HILDA GADEA TRIED TO make the best of an impossible situation. She had arrived in Havana with her daughter on January 21, 1959, to find that her husband was living with Aleida March. She dyed her hair red, took a job with a government ministry, and stubbornly refused to leave the country. There must have been bitter reproaches and many quarrels. On one occasion she was heard to shout: "Get that whore out of here!" On another the police in Havana arrested her for driving without a license and detained her for twenty-four hours. Despite her tearful pleas, Guevara refused to intercede. He told the police: "She's committed an offense, and there's no reason to overlook it." In Mexico City he had tried to escape from her, and now here she was again.
In March, Guevara moved with his mistress to a beach house at Tarará, not far from the capital. Many other revolutionary chiefs had taken over vacation villas that had been seized by the government. Though small, it was luxuriously appointed and surrounded by well-tended gardens. The large staff of servants included a chauffeur, a cook, a valet, and several waiters. He kept in touch with his office at La Cabaña by telephone. He also acquired a new 1959 Oldsmobile, but within a week he had driven it into a bus and wrecked it. When Revolución printed a story about his new life‐ style, he fired off a letter to Carlos Franqui, protesting that he was at Tarará solely because he was ailing. He had suffered a wound in the final assault on Santa Clara. He spent the months of April and May resting, reading, and talking with friends, mostly at the beach resort. Each Wednesday night he