Graciela Guerrero died in Las Tunas

Journalist Graciela Guerrero Garay was buried on Sunday in Las Tunas, her city. Let these lines serve as a posthumous tribute and celebration to the great journalist and woman whom we bid farewell to with sorrow.

They say that good souls never completely leave us, they always haunt us; and, if that is true, this woman's soul will be hovering around 26 of us for many, many years, accompanying our every step and reminding us of a sentence I always heard her say: "Nobody has ever given anything to us, journalists, in this media; so let's go ahead, without fear, because there is talent.”

She believed in each one of us, and she did so with such strength that there was no human power capable of contradicting her. You would talk to her, on any given day, and you would come out plugged into her dreams, full of energy and aware of being able to conquer everything.

She had the gift of extreme empathy, an easy cry, a deep voice, and a word for every event; not just any word, but the one that no one was able to think of more accurately than she did.

Graciela Guerrero Garay was a typical woman journalist. She was addicted to coffee, cigarettes, and direct words and lent herself to debate about everything possible; she loved poetry and was an inveterate reader, one of those reporters who woke up in the early hours of the morning to give an idea a channel and dreamed, dream that it was possible to change the world and make it better, armed only with an agenda and a pencil.

He said that respect for the truth and oneself were the greatest strengths of a journalist and that the profession had to be one of sowing, at all times; that is why "you cannot avoid the debate, the thorny issue, your ear has to be in the queue, in the bus, in the street, always."

Just a few months ago she received the Rosano Zamora Paadín Lifetime Achievement Award and, days before that event, she gave me an interview that was more than a professional act, it was a delightful dialogue, in which she reminisced for me about her childhood injecting dolls and her love of writing since she was a child. She also spent a lot of time talking to me about her great-grandson, the great love of her life, because Chely was a super-grandmother, the kind who goes out of her way for her loved ones.

We talked about how expensive it is nowadays to buy crayons, about transport, the revival of the city and the family; that was also her great joy, her parents, her siblings, her people, and Juan, the man who shared her storms for more than 40 years and with whom she formed the home that saw her struggle in several provincial newspapers, in Juventud Rebelde and her beloved 26.

From Chely's hand, our digital edition was born. And a few months ago she sat down to tell us a little about how she worked in those early years, when the web was the great uncertainty and she had to transcribe the notes, rewrite many of them, and learn, along with other daring people, the path of languages for the Internet, which gave her so much joy and robbed her of entire dawns in front of that wonderful laptop, the gateway to so many worlds.

For her, the woman journalist had to be a bit of a magician, and no matter the ailments in a profession that drags you down and brutally consumes you, that was her great truth. That's why she never spent too much time thinking about the awards (which were not few) and embraced the collective work with such joy that it was impossible not to feel an overwhelming pride in that old lady, who put a good grade before technological deficiencies, health and whatever else was necessary.

We are going to miss that rare combination of strength, sweetness, and charisma that was a magnet in hard times, a lullaby in the face of the onslaught, and a cheer to celebrate your messy hair, your professional courage, and your faith. We will keep on fighting, all your boys, betting on the misunderstood and irreverent journalism that you leave us as a lesson, the one that so defines your life's work.