In Cuba we used to call her "La Dama de Hierro" and not precisely because of a particular leaning towards watercress and its benefits. The English "th" sound of her surname was pronounced as a Spanish "t". Aged ten or eleven, I remember being given a badge that read "Las Malvinas son Argentinas". At the time I didn't know that Las Malvinas were a group of islands off the coast of Argentina, nor that the English translation was Falklands. And stories abounded - apocryphal, probably - that she urinated whilst standing.
It's hard to find a more polarising historical and political figure than Margaret Thatcher in recent times. The middle ground is usually vacated when previous cabinet members, union leaders and analysts sit down to talk about her legacy. The Marmite effect could well be applied to this grocer's daughter who rose through the ranks of the Conservative party to become Britain's first female Prime Minister. You either love her or hate her.
It would be hypocritical of me, however, to say that she awakens those same kinds of sentiments in me. I was eight when she came to power and nineteen when she resigned. Her name and role were as alien to me during my childhood and adolescence as freedom of speech was in 1980s Cuba. Fidel didn't like her for obvious reasons: Maggie was a close ally of Ronald Reagan, the actor-turned-president who, according to Gil Scott-Heron's song "B" Movie, 'acted like an actor...Hollyweird' and tightened the screws on the economic embargo against Cuba during his administration.
Photo taken from The Iron Lady movie blog.