Mario Silverio Villamia, 89


Mario Villamia

Mario Silverio Villamia, 89, formerly of Weston, died Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.

Born in Havana, Cuba, on June 20, 1923, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1947 and married Carmen Guzman in New York City.

They had five children, Dr. Natacha Sochat of Weare, N.H.; Deborah Villamia of Northampton, Mass.; Michael Villamia of Orlando, Fla.; Elizabeth Slattery of Holliston, Mass., where Mr. Villamia last lived; and Arlene Villamia-Drimal, with whom he lived in Weston for several years with her husband Craig, and their children Alexandra, Tucker and Austin Drimal. He had 16 grandchildren.

The son of Spanish immigrants in Cuba, Mr. Villamia believed in social democracy and was a passionate political activist, his family said.

His leadership role in the 1950s with the Accion Civica Cubana in New York City became the 26th of July Movement, which helped achieve the overthrow of the notorious Cuban dictator Batista. His exchange of letters during that time with Fidel Castro was noted in a book, Inside the Cuban Revolution, written by Julia Sweig.

After returning to Cuba in 1957, Mr. Villamia was chief of security of the Presidential Palace in Havana from 1959-60. He returned to the U.S. in 1961.

His family said Mr. Villamia was “a true Renaissance man” who was fascinated with philosophy, history, the universe, science, nature, and religion. A natural student and teacher, he enjoyed reading and sharing his views with other people.

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