Articles of History

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Los Van Van and Martí: A great delight

Van Van discvo

In 2014, the José Martí Cultural Society and Egrem studios released a CD/DVD that, with full intentionality and exquisite musical work, would mark a new direction in terms of the re-contextualization, today, of Martí’s thought. With the ideas, coordination and musical concept of Israel Rojas, the new project’s premise was to provide an approach to Martí, not only through musicalization per se, but based on a thematic thread

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Martí among us

marti

We have reached this January 28, 2021, having traveled a hard road, full of obstacles and traps, with the blockade tightened beyond all imaginable limits and a pandemic taking a lethal toll of more two million deaths on the planet. Cuba’s dignified resistance defeated the 240 measures imposed by Trump, intended to asphyxiate our economy and undermine the people’s support for the Revolution. As President Díaz-Canel said, “They threw us to our death, and we are alive.”

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The history of Cuba is one of victories

DC-Raul-Marti-Fragua-granma1

“The pandemic will be defeated and the difficulties we face overcome. This is the history of Cuba. This is the history of patriots like Martí, this is the history of our revolutionary students,” Army General Raúl Castro Ruz stated yesterday evening, during a heartfelt exchange at the Fragua Martiana with some twenty young people who had descended the University of Havana’s Grand Stairway in the traditional March of the Torches.

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Lenin

ñenin

On the one hand, what he calls the possessing classes who aspired to remove the Czar and replace him with a bourgeois power, in the style of the Western democracies of the United States and France; on the other, the Bolsheviks, who saw the Revolution as based on the class struggle and insisted on the necessity of the Soviets taking power. Between these two forces, which he describes as extreme, John places the “moderate” socialists, the quotation marks are his, not mine.

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Simply, Celia

celia

It is hard not to remember, today, on the 41st anniversary of her death, the young woman who organized life-saving support for the Granma expeditionaries; who became the first to wear olive green in the Sierra; and left her imprint on so much of the Revolution’s work
Our national flag at half mast, a gray Friday and rain in the capital, were the prelude to the terrible news that no one wanted to hear on that January 11, 1980.

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The caravan is a symbol of Cuba’s conquest of freedom

fidel habana

This January 8, the Cuban people will again experience the euphoria, genuine gratitude and love for those who, with Fidel as the undisputed leader of the Revolution in the lead, reaffirmed the promise of a free Homeland and travelled across the island proclaiming hope for a more just Cuba in 1959. Today Fidel enters Havana in a caravan of young people who revere the history of a consummated victory. Yesterday, the town of Madruga, in the province of Mayabeque.

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Christmas reading: Notes on a not-so-plebian articulation

Cristman reading

There are no witch hunts in Cuba, but neither is there impunity, since our decades of confrontation with imperialism have taught us to recognize double standards and wolves in sheepskin. During the recent holidays I commented to good friend that I was reading and rereading some texts outlining the sentiments and ideas of a small group of intellectuals who claim to represent the majority, in a manifesto they called “Plebian Articulation,” preparing to write about the issues they addressed. My friend suggested a title: “Christmas reading.”

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The freedom conquered in 1959 continues to illuminate the country

Vacuna Soberana

Fidel continues to command his rebel armies in a Freedom Caravan that has traveled across Cuba every January since 1959, making clear that the memory of that transcendental event in the country’s history continues to inspire new victories in the many battles Cubans face. The new “Caravanistas” from Santiago de Cuba initiated their journey, that will culminate on January 8, in Havana, from the city’s Avenida de los Libertadores, alongside the former Moncada Garrison, which became the July 26 Educational Center following the triumph of the Revolution.

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The moment I learned of the Batista regime’s fall

Raul 1959

Fidel had predicted that the Moncada Garrison would surrender its forces during the first days of January, 1959. I had been inside the fort in 1953, as a prisoner, along with other compañeros who attacked the Moncada. Fidel had been taken directly to the Santiago de Cuba Vivac. The story goes like this. I was at the Soledad sugar mill, now called the El Salvador, when I heard about the fall of Batista regime. At the time I was organizing the attack on the city of Guantánamo, on orders from Fidel.

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The Pilgrims of the Saint Louis

Saint Louis

This is a scary story. In May 1939 more than 900 Jews who arrived in the port of Havana on board the ship Saint Louis, which came from Nazi Germany, were prevented from disembarking despite the fact that they all had the proper authorization to do so, a so-called landing permit for which they paid a minimum of $150. Almost all of them had applied for a visa to the United States and intended to remain on the island only until they could enter the country.