Maria Edith Freiberg, known to many in the Cuba solidarity movement as Maria Montelibre, lost her brief battle with cancer July 22 in Santa Cruz, Calif. She was 62.

A staunch fighter for peace, socialism and human rights, Montelibre published a people’s newspaper, Montelibre Monthly, for more than 20 years, distributing tens of thousands of copies, often at her own expense.

Maria Freiberg was born on July 28, 1942, in Resistencia, Argentina, the daughter of German Jewish Holocaust survivors. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Buenos Aires in 1963. She came to the U.S. that year and spent several years in Michigan, where she earned a Master of Arts in psychology from University of Detroit in 1973. She then moved to Denver, where she lived for nearly 30 years. She spent one year in Tucson, Ariz., before settling in Santa Cruz.

Fluent in English and Spanish, Freiberg worked many years as a certified court translator. She also used her high-level skills for the progressive movement. She translated numerous Cuban texts into English, and her translations are posted on many websites. She also translated her name “Freiberg” into the Spanish “Montelibre” — “free mountain.”

An admirer of film and art, she wrote reviews, especially of Cuban films, for the PWW and other publications.

Many knew Montelibre as a feisty activist who expected others to share her strong committment to social justice. Her enormous energy and love for the working people of the world, as well as her unflagging support for the Cuban Revolution, will always be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to work with her.

Freiberg / Montelibre loved nature, was most satisfied when advocating for human rights worldwide, and found her greatest joy in her children and grandchildren.

She is survived by sons Daniel (Jennifer) and Michael, both of Michigan, and Victor of Virginia; mother Aida and loving and supportive brother Edward of San Francisco; grandchildren Sophia, Samuel and Dianna of Michigan. Maria’s father Marcos preceded her in death. Along with her family, numerous friends and comrades in the U.S. and around the world will sorely miss her.

Her family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the LiveStrong Foundation (livestrong.org), the American Cancer Society (cancer.org), or the organization of your choice.

Memorials to celebrate Maria Freiberg / Montelibre’s life will be announced at a later date.

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