Cuba honors the 89th anniversary of Che Guevara’s birth

CHE MAUSOLEO.jpgSANTA CLARA.– The presence of Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara in this city will be remembered with a series of activities this June 14, on the occasion of the 89th anniversary of his birth.

In the early morning, 39 children and young people from two local schools named after the guerrilla leader will carry out the traditional exchange of floral wreaths at the Memorial where his remains and those of his fellow comrades in arms in Bolivia rest, explained Yoel Padrón, head of the Young Communist League’s (UJC) Ideological Department in Villa Clara.

This ceremony will be followed by a march of the people of Santa Clara from Antonio Maceo Park, led by young workers from factories founded by the Heroic Guerrilla in this city.

The morning will also see 89 young people presented with their UJC membership cards, while 172 small children from different educational centers in Santa Clara will be initiated as pioneers and receive their neck scarves.

On Saturday, June 10, 200 young people was scheduled to climb the Loma del Capiro, where they would hold a meeting with combatants who fought alongside the emblematic revolutionary and guerrilla leader.

In Sancti Spíritus thousands of residents took to the cane fields and other agricultural centers.

On June 11th, in another province of Cuba, in Sancti Spíritus, thousands of residents took to the cane fields and other agricultural centers of El Meso, La Sierpe and Cabaiguán, in a massive, productive mobilization to honor Che, the main promoter of voluntary work in the country following the Revolution of 1959.

Mercy Rodríguez Crespo, secretary general of the Cuban Workers Federation in the province, told Granma that in addition to commemorating the upcoming 50th anniversary of Che’s death in Bolivia, also being celebrated are the anniversary of General Antonio Maceo’s birth; National Rebellion Day, July 26; and the World Festival of Youth to be held in October in the Russian city of Sochi.

José Ramón Monteagudo Ruiz, Central Committee member and first Party secretary in Sancti Spíritus, led the work at the El Meso basic unit of cooperative production which supplies the Uruguay sugar mill, in one the areas hit hard by drought, where a special effort is needed to plant cane for next year’s harvest.

Evaluating the impact of the mobilization, Elvis González Vasallo, director of the sugar enterprise in Sancti Spíritus, described as significant the work done in cane fields in several municipalities, with the exception of Yaguajay, where the focus was on vegetable farms.

The mobilization was convoked by the Party, with other organizations participating, and included work at cattle ranches, mills and industrial sites, as well as clean-up efforts in the cities of Sancti Spíritus and Trinidad.

Source: Periodico Granma.

Interview of Che Guevara on CBS «Face the Nation» (Transcript+Video)

Che Guevara- CBS Interview 1964“FACE THE NATION» as broadcast over the CBS Television Network and the Sunday,CBS Radio Network December 13, 1964 – – 12:30 – 1:00 PM EST.

GUEST: MAJOR ERNESTO GUEVARA, Minister of Industry of Cuba,

NEWS CORRESPONDENTS: Paul Niven CBS News Tad Szulc New York Times, Richard C. Hottelet, CBS News

PRODUCERS: Prentiss Childs, Ellen Wadley. DIRECTOR: Robert Vitarelli

MR. NlVEN: Major Guevara, in your speech to the General Assembly the day before yesterday, you accused the United States of helping Cuba’s neighbors prepare new aggression against her. We, in turn, have often accused your government of abetting subversion in other Latin American countries. Do you see any way out of this situation, any way to improve relations?

MAJOR GUEVARA: I think with regards to solutions, there are solutions, and I think there is only one. we have said repeatedly to the government of the United States that we do not want anything but to forget us, that they do not consider us even for good or evil.

MR. NlVEN: Major Guevara, we have more questions about Cuba’s relations with this country and with the Communist countries, and about your own internal situation.

MR. NlVEN: Major Guevara, you said a mornent ago you would simply like us Americans to forqet Cuba. Your speech the other day suggested that you cannot forget US. You consider us a hostile government, ninety miles away. How can you expect us to forget you?

MAJOR GUEVARA: I didnt say exactly that I expected you to forget US. You asked a solution, and I said what was that solution in the present moment. If it is possible or not, that is another question.

MR. SZULC: Major Guevara, on several opportunties recently Premier Fidel Castro has suqqested in interviews with visiting newspaperman and on other occasions that a new effort be made to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States, particularly in the field of trade and exchanges. As an economist, do you feel yourself that the resumption of relations of this nature would be useful or welcome for Cuba? In other words, would you like to see the relations normalized?

MAJOR GUEVARA: Not as an economist, because I have never considered myself an economist, but only an official of the Cuban Government, as another Cuban — I think harmonious relations with the U.S. would be very good for us from the economical point of view, more than in any other field, because all our industry has been established by the U.S. and primary products and repair parts that we have to make with much difficulty or to bring from other areas could come directly. And besides, sugar, which traditionally we had the American market is also near.

MR. SZULC: If my recollection is right, in 1960 you made several speeches, particularly one in 1960, saying that for Cuba to go on selling sugar to the United States was a form of colonialism to which you were subjected. Have you changed your mind about this?

MAJOR GUEVARA: Naturally — because those were different conditions. We sold sugar with the specific conditions established by American buyers, which in turn dominated the internal market and production in Cuba. Now if we would sell sugar to the U.S., it would be the Cuban Government the one who would sell it, and it would be a complete profit for our people.

MR. HOTELLET: Dr. Guevara, Washington has said that there are two political conditions for the establishment of normal relations between the United States and Cuba. One is the abandonment of your military commitment to the Soviet Union. The other is the abandonment of the policy of exporting revolution to Latin America. Do you see any chance of a change in either of these points?

MAJOR GUEVARA: Absolutely. We put no condition of any kind to the U.S., we dont want it to change its system, we don’t want racial discrimination to cease in the U.S., we put no conditions to the establishment of relations. But we neither put conditions to –

MR. HOTELLET: But my question was whethe r you would accept conditions placed by the United States on the resumption of normal relations.

MAJOR GUEVARA: We will not accept any conditions from the U.S.. We will not accept conditions imposed by the U.S. to us.

MR. HOTELLET: But in the matter of the missiles, the Russian missiles on Cuba, and the Cuban military relations with the Soviet Union, how can the United States be sure that Cuba is not a strategic threat once again? Would you accept United Nations inspection, or inspection by the Organization of American states, if you do not permit American on-site inspection of Cuba?

MAJOR GUEVARA: You talked about the organization of American States. Yesterday — the day before yesterday the Colombian delegate spoke about the orbit of the OAS; It is in effect an orbit which gyrates around the U.S. An inspection by such delegates would be an Inspection by the U.S. You talk about that the United States don’t feel secure. And we ask too U.S. — do we ourselves feel secure that we have no missiles against Cuba? Then cannot we reach a harmonious solution because the two countries are equal in the world. Let’s inspect a1l bases, atomic bases, of the U.S. and let‘s inspect also what we have in Cuba. And if you want, let‘s liquidate all the atomic bases in Cuba and in the U.S. and we are in complete agreernent with that.

MR. NlVEN: Major Guevara, are you in fact trying to export your revolution? Are you every day shipping arms to other Latin American countries? Are you bringing revolutionaries from other countries to Cuba, training them, sending them home?

MAJOR GUEVARA: I also had an opportunity to say at the Assembly, and I can repeat it emphatically now revolutions are not exportable: revolutions are created by oppressive conditions which Latin American countries exercise against their peoples. And there comes rebellion. And afterwards new Cubas will emerge. We are not the ones who create revolutions. It is the imperialist system and its allies, internal allies, the ones who create revolution.

MR. NlVEN: But does not your attitude towards the present government of Venezuela, which is considered in many other countries leftist and progressive, suggest that you consider any governrnent oppressive which is not Cornmunist?

MAJOR GUEVARA: In absolute, no. What we consider is that the Venezuelan government is not a leftist government, has nothing of a leftist government. It is an oppressor, an oppressive government, it is a murderer — he murders them the peasant fights in the region of Falcon, for example, where there are military advisors of the U.S. There is in Venezuela today, in spite of the American press does not reveal it — the Venezuelan government is not a leftist government.

MR. NlVEN: Is there any gove:rnment in this hemisphere which Cuba considers to be progressive?

MAJOR GUEVARA: The word «progressive” is an ambiguous word. There is one government with which we keep diplomatic relations, the government of Mexico, with which we have good relations. Our systems are different. We respect their system. We are in a complete harmony up to date, and I have the hope that it will continue like that. But if you ask me the image of Latin America, there are sorne countries which oppress their peoples much more, and among the less — least oppresive, among those with which we could have perfectly normal relations without any difficultieswe could have Uruguay, Chile, maybe Costa Rica. But the U.S.. do not permit us.

MR. HOTTELET: But all these countries have broken diplomatic relations with Cuba. Don’t you feel yourself isolated when you have no friend at all in this hemisphere?

MAJOR GUEVARA: We have a lot of friends, but not among the governments — the friends are in the peoples. And in the last instance the peoples will be the rulers of those states.

MR. SZULC: Major Guevara, if we may change the geographic scene of the friendships or no friendships in the world, you made a visit to Moscow in November, last month, since the change in the Soviet leadership. We have the impression here that the Government of Cuba had taken a rather unclear position on the difficulties between the Soviet Union and China ideologically. Could you tell us whether, as a result of your visit, is it clearer or easier for the government of Cuba to adopt a clearer position in relation to the Soviet-Chinese problem?

MAJOR GUEVARA: You can have the impression that our attitude is not clear. But we have the contrary impression. Our attitude is very clear. In effect there is the conflict, ideological conflict which we all know. We have stated our position in the sense of unity among socialist states — unity as a first measure. And always we argue that unity is necessity because disunity goes in favor of the U.S. , which are our enemy, and everything that goes in favor of the enemy must be eliminated. That is why we are in favor of unity. We feel that there is a necessity to strengthen this unity and that it will be strengthened and the bloc, the monolithic bloc of socialist countries will be formed again.

MR. SZULC: Early this year, I believe it was first in March and again in June, the Soviet Government, which then had Premier Khrushchev at its head, issued invitations to a number of Communist or Marxist-Leninst parties in tbe world, including to the Cuban Socialist Party, or rather the Cuban Party Socialist Revolution, to attend a preparatory meeting in Moscow of Communist parties. My memory is that the Cuban Party was one of the very few never to have answered the question — the invitation, rather. We see today that the Soviet Government has renewed the invitation for a March preparatory meeting of Communist or Marxist-Leninst countries. Would your government now accept, or your party now accept the Soviet invitation?

MAJOR GUEVARA: It will be studied in the proper moment and we will give the answer. This is an invitation which is not made to the government, but to the party. And the party is the one who has to answer. I am here representlng the govermnent now.

MR. HOTTELET: Major Guevara, you are probably the outstanding exponent of guerrilla war in the western hemisphere and you have said that the problems of revolution in Latin America will be settled by bullets rather than by ballots. And in general your dynamic approach to these things seems to run much closer to the Communist line — to the Chinese Cammunist line. Also Cuba has never signed the treaty banning nuclear weapons tests in the outer atmosphere, in the atmosphere and in the sea. This is also the Chinese Communist position. Does this not put you really in terms of your practical behavior and policy on the Chinese side of the Communist fence?

Che Guevara- CBS Interview 1964 2

MAJOR GUEVARA: Well, there are three or four questions rnerged in one, which I will turn to one by one. In the first place, there is a statement I would like to deny or maybe the translation was inaccurate. I heard you said I am the representative of guerrilla in this hemisphere. I am not the representative of guerrilla in this hemisphere. I would say that the representative would be Fidel Castro which was the leader of our revolution and who had the most outstanding role in the direction of the revolutionary struggle and directs the strategy of the Cuban government. As regards the two other specific questions, we do not have to participate in the controversy because they are very specific problems. The problem of peaceful transition to socialism, we do not discuss it as a theoretical question. But in America it is very difficult, and it is nearly impossible. That is why specifically in America we say that the road to the liberation of peoples, which will be the road of socialism will go through bullets in almost all countries. And I can make a prophesy with tranquillity that you will see it. With regards to the problem of the signing of the new test ban treaty, we welcomed that step as a measure which tended to prevent the a aggravation of tensions. But pointed out very clearly that us, with a military American base in our territory, where there could be any sort of weapons, where we have to endure every kind of provocations, we have to support and endure the flights over our territory. We cannot sign that treaty, because it would be a treason to our people. That is independently to the fact that we welcome the treaty in its world-wide terms as beneficial to the world. But only as that. We cannot remain here. We must continue forward if we want to prevent a world war.

MR. SZULC: You have been over the years I believe a very articulate and candid critic yourself of that which was occurring with the Cuban economy. I read your speeches in which you have criticized the errors in policies and errors in judgments. Now that you are approachinq the seventh year of your revolution, would you try to assess for us briefly just what has happened to the economy in your country? Do you feel that you might begin to rise from the point where you have been? What projection of the economy would you make for 1965? Will it be the seventh lean year or not necessarily?

MAJOR GUEVARA: It is a very difficult question to answer it in a very short moment. I am being bombed by questions of all kinds. I will try to be very concise and try to explain to the American people. We had a great number of mistakes in the economic fleld, naturally. I am not the critic. It is Fidel Castro, the one who has criticized repeatedly the mistakes we have made, and he explained why we have made them. We did not have a previous preparation. We made mistakes in agriculture. We made mistakes in industry. All these mistakes are being settled now. In industry, we are now concentrating our best effort in trying to make plants work at a maximum capacity, trying to replace the equipment which is in bad conditions due to lack of spare parts from the U.S.., that we cannot get from the U.S.; to extend our industry later on the basis of our primary resources. And to lessen our dependence on external markets and dedicate our efforts in 1965 to the aspect of security and hygiene of work, to make our plants better for the worker: that the worker may feel really a man there. We have taken plants from the capitalist system where the most important thing was to produce, especially in Cuba. I do not imply that in the U.S plants, industrial plants, are now places of exploitation where man is oppressed. 1 know that there are a great number of advantages here for too American worker. But those advantages in Cuba had not reached, and conditions are very bad, very unhealthy. We have to dedicate our efforts to better the life, the time passed by the worker in the industrial plant. That will be one of our main efforts during the next year.

MR. NlVEN: Major, we have some more questions about the internal situation in Cuba when we resume in a moment.

MR. HOTTELET: Dr. Guevara, you have protested against the presence of the American naval base at Guantanamo and the continued American reconnaissance over-flights over Cuba. Will you take any military action, either aqainst the base or the planes?

MAJOR GUEVARA: We will — we had to explain at the Assembly the other day that we do not boast. We know the power of the U.S.. We do not fool ourselves about this power. We say that the U.S. government wants us to pay a very high price for this unstable peace we enjoy today. And the price we are in a position to pay is only — comes only to the frontiers of dignity, not beyond. If we had to kneel in order to live in peace, they will have to kill us before. If they do not want to go to that point, we will continue to live in the best way possible — that is in this not peaceful coexistence that we have today with the U.S.

MR. NlVEN: What does that mean in terms of practical diplomacy, Major? What do you propose te do?

MAJOR GUEVARA: We have denounced in all assemblies, in all places where we have had the opportunity to speak, the illegality of flights and the fact that there is a base against the will of the Cuban people. Fur thermore, we have denounced the qreat number of violations, or provocations from that base, according to statistics, a little rough statietics four provocations every day. And we have asked the non-aligned countries and the General Assembly of the UN to take measures to prevent things like these.

MR. SZULC: Major Guevara, could we turn very briefly now to sorne of the internal political problems in Cuba about which we hear in this countxy in a very indirect way and we are intrigued by them. We read recently that an outstandinq member of the former Communist Paxty of Cuba, the former Senator Ordoqui, havinq been placed undex arrest. We have hear a great deal about the tensions between the so-called old line Communist party and the 26th of July movement type of group. We learned on Tuesday that Major Martinez Sanchez, who was a close friend and companion of you and Dr. Castro, triad to cornmit suicide. What is happeninq internally in Cuba?

MAJOR GUEVARA: There is nothing happening which we cannot say publicly. The fact of the attempted suicide by Augusto Martinez was explained in a concise and exact form by our governmenmt in a communique. There is absolutely notthing else to add. I understand that the American people has a riqht and especially the press, which is not very friendly to us, to make all suppositions and ideas about this fact – this disgraced fact. There is always the possibility of all sorts of speculations on this. But the fact is as we expxessed it. Augusto Martinez Sanchez was separated due to administrative problems and his reaction was to attempt suicide. We regret it because of him and we regret it because of the revolution, because it has given foot to these speculations. With regards to the arrest of Mr. Ordoqui, we also stated publicly what we were able to say at that moment, and we have expressed that in the proper opportunity everything will be explained or Mr. Ordoqui will have a public satisfaction. All our public documents reflect our absolute truth.

MR. NlVEN: Major, may I ask you what percentage of the people of Cuba support the revolution.

MAJOR GUEVARA: Well, there is a joke which you may -­ which you circulated — I don!t know if you want to refer to the joke about the Castro brothers -­

MR. NIVEN: We ha ve ten seconds.

MAJOR GUEVARA: In ten seconds it is very difficult. In themoment we do not have elections. But the great majority of the Cuban people supports its government.

MR. NlVEN: Thank you, Majar Gueyara, for being here to FACE THE NATION. We will haw a concluding word in a moment.


Che Guevara: “I came to communism because of Stalin”

joseph stalin - che guevaraChe Guevara: «I came to communism because of Stalin».

By Nikos Mottas / In Defense of Communism.

Ernesto Che Guevara is undoubtedly a historical figure of the 20th century’s communist movement who attracts the interest of people from a vast range of political ideologies. The years followed his cowardly assassination in Bolivia, Che became a revolutionary symbol for a variety of marxist-oriented, leftist and progressive parties and organisations- from Trotskyists to militant leninists and from Social Democrats to anarcho-libertarians. A significant number of those who admire the argentine revolutionary identify themselves as “anti-stalinists”, hate and curse Stalin while they often refer to the so-called “crimes” of Stalin’s era. What is a contradiction and an irony of history is the following: Che Guevara himself was an admirer of Joseph Stalin.
On the occasion of the 63 years since the death of the great Soviet leader, let us remember what Che thought about Joseph Stalin, taking into account Guevara’s own writings and letters.
In 1953, situated in Guatemala, the 25 years old then Che noted in his letter to aunt Beatriz: Along the way, I had the opportunity to pass through the dominions of the United Fruit, convincing me once again of just how terrible these capitalist octopuses are. I have sworn before a picture of the old and mourned comrade Stalin that I won’t rest until I see these capitalist octopuses annihilated” (Jon Lee Anderson, Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, 1997).
Years ago after his letter from Guatemala- in the midst of the revolutionary process in Cuba- Guevara would re-affirm his position towards Stalin:
In the so called mistakes of Stalin lies the difference between a revolutionary attitude and a revisionist attitude. You have to look at Stalin in the historical context in which he moves, you don’t have to look at him as some kind of brute, but in that particular historical context. I have come to communism because of daddy Stalin and nobody must come and tell me that I mustn’t read Stalin. I read him when it was very bad to read him. That was another time. And because I’m not very bright, and a hard-headed person, I keep on reading him. Especially in this new period, now that it is worse to read him. Then, as well as now, I still find a Seri of things that are very good.”
While praising Stalin’s leadership, Che was always pointing out the counter-revolutionary role of Trotsky, blaming him for “hidden motives” and “fundamental errors”. In one of his writings he was underlining: I think that the fundamental stuff that Trotsky was based upon was erroneous and that his ulterior behaviour was wrong and his last years were even dark. The Trotskyites have not contributed anything whatsoever to the revolutionary movement; where they did most was in Peru, but they finally failed there because their methods are bad” (Comments on ‘Critical Notes on Political Economy’ by Che Guevara, Revolutionary Democracy Journal, 2007).
Ernesto Guevara, a prolific reader with a developed knowledge of marxist philosophy, was including Stalin’s writings in the classical marxist-leninist readings. That’s what he wrote in a letter to Armando Hart Dávalos, a trotskyite and prominent member of the Cuban Revolution:
In Cuba there is nothing published, if one excludes the Soviet bricks, which bring the inconvenience that they do not let you think; the party did it for you and you should digest it. It would be necessary to publish the complete works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin [underlined by Che in the original] and other great Marxists. Here would come to the great revisionists (if you want you can add here Khrushchev), well analyzed, more profoundly than any others and also your friend Trotsky, who existed and apparently wrote something” (Contracorriente, No.9, Sept.1997).
The revisionist route that the Soviet leadership followed after the CPSU 20th Congress became a source of intense concern for Che. The policy of the so-called “De-Stalinization” and the erroneous, opportunist perceptions about the process of building socialism that the Khrushchev leadership introduced after 1956 had their own critical impact on Guevara’s view on Revolution and Socialism.
One of Guevara’s biographers, the Mexican politician Jorge Castañeda wrote (adding an anti-communist flavor): “Guevara became a Stalinist at a time when thousands were becoming disillusioned with official “Communism”. He rejected Khrushchev’s speech in 1956 denouncing the crimes of Stalin as “imperialist propaganda” and defended the Russian invasion of Hungary that crushed the workers’ uprising there in the same year” (J. Castañeda, Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara, 1997).
Four years after the beginning of Khrushchev’s “de-stalinization”, on November 1960, Ernesto Che Guevara was visiting Moscow as an official representative of the Cuban government. Against the advise of the then Cuban ambassador to avoid such an action, Che insisted on visiting and depositing a floral tribute at Stalin’s tomb at the Kremlin necropolis.
Che had a deep admiration for the leader Joseph Stalin and his contribution in building Socialism. And that because, as Che himself was saying, “ You have to look at Stalin in the historical context in which he moves […] in that particular historical context”. That historical context and the extremely adverse and difficult social, economic and political environment in which Stalin led the Soviet Union are muted by the votaries of antistalinism. They hush up and deliberately ignore the fact that the process of building Socialism in the Soviet Union was taking place within a frame of fierce class-struggle, with numerous – internal and external (imperialist encirclement)- threats, while the massive effort of industrialization faced reactions and extensive sabotages (the collectivisation process, for example, faced the negative stance of Kulaks).
Joseph Stalin, as a personality and leader, was the product of the action of the masses within a specific historical context. And it was Stalin who guided the Bolsheviks’ Party (AUCP-B) and the Soviet people for 30 years, based on Lenin’s solid ideological heritage. As a real communist, a true revolutionary- in theory and in practice- Ernesto Che Guevara would inevitably recognize and appreciate that historical reality. 

Reforma Universitaria y Revolución

Ernesto Che Guevara - 987Estimados compañeros, buenas noches,

Tengo que pedir disculpas al calificado público asistente por la demora en la iniciación de este acto, que es culpa mía y del tiempo que ha estado muy mal en todo el camino, y hemos tenido que parar en Bayamo.

Es muy interesante para mí venir a hablar de uno de los problemas que ha tocado más de cerca a las juventudes estudiosas de todo el mundo; venir a hablar aquí, en una Universidad revolucionaria, y precisamente en una de las más revolucionarias ciudades de Cuba.

El tema es sumamente vasto; tanto es así que varios conferencistas han podido desarrollar diferentes facetas de él. En mi condición de luchador, me interesa analizar precisamente los deberes revolucionarios del estudiantado en relación con la Universidad. Y para eso tenemos que precisar bien qué es un estudiante, a qué clase social pertenece, y si tiene algo que lo defina como entidad o como núcleo, o si simplemente responde en sus reacciones, a las reacciones generales de las diferentes clases a que puede pertenecer. Y entonces nos encontramos con que el estudiante universitario es precisamente el reflejo de la Universidad que lo aloja, porque ya hay limitaciones que pueden ser de diferentes tipos, pero que finalmente son limitaciones económicas que hacen que el estudiantado pertenezca a una clase social donde sus problemas -no sus problemas económicos- no son tan grandes como en otras; pertenece por lo general a la clase media, no aquí en Oriente, en Santiago de Cuba, sino en todo Cuba, y podemos decir que en toda América. Hay naturalmente excepciones -todos las conocemos-; hay individuos de extraordinaria capacidad que pueden luchar contra un medio adverso con una tenacidad ejemplar y llegar a adquirir su título universitario. Pero en general, el estudiante universitario pertenece a la clase media y refleja los anhelos e intereses de esa clase; aunque muchas veces, precisamente en momentos como ahora, la llama vitalizadora de la revolución puede llevarlo a posiciones más extremas. Y eso es lo que tratamos de analizar en estos momentos: las tendencias generales de la Universidad respondiendo al núcleo social del cual sale, y sus deberes revolucionarios para con la comunidad entera.

Porque la Universidad es la gran responsable del triunfo o la derrota, en la parte técnica, de este gran experimento social y económico que se está llevando a cabo en Cuba. Hemos iniciado leyes que transforman profundamente el sistema social imperante: se han liquidado casi de un plumazo los latifundios, se ha cambiado el sistema tributario, se está por cambiar el sistema arancelario, se están creando incluso cooperativas de trabajo industriales; es decir, toda una serie de fenómenos nuevos, que traen aparejados instituciones nuevas, están floreciendo en Cuba. Y todo ese inmenso trabajo lo hemos iniciado solamente con buena voluntad, con el convencimiento de que estamos siguiendo un camino verdadero y justo, pero sin contar con los elementos técnicos necesarios para hacer las cosas perfectamente.

Y no contamos con ellos porque precisamente estamos innovando, y esta institución que es la Universidad estaba orientada a dar a la sociedad toda una serie de profesionales que encajaban dentro del gran cuadro de las necesidades del país en la época anterior. había necesidad de muchos abogados, de médicos; ingenieros civiles había menos, y otras carreras seguían así. Pero nos encontramos de pronto con que necesitamos maestros agrícolas, ingenieros agrónomos, ingenieros químicos, industriales; físicos, incluso matemáticos, y no hay. En algunos casos no existe siquiera la carrera; en otros, está ocupada por un pequeño número de estudiantes que han visto la necesidad de empezar a estudiar cosas nuevas, o simplemente han caído allí porque no había lugar en otra escuela, o porque querían estudiar y no había nada que les gustara exactamente. En fin, no hay una dirección estatal para llenar todos los claros que estamos viendo que existen en la tecnificación de nuestra Revolución.

Y eso nos lleva al centro preciso del problema universitario en cuanto puede tener de conflictivo, en cuanto pueden tener de agresivo, si ustedes quieren, los planteamientos que voy a hacer. Porque el único que puede, en este momento, precisar con alguna certeza cuál va a ser el número de estudiantes necesarios y cómo van a ser dirigidos esos estudiantes de las distintas carreras de la Universidad, es el Estado. Nadie más que él lo puede hacer; por cualquier organismo, por cualquier instituto que sea, pero tiene que ser un instituto que domine completamente todas las diferentes líneas de la producción y esté al tanto también de las proyecciones de la planificación del Gobierno Revolucionario.

Grandes materias que son la base del triunfo de países más avanzados, como las matemáticas superiores y la estadística, prácticamente no existen en Cuba. Para empezar a hacer estadísticas de lo que necesitamos, nos encontramos con que no tenemos estadísticos, con que hay que importarlos, o buscar algunas personas que han desarrollado su especialidad en otros lugares. este es el nudo central del problema; si el Estado es el único organismo o el único ente capaz de dictaminar con algún grado de certeza cuáles son las necesidades del país, evidentemente, el Estado tiene que tener participación en el gobierno de la Universidad. Hay quejas violentas contra ello; incluso se levantan entre las candidaturas estudiantiles en La Habana, casi como cuestión de principio, la intervención o la no intervención del Estado, la pérdida de la autonomía, como llaman los estudiantes. Pero hay que definir exactamente qué significa autonomía. Si autonomía significa solamente que haya que cumplir una serie de requisitos previos para que un hombre armado entre en el recinto universitario para cumplir cualquier función que la Ley le asigne, eso no tiene importancia; no es ese el centro del problema, y todo el mundo está de acuerdo en que esa clase de autonomía se mantenga. Pero si hoy significara autonomía que un gobierno universitario desligado de las grandes líneas del Gobierno Central -es decir: un pequeño Estado dentro del Estado- ha de tomar los presupuestos que el Gobierno le dé y ha de trabajar sobre ellos, ordenarlos y distribuirlos en la forma que mejor le parezca, nosotros consideramos que es una actitud falsa. Es una actitud falsa precisamente porque la Universidad se está desligando de la vida entera del país, porque se está enclaustrando y convirtiéndose en una especie de castillo de marfil alejado de las realizaciones prácticas de la Revolución. Y además porque van a seguir mandando a nuestra República una serie enorme de abogados que no se necesitan, de médicos que incluso no se necesitan en la cantidad en que en estos momentos están ingresando, o de toda una serie de profesiones, por lo menos cuyos programas deben ser revisados para adaptarlos.

Surge entonces, frente a esta encrucijada de dos caminos o siglos, el levantamiento de grupos más o menos importantes, de sectores estudiantiles que consideran como la peor palabra del mundo la intervención estatal o la pérdida de la autonomía. En ese momento, esos sectores estudiantiles, lo digo con responsabilidad y sin ánimo de herir a nadie, están cumpliendo quizá el deber de la clase a que pertenecen, pero están olvidando los deberes revolucionarios, están olvidando los deberes contraídos en la lucha con la gran masa de obreros y campesinos que pusieron sus cuerpos, su sudor y su sangre al lado de los estudiantes en cada una de las batallas que se libraron en todos los frentes del país para llegar a esta gran solución que fue el primero de enero.

Y esta es una actitud sumamente peligrosa. No hoy, no hoy porque no se han definido todavía los campos, porque todavía hay mucha gente que aun herida en sus intereses económicos, cree que la Revolución ha sido un acierto, gente que tiene la virtud de ver mucho más lejos que donde alcanza su bolsillo y ve los intereses de la patria. Pero todo ese pequeño problema, que gira en torno a la palabra autonomía, tiene correlaciones e interrelaciones que van aún mucho más lejos que en nuestra Isla. Desde afuera se van tendiendo las grandes líneas estratégicas encargadas de aglutinar a todos los que sienten que han perdido algo con esta Revolución; no a los esbirros, no a los malversadores o a los miembros del anterior Gobierno, sino a los que quedándose al margen, o incluso apoyando en alguna forma este Gobierno, sienten que han quedado atrás o que han perdido algún bien económico. Toda esta gente está dispersa en distintas capas sociales, y puede manifestar su descontento con toda libertad en el momento que quiera; pero la tarea a que está encaminada en este momento la reacción nacional e internacional es aglutinar todas las fuerzas descontentas contra el Gobierno, y constituirlas en un conglomerado sólido para tener ese frente interno necesario a sus planes de invasión o depresión económica, o quién sabe cuál será.

Y la Universidad, dando batallas a veces feroces, luchando encarnizadamente en torno a la palabra autonomía, como naturalmente luchando encarnizadamente en torno a cuestiones de menor importancia como es la elección de los líderes estudiantiles, están creando precisamente el campo para que se siembre con toda fertilidad esa simiente que tanto anhelan sembrar los reaccionarios. Y este lugar, este lugar que ha sido en las luchas vanguardia del pueblo, puede convertirse en un factor de retroceso si no se incorpora a las grandes líneas del Gobierno Revolucionario.

Y lo que digo no es un análisis teórico de la cuestión ni una opinión festinada; es que esto es lo que ha pasado en la América entera, y los ejemplos podrían abundar considerablemente. Recuerdo en este momento el ejemplo patético de la Universidad de Guatemala que fue, como las Universidades cubanas, vanguardia del pueblo en la lucha popular contra los regímenes dictatoriales, y después, en el Gobierno de Arévalo primero, pero sobre todo en el Gobierno de Arbenz se fueron transformando en focos decididos de lucha contra el régimen democrático. Defendían precisamente lo mismo que ahora se está defendiendo: la autonomía universitaria, el derecho sagrado de un grupo de personas a decidir sobre asuntos fundamentales de la Nación, aun contra los intereses mismos de la Nación. Y en esa lucha ciega y estéril, la Universidad se fue transformando, de vanguardia de las fuerzas populares, en arma de lucha de la reacción guatemalteca. Fue necesaria la invasión de Castillo Armas, la quema en un acto público de un vandalismo medioeval de todos los libros que hablaran de temas que fueran mal vistos por el pequeño sátrapa guatemalteco, para que la Universidad reaccionara y volviera a tomar su lugar de lucha entre las fuerzas populares. Pero el camino perdido había sido extraordinariamente grande, y Guatemala hoy está, como ustedes lo saben, saliendo a medias de aquella situación caótica y buscando de nuevo, entre tropiezo y tropiezo, una vida institucional de acuerdo con las normas democráticas. Ese es un ejemplo palpitante, que todos ustedes recuerdan porque pertenece a la historia de estos días.

Pero es que podríamos ir mucho más lejos en el análisis de la gran conquista de la reforma universitaria del dieciocho que precisamente se gestó en mi país de origen y en la provincia a la cual pertenezco, que es Córdoba; y podríamos analizar la personalidad de la mayoría de aquellos combativos estudiantes que dieron la gran batalla por la autonomía universitaria frente a los gobiernos conservadores que en esa época gobernaban casi todos los países de América. Yo no quiero citar nombres para no provocar incluso polémicas internacionales; quisiera, que ustedes tomaran el libro de Gabriel del Maso, por ejemplo, donde estudia a fondo la reforma universitaria, buscarán en ese índice los nombres de todos aquellos grandes artífices de la reforma y buscarán hoy cuál es la actitud política, buscarán qué es lo que han sido en la vida pública de los países a que pertenecen, y se encontrarán con sorpresas extraordinarias, con las mismas sorpresas con que me encontré yo, cuando creyendo en la autonomía universitaria como factor esencial del adelanto de los pueblos, hice ese análisis que les aconsejo hacer a ustedes. Las figuras más negras de la reacción, las más hipócritas y peligrosas porque hablan un lenguaje democrático y practican sistemáticamente la traición, fueron las que apoyaron, y muchas veces las que aparecen como figuras propulsoras en sus países de aquella reforma universitaria. Y aquí entre nosotros, investiguen también al autor del libro porque también habrá sorpresas por allí.

Todo esto se lo decía para alentarlos precisamente sobre la actitud del estudiantado. Y más que en ningún lugar en Santiago, donde tantos estudiantes han dado su vida y tantos otros pertenecen a nuestro Ejército Rebelde. Nosotros, como tenemos un ejército que es popular y dignidad, a nadie le preguntamos cuál es su actitud política frente a determinados hechos concretos; cuál es su religión, su manera de pensar. Eso depende de la conciencia de cada individuo. Por eso no les puedo decir cuál será la actitud misma de los miembros del Ejército Rebelde. Espero que entiendan bien las líneas generales del problema y que sean consecuentes con las líneas de la Revolución. Tal vez sí, tal vez no.

Pero estas palabras no van dirigidas a ellos, una minoría, sino a la gran masa estudiantil, a todos los que componen este núcleo. Yo recuerdo que tuve una pequeña conversación con algunos de ustedes hace varios meses, y les recomendaba entrar en contacto con el pueblo, no llegar al pueblo como llega una dama aristocrática a dar una moneda, la moneda del saber o la moneda de una ayuda cualquiera, sino como miembro revolucionario de la gran legión que hoy gobierna a Cuba, a poner el hombro en las cosas prácticas del país, en las cosas que permitan incluso a cada profesional aumentar su caudal de conocimiento y unir, a todas las cosas interesantes que aprendieron en las aulas, las quizás mucho más interesantes que aprenden construyendo en los verdaderos campos de batalla de la gran lucha por la construcción del país.

Es evidente que uno de los grandes deberes de la Universidad es hacer sus prácticas profesionales en el seno del pueblo, y es evidente también que para hacer esas prácticas organizadamente en el seno del pueblo necesitan el concurso orientador y planificador de algún organismo estatal que esté directamente vinculado a ese pueblo, o incluso de mucho más de un organismo estatal, pues actualmente para hacer cualquier obra en cualquier lugar de la república, se ponen en contacto tres, cuatro o más organismos, y se está iniciando recién en el país la tarea de planificar el trabajo y de no dilapidar esfuerzos.

Pero centralizando el tema en el estudio, en el derecho a estudiar y en el derecho a elegir una carrera de acuerdo con una vocación, nos tropezamos siempre con el mismo problema: ¿Quién tiene derecho a limitar la vocación de un estudiante por una orden precisa estatal? ¿Quién tiene derecho a decir que solamente pueden salir 10 abogados por año y deben salir 100 químicos industriales? Eso es dictadura, y está bien: es dictadura. Pero ¿es la dictadura de las circunstancias la misma dictadura que existía antes en forma de examen de ingreso o en forma de matrículas, o en forma de exámenes que fueran eliminando los menos capaces? Es nada más que cambiar la orientación del estudio. El sistema en este caso permanece idéntico, porque lo que se hacía antes es tratar de dar los profesionales que iban a salir a la lucha por la vida en las diferentes ramas del saber. Hoy se cambian por cualquier método: examen de ingreso, o una calificación previa; en fin, el método es lo de menos. Y se trata de llevarlo hacia los caminos que la Revolución entiende que son necesarios para poder seguir adelante con nuestra tarea técnica. Y creo que eso no puede provocar reacciones. Y salta a la vista que la integración de la Universidad con el Gobierno Revolucionario no debe provocar reacciones.

No queremos aquí esconder las palabras y tratar de explicar que no, que eso no es pérdida de autonomía, que en realidad no es nada más que una integración más sólida, como la es. Pero esa integración más sólida significa pérdida de la autonomía, y esa pérdida de autonomía es necesaria a la Nación entera. Por tanto, tarde o temprano, si la Revolución continúa en sus líneas generales, encontrará las formas de lograr todos los profesionales que necesita. Si la Universidad se cierra en sus claustros y sigue en la tarea de lanzar abogados, o toda una serie de carreras que no son tan necesarias en este momento (no vayan a pensar que la he agarrado especialmente con los abogados); si sigue en esa tarea, pues tendrán que formar algún otro tipo de organismo técnico. Ya se está pensando en La Habana en hacer un Instituto Técnico de Cultura Superior que dé precisamente una serie de estas carreras, instituto que tendrá una organización diferente a la Universidad quizás, y que puede convertirse, si la incomprensión avanza, en un rival de la Universidad o la Universidad en una rival de esa nueva institución que se piensa crear en la lucha por monopolizar algo que no se puede monopolizar porque es patrimonio del pueblo entero, como es la cultura.

También esas cosas que se están creando en Cuba se han hecho en otros países del mundo, y sobre todo de América. También se han producido esas luchas entre los miembros de organismos, de escuelas técnicas o politécnicas de un grado de cultura por lo general menor y la Universidad. Lo que yo no sé si se ha dicho o si se ha precisado bien claro, es que esa lucha es el reflejo de la lucha entre una clases social que no quiere perder sus privilegios, y una nueva clase o conjunto de clases sociales que están tratando de adquirir sus derechos a la cultura. Y nosotros debemos decirlo para alertar a todos los estudiantes revolucionarios, y para hacerles ver que una lucha de esa clase es sencillamente la expresión de eso que hemos tratado de borrar en Cuba, que es la lucha de clases, y que quien se oponga a que un gran número de estudiantes de extracción humilde adquiera los beneficios de la cultura, está tratando de ejercer un monopolio de clases sobre la misma.

Ahora bien, cuando aquí se hablaba de reformas universitarias, y todo el mundo ha estado de acuerdo en que la reforma universitaria es algo importante y necesario para el país, lo primero que se ha hecho es, por parte de los estudiantes, tomar en cierta manera el control de las casas de estudio, imponer a los profesores una serie de medidas e intervenir en el gobierno de la Universidad en mayor o menos grado. ¿Es correcto? Esa es la expresión de un grupo que ha triunfado, ha triunfado y ha exigido sus derechos después del triunfo. Los profesores -algunos por su edad, otros por su mentalidad incluso- no participaron en la misma medida en la lucha, y los que lucharon y triunfaron adquirieron ese derecho. Pero yo me pregunto si el Gobierno Revolucionario no luchó y triunfó, y no luchó y triunfó con tanto o más encarnizamiento que cualquier sector aislado de la colectividad porque fue la expresión de la lucha toda del pueblo de Cuba por su liberación. Sin embargo, el Gobierno no ha intervenido en la Universidad, no ha exigido su parte en el festín, porque no considera que esa sea la manera más lógica y honorable de hacer las cosas. Llama simplemente a la realidad a los estudiantes; llama al raciocinio, que es tan importante en momentos revolucionarios, y a la discusión, de la cual surge necesariamente el raciocinio.

Ahora se están discutiendo programas de reforma universitaria y enseguida se vuelve la vista hacia las reformas universitarias del año dieciocho, hacia todos los supersabios que traicionaron su ciencia y su pueblo después pero que en el momento en que lucharon por una cosa noble y necesaria como era la reforma universitaria en aquel momento, no conocían nada de nada, eran simples estudiantes que la hicieron porque era una necesidad. Teorizar, teorizaron después, y teorizaron cuando ya tenían un sentido malévolo de lo que habían hecho. ¿Por qué nosotros tenemos entonces que ir a buscar la reforma universitaria en lo que se ha hecho en otros lados? ¿Por qué no tomar aquello sino simplemente como información adicional a los grandes problemas nuestros, que son los que tenemos que contemplar por sobre todas las cosas, a los problemas que existen aquí, que son problemas de una revolución triunfante con una serie de gobiernos muy poderosos, hostiles que nos atacan, nos acosan económicamente y a veces también militarmente; que riegan de propaganda por todo el mundo una serie de patrañas sobre este Gobierno, de un Gobierno que ha hecho la reforma agraria en la misma manera que yo aconsejo hacer la reforma universitaria, mirando hacia adelante pero no hacia atrás, tomando como simples jalones lo que se había hecho en otras partes del mundo, pero analizando la situación de nuestro propio campesino; que ha hecho una reforma fiscal y una reforma arancelaria, y que está ahora en la gran tarea de la industrialización del país, de este país de donde hay que sacar entonces los materiales necesarios para hacer nuestra reforma; de un país donde se reúnen los obreros que no han logrado todas las reivindicaciones y que aspiraron y lógicamente aspiran, y resuelven, en asambleas multitudinarias y por unanimidad, dar una parte de su sueldo para construir económicamente al país; de un Gobierno Revolucionario que lleva como bandera de lucha a la Reforma Agraria, y que la ha impulsado de una punta a la otra de la Isla, y que constantemente sufre porque no tiene los técnicos necesarios para hacerla, y porque la buena voluntad y el trabajo no suple sino en parte esa deficiencia, y porque cada uno de nosotros debemos volver sobre nuestros pasos constantemente y aprender sobre el error cometido, que es aprender sobre el sacrificio de la Nación.

Y cuando tratamos de buscar a quien lógicamente nos debe apoyar, a la Universidad; para que nos dé los técnicos, para que se acople a la gran marcha del Gobierno Revolucionario, a la gran marcha del pueblo hacia su futuro, nos encontramos con que luchas intestinas y discusiones bizantinas están mermando la capacidad de estos centros de estudios para cumplir con su deber de la hora. Por eso es que aprovechamos este momento para decir nuestras verdades quizás agrias, quizás en algunas cosas injustas, muy molestas quizás para mucha gente, pero que transmite el pensamiento de un Gobierno Revolucionario honesto, que no trata de ocupar o de vencer una institución que no es su enemiga, sino que debe ser su aliada y su más íntima y eficaz colaboradora; y que busca precisamente a los estudiantes porque nunca un estudiante revolucionario puede ser, no enemigo, ni siquiera adversario del Gobierno que representamos; porque estamos tratando en cada momento de que la juventud estudiosa, aúne al saber que ha logrado en las aulas el entusiasmo creador del pueblo entero de la República y se incorpore al gran ejército de los que hacen, dejando de lado esta pequeña patrulla de los que solamente dicen.

Por todo eso he venido aquí, más que a dar una conferencia, a presentar algunos puntos polémicos, y a llamar, naturalmente, a la discusión, todo lo agria, todo lo violenta que se quiera, pero siempre saludable en un régimen democrático, a la explicación de cada uno de los hechos, al análisis de lo que está sucediendo en el país, y al análisis de lo que sucedió con los que mantuvieron las posiciones que hoy mantienen algunos núcleos estudiantiles.

Y para finalizar, un recuerdo a los estudiantes interesados en estos problemas de la reforma universitaria: investiguen la vida futura, futura pero ya pasada, desde el momento en que se inició la reforma del dieciocho hasta ahora; investiguen la vida de cada uno de aquellos artífices de la reforma. Les aseguro que es interesante. Nada más.

What A Young Communist Should Be

Che_UJC_speech_1962Below are excerpts of a speech given by Ernesto Che Guevara, one of the central leaders of the Cuban revolution, at a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the formation of the youth organization. It was first published in Obra Revolutionaria, Oct. 23, 1962. The English-language translation of the entire speech, titled «What a Young Communist Should Be,» can be found in Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution, a collection of Guevara’s speeches and writings published by Pathfinder Press.

The Union of Young Communists, with different names and organizational forms, is almost as old as the revolution. At the beginning it emerged out of the Rebel Army – perhaps that’s where it also got its initial name [Association of Young Rebels]. But it was an organization linked to the army in order to introduce Cuba’s youth to the massive tasks of national defense, the most urgent problem at the time and the one requiring the most rapid solution….

Later, as the revolution was consolidated and we could finally talk about the new tasks ahead, Compañero Fidel proposed changing the name of the organization, a change of name that fully expresses a principle. The Union of Young Communists [Applause] has its face to the future. It is organized with the bright future of socialist society in mind….

The Union of Young Communists should be defined by a single word: vanguard. You, compañeros, must be the vanguard of all movements, the first to be ready to make the sacrifices demanded by the revolution, whatever they might be…. And in order to do that, you have to set yourself real, concrete tasks, tasks in your daily work that won’t allow you the slightest letup.

The job of organizing must constantly be linked to all the work carried out by the Union of Young Communists. Organization is the key to grasping the initiatives presented by the revolution’s leaders, the many initiatives proposed by our prime minister, and the initiatives from the working class, which should also lead to precise directives and ideas for subsequent action.

Without organization, ideas, after an initial momentum, start losing their effect. They become routine, degenerate into conformity, and end up simply a memory. I make this warning because too often, in this short but rich period of our revolution, many great initiatives have failed. They have been forgotten because of the lack of the organizational apparatus needed to keep them going and accomplish something….

Now, two years later, we can look back and observe the results of our work. The Union of Young Communists has tremendous achievements, one of the most important and spectacular being in defense.

`Study, work, and the rifle.

Those young people, or some of them, who first climbed the five peaks of Turquino,(1) others who were enrolled in a whole series of military organizations, all those who picked up their rifles at moments of danger – they were ready to defend the revolution each and every place where an invasion or enemy action was expected. The highest honor, that of being able to defend our revolution, fell to the young people at Playa Girón….(2)

At the moment when the country’s defense was our most important task, the youth were there. Today, defense is still at the top of our concerns. But we should not forget that the watchword that guides the Young Communists – study, work, and the rifle – is a unified whole. The country cannot be defended with arms alone. We must also defend the country by building it with our work and preparing the new technical cadres to speed up its development in the coming years.

This is enormously important now, just as important as armed defense. When these problems were raised, the youth once again were there. Youth brigades, responding to the call of the revolution, invaded every corner of the country, and so after a few months of hard battle in which there were also martyrs of our revolution – martyrs in education – we were able to announce something new in Latin America: Cuba was a territory free of illiteracy in the Americas….(3) [Applause]

This is the kind of education that best suits youth who are being educated for communism. It is a kind of education in which work stops being an obsession, as it is in the capitalist world, and becomes a pleasant social duty….

What a young communist should be

Now, compañeros, I wanted to share my opinion as a national leader of the ORI(4) on what a Young Communist should be, to see if we all agree. I believe that the first thing that must characterize a Young Communist is the honor he feels in being a Young Communist, an honor that moves him to let the world know he is a Young Communist….

In addition to that, he should have a great sense of duty, a sense of duty toward the society we are building, toward our fellow men as human beings and toward all men around the world. That is something that must characterize the Young Communist. And along with that: deep sensitivity to all problems, sensitivity to injustice; a spirit that rebels against every wrong, whoever commits it; [Applause] questioning anything not understood, discussing and asking for clarification on whatever is not clear; declaring war on formalism of all types; always being open to new experiences in order to apply the many years of experience of humanity’s advance along the road to socialism to our country’s concrete conditions, to the realities that exist in Cuba. Each and every one of you must think about how to change reality, how to make it better….

Developing to the utmost the sensitivity to feel anguished when a man is murdered in any corner of the world and to feel enthusiasm when a new banner of freedom is raised in any corner of the world. [Applause]

The Young Communist cannot be limited by national borders. The Young Communist must practice proletarian internationalism and feel it as his own, reminding himself and all of us – Young Communists and those aspiring to be communists here in Cuba – that we are a real and palpable example for all our America, and for more than our America, for the other countries of the world also fighting on other continents for freedom, against colonialism, against neocolonialism, against imperialism, against all forms of oppression by unjust systems.

He must always remember that we are a flaming torch, that just as we are all individually a model for the people of Cuba, we are also a model for the peoples of Latin America and the oppressed peoples of the world who are fighting for their freedom….

And if someone says we are just romantics, inveterate idealists, thinking the impossible, that the masses of people cannot be turned into almost perfect human beings, we will have to answer a thousand and one times: Yes, it can be done; we are right. The people as a whole can advance.


1. Located in the Sierra Maestra, Turquino is the highest mountain in Cuba.

2. On April 17, 1961, 1,500 Cuban-born mercenaries invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs on the southern coast in Las Villas Province. The action, organized directly by Washington, aimed to establish a «provisional government» to appeal for direct U.S. intervention. However, the invaders were first held at bay by the Cuban militias and defeated within 72 hours by the Revolutionary Armed Forces. On April 19, the last invaders surrendered at Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs), which has come to be the name Cubans use to designate the battle.

3. From late 1960 through 1961, the revolutionary government undertook a literacy campaign to teach 1 million Cubans to read and write. Central to this effort was the mobilization of 100,000 young people to go to the countryside, where they lived with peasants whom they were teaching. As a result of this drive, Cuba virtually eliminated illiteracy.

4. The Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ORI) was formed in 1961 from a fusion of forces from the July 26 Movement, Popular Socialist Party, and Revolutionary Directorate. It became the United Party of the Socialist Revolution in 1963 and the Communist Party of Cuba in 1965.

5ο Διεθνές Συνέδριο «Τσε Γκεβάρα» στον Καναδά / 5th Annual International Che Guevara Conference in Canada

(κλικ για μεγέθυνση)

Με κεντρικό θέμα «Οι οικονομικές μεταρρυθμίσεις της Κούβας: Καπιταλισμός ή Σοσιαλισμός» θα λάβει χώρα στο Βανκούβερ του Καναδά, μεταξύ 2-5 Νοέμβρη 2012 το 5ο ετήσιο Διεθνές Συνέδριο «Τσε Γκεβάρα». Η συνδιάσκεψη διοργανώνεται από τις κοινότητες αλληλεγγύης προς την Κούβα που εδρεύουν στο Βανκούβερ ενώ κεντρική ομιλήτρια και επίσημη καλεσμένη είναι η Αλεϊδα Γκεβάρα, κόρη του θρυλικού επαναστάτη.

Την Παρασκευή 2 Νοέμβρη θα διοργανωθεί ιδιαίτερη εκδήλωση για τους «Πέντε Κουβανούς» που βρίσκονται φυλακισμένοι στην Φλόριντα των ΗΠΑ, ενώ τις επόμενες δύο μέρες θα λάβουν χώρα ομιλίες, τράπεζες συζητήσεων, ομάδες εργασίας και διαλόγου. Την τελευταία ημέρα του Συνεδρίου, στις 5 Νοέμβρη, οι εκδηλώσεις θα μεταφερθούν στην πόλη Καμλουπς, 350 χιλιόμετρα ανατολικά του Βανκούβερ.

Το Διεθνές Συνέδριο «Τσε Γκεβάρα» διοργανώνεται, εδώ και πέντε συναπτά έτη, στον Καναδά. Ξεκίνησε το 2008 επ’ αφορμή της συμπλήρωσης 80 χρόνων από τη γέννηση του Τσε. Κάθε ένα από τα συνέδρια που έλαβαν χώρα είχαν συγκεκριμένη θεματολογία:

– το πρώτο συνέδριο είχε θέμα «Τσε Γκεβάρα: Στοχαστής και Μαχητής – Είναι οι ιδέες του χρήσιμες τον 21ο αιώνα;»,

– το δεύτερο συνέδριο (2009) είχε θέμα «50 χρόνια δυναμικής της κουβανικής Επανάστασης»,

– το τρίτο συνέδριο (2010) τιτλοφορούνταν «Κούβα και Επαναστατικός Διεθνισμός»,

– το τέταρτο συνέδριο (2011) είχε θέμα «Η Κούβα Σήμερα: Κατακτήσεις και Προκλήσεις».

Σύμφωνα με τους διοργανωτές, τα τέσσερα προηγούμενα συνέδρια είχαν αξιοσημείωτη επιτυχία, με περισσότερους απο 1.700 συμμετέχοντες, 35 ομιλητές και ποικιλία θεμάτων αναφορικά με τον Τσε, την Κουβανική Επανάσταση και την Κούβα εν γένει.

Ακολουθεί η ανακοίνωση και το πρόγραμμα του συνεδρίου στα αγγλικά:

November 2-5, 2012
Vancouver & Kamloops, BC, CANADA.


Cuban revolutionary leader, a pediatrician, prominent writer, author of the book, “Chavez, Venezuela and the New Latin America” and daughter of the legendary Ernesto Che Guevara.



DAY 1 Special Evening for the 5 Cuban Heroes


600 Campbell Ave.
Vancouver, BC, Canada


DAY 2 & DAY 3 Two Full Days of Workshops


600 Campbell Ave.
Vancouver, BC, Canada


DAY 4 of the Conference


Thompson Rivers University

900 McGill Road
Kamloops, BC, Canada.

On Friday November 2, 2012 Vancouver will host a special evening in tribute of the 5 Cuban heroes held in US jails to open the 4 day of Che Guevara International Conference. Saturday and Sunday November 3 & 4 will feature two full days in Vancouver with many workshops to provide enough time for discourse, debate, argument, polemics and politics! Then we will take the Che Conference over 350 kilometers to the east to Kamloops, BC for 2 highly anticipated workshops on the evening of Monday November 5.

The Vancouver International Che Guevara Conference began in 2008 in honour of Che’s 80th birthday. Each conference has held a unique theme, the first conference “Che Guevara: Thinker & Fighter – Are His Ideas Relevant for the 21st Century?”; 2009 conference “50 years of Dynamism of the Cuban Revolution”; 2010 conference “Cuba & Revolutionary Internationalism“ and 2011 Conference “Cuba Today: The Gains & Challenges”. These 4 notable events which debated and discussed the importance of the Cuban revolution and the Cuba solidarity movement worldwide from the point of view of activists and revolutionaries were the only of their kind in Canada. We are pleased that in the last four years we have brought out more than 1,700 people, 35 speakers, and 35 different subjects surrounding the Cuban revolution and its internal and external dynamics.

The 2012 conference will expand on the previous 4 years, with the theme of “Cuba’s Economic Reforms: Capitalism or Socialism”. We will be welcoming many important guests, including our honoured guest for the third year in a row, Dr. Aleida Guevara, Cuban Leader, Prominent Author and Daughter of Legendary Revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. We hope to see you at the 5th annual Canada International Che Guevara Conference.

We look forward to having you join us for this special event!

For more information and updates please continue to visit our website and blog

Ο Τσε στη Βολιβία: Οι τελευταίες φωτογραφίες / Che in Bolivia: The last photographs

Συζητώντας με τον Γ.Γ. του Κ.Κ. της Βολιβίας Μάριο Μόνχε.

Μαζί με συντρόφισσα στο αντάρτικο.

Ξεκούραση πριν την επόμενη μάχη, Βολιβία 1967.
Διαβάζοντας στα δέντρα.

Θεωρείται η «τελευταία φωτογραφία» του Τσε πριν την σύλληψη και δολοφονία του. Βολιβία 1967.