husband Manuel (Manolo) Tavarez Justo. They married on November 20, 1955 and moved to Montle Cristi where they had 2 children, Minu and Manolito.
In 1949, she was taken to the capital and slong with her mother Dona Chea, placed under house arrest, meanwhile her father Don Enrique was being held in the Fortaleza Ozama. Minerva’s political influences included changes occurring in other Latin American countries, the Luperion Invasion (14 June Movement) and the revolution in Cuba. Minerva admired the then up and coming revolutionary, Fidel Castro and would often recite his famous words of “condemn me, it does not matter. History will absolve me”. She was also influence by her uncle who had a pharmacy in Jarabacoa.
Minerva was famous for saying, “….it is a source of happiness to do whatever can be done for our country that suffers so many anguishes, it is sad to stay with one’s arms crossed…”
Maria Teresa Mirabal, the youngest of the Mirabal sisters was born on October 15, 1936, and she also attended Immaculate Conception with her sisters. Mathematics was Maria’s domain and in 1954 she graduated from the Licco de San Francisco de Macoris and then went to the University of Santo Domingo to study math. On February 14, 1958 she married Leandro Guzman, an engineer and one year later she gave birth to their daughter named Jacqueline. She looked up to her sister Minerva and admired her actions and later became involved in her sisters political activities.
On January 20, 1960, she was detained at a military base in her home town of Sakedo but later freed the same day. Two days later however, she and her sister Minerva were arrested and taken to La Cuarenta. La Cuarenta was the infamous torture prison. They were later transferred to La Victoria Prison.
They were freed on February 7, 1960, a short while later on the 18 March she and her sister were once again taken back to the dreadful La Cuarenta after having been sentenced to 5 years for “threatening the security of the state. This sentence was eventually reduced to 3 years on appeal and the sisters were freed on August 18, 1960.
Maria was famous for saying, “… perhaps what we have most is near death, but that idea does not frighten me; we shall continue to fight for that which is just..”
Minervas Maria and Patria were all returning home from Puerto Plata on a heavily raining evening after visiting their spouses in jail (Trujillo had put them all behind bars with their wives but later released the sisters when public opinion made his popularity to wane.
They had travelled from their home town of salcedo with their driver Rufino de la Cruz. It was November 25, 1960. As they drove back home along the main highway between Puerto Plata and Santiago their jeep was stopped by the secret police as planned by Trujillo. There is no way of knowing exactly what happened that night however a narrative still exists from Ciriaco de la Rosa, one of the henchmen, he says  “After stopping them we led them to a spot near the chasm where I ordered Rojas to pick up some sticks and take one of the girls, he obeyed the order and took one of them, the one with the long braids, that was Maria. Alfonso Cruz took the tallest one, that was Minerva, and Malleta took the driver, Rufinode la Cruz. I ordered each one of them to go to a sugar cane grove on the edge of the road, each one separated so that the victims would not sense the execution of one another. I ordered Perez Terreroto stay and see if anyone was coming who could find out about the situation. That is the truth of the situation. I do not want to deceive justice or the state. I tried to prevent the disaster, but I could not because if I had, he, Trujillo would have killed us all…”
It was in this manner that the Mirabal sisters and their driver Rufino de la Cruz were clubbed, beaten and then strangled to death alongside a mountain road between Puerto Plata and Santiago. Patria was 36, Minerva was 34 and Maria 24. After they were killed their bodies were put back into their jeep and the jeep pushed over the side of the cliff to make it appear like an accident had taken place in bad weather. Everyone however knew it was Trujillo though, who had ordered the murders.
This act had far reaching consequences for Trujillo and was the last straw for the majority of Dominican people. It was now the beginning of the end for Trujillo.
The resulting publicity of the assassination of the Mirabal sisters only served to highest their cause further and create more public and international interest in the political state of the Dominican Republic. Trujillo himself would not know that within a six month period he himself would face assassination in 1961.
The Mirabal sisters are buried in Ojade Agua just outside their home town of Salcedo and are buried within the property of their second family home. The sisters have been buried together since the last ten years and the home has been turned into a museum and is looked after by their surviving sister. Dede, who took in all her sisters children after their mothers were murdered. The political flame is still alit as Minerva’s daughter who several as congress woman is re-elected for a second term in 2010. This is even while Dede’s son was Vice President to Leonel Fernandez in his first term in office in the Dominican Republic.
The sisters are remembered today and cherished to give hope and inspiration to many young men and women around the world, not just the Dominican Republic. Their heroic actions, beliefs and passions are still alive today.
On November 25, there is now an International Day Against Violence Against Women, created by the United Nations in the Mirabal sisters honour. And soon, the entire world would mark the day.

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