The widow of long-time Brazilian communist leader Luiz Carlos Prestes, died on Friday in Rio de Janeiro due to complications from Covid-19. She was 92 years old. “A communist proud of her battle and the most great grandmother anybody might ever have,” Maria’s granddaughter wrote on Twitter.
Statements of condolences were issued by the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) as well as by prominent members of the Workers' Party (PT). In a post on Twitter, former social democratic President Dilma Rousseff hailed Prestes as "a brave fighter who spent almost a century fighting for a better world".
Maria's husband of 40 years, Luis Carlos Prestes, was the General Secretary of the Brazilian Communist Party from 1943 to 1980 and a Senator for the Federal District from 1946 to 1948. The couple lived many years in exile, including ten years in the Soviet Union, between 1970 and 1980. Luis Carlos Prestes died in 1990.
Maria Prestes, was born as Altamira Rodrigues Sobral in Recife on February 2, 1930. She was the daughter of João Rodrigues Sobral (known as "Camarada Lima") and Mariana Ribas Pontes Rodrigues Sobral, both activists of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB).