Jorge Perez Mancebo. Economist
Dear Olga was born in Paraguaipoa, Zulia state, on February 29, 1916. Although her daughter Yguaraya has a birth certificate dated 1918, there are three pieces of information that make the first date more likely to be the correct one: first, Olga herself always referred to 1916 as her year of birth; In addition, in those times it was very common not to register children for years; and, perhaps crucially, there is no doubt that her birthday was February 29, and the year 1918 was not a leap year.
If something characterized Olga, it was her passion. Passion for everything she did, from when she began her studies with her sister in a boys’ school (for which she always thanked her father), to being a worker, trade unionist, fighter for women’s rights (she didn’t like being told say feminist), journalist, poet, militant, political leader and even an educator at the National School of Cadres «Ho Chi Minh» of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), an entity that she directed while her forces allowed her to.
I met Olga in the facet as an ideological educator. She was disciplined, constant, methodical, dedicated and rigorous; but she was also understanding and, despite her regal appearance, affable and gentle in the process of formation. I remember the affection and commitment that she put into the courses organized by modules, «What is the PCV?», «Mass work», «Political Line», and «Political Economy», among others. She called this work «political literacy,» a title that some did not like.
She also gave dedication to the school headquarters, located in the highlands of the Mirandinos. Weekend courses were held there and sometimes «retreats» of four or five days, during which transportation and logistics, given the scarcity of resources, were quite a feat.
She also dedicated herself to the collection of books, materials and documents for the creation of the PCV library, open to militants and students at the Cantaclaro headquarters, a dream that she made come true.
When Olga «set her eye» on someone to be a candidate for an instructor at the School of Paintings, she would send them to study the materials, to prepare a class, to order the exhibition and to «put it in time» (each module was four hours of 45 minutes). Then, the candidate had to dictate the class to her, with a flipchart, in real time, adjusted to the stipulated content, no more, no less.
Subsequently, Olga attended the first courses that the applicant taught to correct, complement or clarify any error of the instructor apprentice. She only «let go» of them when she considered them totally suitable.
None of her health limitations, not even her hip injury, stopped her from traveling and teaching, no matter how remote and rugged the place. Her work in the Secretariat of Ideology of the PCV and in the Directorate of the School of Cadres was daily, tireless.
I remember her in her office reading, reviewing documents, talking on the phone and constantly receiving people. There, the courses were scheduled with the regions, the transfers were planned, the resources were sought. Neither in that office nor in her house was there a photo of her great reference: Gustavo Machado.
Olga could have held the highest responsibilities in the PCV; her strong and firm opinions in the political and ideological sphere, as well as her condition as a woman who was not intimidated, are proof of this. However, her vocation as a cadre trainer marked her militant life. The greatest of her passions was always her party.