Isidora Dolores Ibárruri Gómez (1895-1999) was the General Secretary and Chairman of the Communist Party of Spain from 1956 to 1962. She was the first female head of state and head of government in the Western world. Ibárruri succeeded her longtime friend and mentor Juan Negrín in 1956 but was unable to unite the Party behind her, in particular after economic shocks in the late 1950s over the depressionary economic meltdown in South America and its global contagion. She opposed the plans of many senior Communists to enter war with Portugal and was deposed in early January 1962 only months before the Second Iberian War begun. She resigned from party leadership shortly after the war and fled Spain in 1965, becoming the most senior Communist of the RSDE era to defect, heading first to Switzerland and then to Mexico, where she remained until the fall of Communism. She returned to retirement in Spain in 1986 at the age of 91 and died in 1999 at 103 years of age at her rural home in obscurity.

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