Cuba’s oldest woman dies at age of 117

HAVANA, June 26th The oldest person in Cuba, a 117-year-old woman named Maria Emilia Quesada Blanco, died on Monday at her home in the city of Cienfuegos.

The local daily “September Fifth” reported on Tuesday that Quesada had not shown any symptoms of illness, and that she was set to be buried on Tuesday afternoon.

Born on Jan. 5, 1901, Quesada attributed her long life to healthy diet and good humor.

A woman known for charitable acts closely linked to her religious faith, Quesada never got married and had no children.

Quesada died peacefully, surrounded by her many nephews and nieces with whom she had lived for several decades, according to the report.

She was the last of 13 siblings, most of whom lived into their 90s, with some even reaching 100, according to an interview Quesada gave to OnCuba when she turned 115.

According to Cuba’s National Statistics Bureau, there are over 2,150 centenarians on the island.

The Caribbean country is seeing accelerated aging of its population due to its low birth rate, the migration of thousands of young people abroad, and improved life expectancy.

At present, 20.1 percent of the Cuban population is over 60 years, but the National Center for Demographic Studies indicated that the figure could grow to over 30 percent within a decade.