In Cuba at the age of 90 years died, Fidel Castro.
On this day we would remember not the political Titan of the twentieth century, which he became, but that young man, who had yet to become he who forever changed the face of Cuba and Latin America, while in prison on the island of pines, and dreaming about how to change his Homeland.
LETTERS FROM PRISON ON the ISLAND of PINES
on 18 December 1953
for 15 days as I’m in solitary confinement…
Through my hands these days held a lot of books. Some preference I give to the novels of Dostoevsky. He is, without a doubt, the most remarkable of Russian writers. I specifically will talk to you another time. His most famous works— “the Brothers Karamazov”, “Humiliated and insulted “, “Crime and punishment”, “Idiot”. They are all I have here and, besides, his first novel “Poor people”. It remains for me only to read “the Brothers K.” and Balzac “Shagreen skin”. I read the biography by Stefan Zweig. This is largely a self-portrait.”On the same ground” — romula Gallegos is a quite pleasant thing. I really liked how the novel “the Stars look down” shows the social problems of England. I don’t agree with his skeptical end, when there was not a single word of encouragement for the defeated wrestler. Read to mean “On a knife edge” and can barely contain myself not to finish at once —so interesting. What Napoleon read you, Ludwig, or Hugo? Great or Small? If the latter, then I’m reading it now. What a coincidence! If there was shown a film about it, it would be necessary to allocate large letters, as is customary:
“Any resemblance is pure coincidence”. Victor Hugo indescribable inspired me with her “Les Miserables”. However, as further reading I’m somewhat tired of his extreme romanticism, pomp and erudition, is at times verbose and redundant. On the same topic of Napoleon III wrote an excellent work of Karl Marx, “the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte”. That is comparing both of these works, you can appreciate the great difference between a scientific, realistic approach to history and its purely romantic interpretation.Where Hugo sees nothing more than a lucky adventurer, Marx distinguishes between the inevitable result of social contradictions and struggle prevailing at the time of interest.For one story —it was an accident, another process controlled by laws. Scripture Hugo, in truth, remind me of our own speech, full of poetic belief in freedom, in Holy indignation against her violation and trusting hopes for her recovery with a miracle.
I have to tell you also about Freud. Read four of my existing volumes. Waiting for the rest. A total of 18. He has a lot of interesting theories, and I want to verify its value. I think to link them with some of the heroes of F. Dostoevsky, which, penetrating into the secrets of the subconscious in the field of literature, anticipated the great scientific work of Freud. However, the main focus is on another. Sleeves rolled up I took up the development of world history and political doctrines.
…Every day after lunch, I got a few hours of walking, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays also in the afternoon. There was a big empty yard, fully fenced gallery. Where I while away a very pleasant watch. Soon
I become mute.It’s 11 o’clock in the morning. 6 hours without a break read Lenin’s work “State and revolution”, after finishing “the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte” and “Civil war in France” — both of Marx. All three works are closely linked and have a priceless value. Feeling hungry, put to boil the spaghetti with stuffed squid and meanwhile picked up the pen to write you a few lines, because tonight I stole your
personal time. I haven’t told you that on Friday took his camera. First washed with soap granite floor, walked on it a marble powder, and then treated him “Levasole” and rinsed with water craolina. Cleaned up my stuff, and now reigns here a full order. The rooms at the hotel “Nacional” can’t be more clean… Wash twice a day, the “forced” heat. How good I feel afterwards. Take a book, and come to me for a while happy moments. I had gained much from exploring the realm of philosophy. Many get hit head on Kant, but now Marx himself seems simpler than “our father.” He and Lenin had a strong polemical spirit, and I’m here to have fun, laugh and enjoy reading them. They were ruthless and dangerous to his enemies. Are two authentic model for revolutionaries.
Now going to dine: spaghetti with calamari, and for dessert Italian sweets freshly brewed coffee and finally, the cigar “H, Upmann 4”. Aren’t you jealous? Care about me, care about me a little… all of my constant requests
not to send anything just not paying attention. When in the morning, sunbathing in shorts and feel the breeze blowing from the sea, it seems to me that I am on the beach, and then go here in this little restaurant. So I can make you believe
that I’m on vacation! What Marx would say about these revolutionaries?
Fidel Castro after his arrest in August 1953.
12 may 1954
Our revolutionary program is completely included in the speech. All of it is a fundamental document of our struggle. I think it is very important to give her the most attention. I know what it means for our business in real
time. If we want to, we were followed by people, they need to specify a path and a goal worthy of any sacrifice. That is based on blood, must be built with ideas.
June 12, 1954
About myself I can say that my loneliness ceases only when in a small funeral home located in front of my camera, put any deceased prisoner, of those that are often mysteriously hanged or killed in a strange way— people whose health has been damaged by beatings and torture. But I can’t see them, because just opposite the only entrance to my cell real stands six-foot screen, specially designed not to allow the MPE to see the PI of one human being, neither living nor dead.It would be too generous to give me a chance to be in the society of the dead!
Still I was kept in isolation from other comrades. This is undoubtedly due to a desire to prevent the spiritual training of young men whom they view as their most implacable opponents of tomorrow. We are forbidden even to share books. The rest I got better. Transferred here Raul !. My camera (have you seen her in “Bamii”) joined with another room, four times as large and with a spacious yard, which is open from 7 a.m. to 9 a half in the evening.Cleaning is done by the prison staff, we sleep without light, for we are not satisfied with roll call and not build during the day, we get up whenever we want. All these concessions I kopecna, you didn’t. The abundance of water, electric light, food, clean clothes — and all for free. For housing also not have to pay. Maybe you think that where you live better? Dating twice a month. Now reigns the most complete in the world. But I don’t know how much longer we will remain in this “Paradise”. Elections will cause a huge disagreement and dissatisfaction.The regime will be forced to declare an Amnesty to calm tensions in the country. The issue of political prisoners, until this time, sozhaleyu, shamelessly forgotten, but he himself becomes in the agenda of the DPJ. Is the contrast between what policy and what we represent. Our hour is approaching. Before us was a handful, now we have to merge with people… the Tactics will be different.
Those who see in us only group, shamefully wrong. Neither the world, nor the tactics of the isolated group will never characterize us. Now I can, in addition, body and soul devoted to their work. All my energy and all my time belong to him. I’ll start a new life. I intend to overcome all obstacles and to carry out all the necessary fighting. The main thing that I have ever clearly see our path and our purpose. I don’t waste time in
jail: learn, observe, analyze, make plans, educate people. I know where all the best in Cuba and how to find it. Since, I was alone, now we are many…
19 Jun 1954
Revolution is not the return to power of people who are morally and historically eliminated that entirely to blame for the current situation. It is good to remember that the possibility of our victory is based on the belief that people will support the efforts of honest people, from the outset nominated by the revolutionary laws, maintaining, PA you can’t count those who were deceived and betrayed.
I want to warn you that you do not give some impressions. This is very important. From Aureliano now not even the most remote possibility to organize an uprising, nor Aureliano, no one else. Whoever says otherwise, is lying shamelessly, and you can fool anyone but not us. Therefore, the “Movement” is unable to communicate with anyone, can’t pay attention to any insurgent, a Comedy, and any decision on this subject must be pre-approved by us here. Are in great need of caution in relation to the schemers, politicians and those who play in the revolution..!
Our task is now — and I want to have you understand it— not in the organization of revolutionary cells in order to have more or fewer people. It would be a disastrous mistake. An urgent task at the moment is to attract to our side of public opinion, propaganda of our ideas and winning support of the masses. Our revolutionary program is the most complete, our line is the most clear, our history is the most selfless.We have a right to the confidence of the people, without which — I am ready to repeat it a thousand times — it is impossible to carry out a revolution.
We used to be obscure pioneers of these ideas, now forced to fight for them openly. Tactics must be very different. For us it should not matter whether to involve 10 people, more or less, when it is necessary to create conditions for mobilization, one day, tens of thousands of people. I have reason to know that this is necessary, becauseI was a huge task to find them and to organize, fighting against a million intrigues and schemers and mediocrities can win only ideological toughness, which we should impose, so that people do not change position as shirts.
And if now in our ranks there are people who want nothing other than shooting, and ready to make a deal even with the devil just to get the weapons they need to be bezogovorochnoj excluded, as well as executed those who need an hour of chicken (they, as a rule, most show their impatience now). We don’t need gangsters, adventurers, and people, conscious of their historical responsibility, able to wait patiently and work for the good future of the Motherland.
We lay our hopes not on a small group of conspirators-polunochev or confused students, and the nation.Let us, as mogpo rather go out to the streets with our program, the only truly revolutionary program, and our ideas, to organize then the great revolutionary movement, which should be the crown of the ideals of those who have fallen!
Later they will begin another job. Very pastichio I ask you to protect the health, because the struggle will be long and difficult. No need to grieve, you need to work methodically. Try to minimize the energy-absorbing travel on provincial towns, its current task does not require them. Those who will tell you that the revolution will happen in such and such a day or in a certain month, send to hell.
Hope you will be able to fully justify the confidence in you and our faith in you. Don’t forget that I will be strict, criticizing as well as it did when we were going on 25th street. New leaders need to be able to truly take the place
of those who fell.
The Cuban dictator, Batista Fulgencio.
3 Oct 1954
The responsibility that is rightfully and the power of the revolutionary morality is vested in the “Movement” we have in custody, is currently devoid of any meaning. The recognition that for historical reasons the top management is here completely lost its effectiveness. Reason why are various. Main from them — tough prison measures and the almost complete isolation in which we have been called. However, part of the reason lies in the unenviable role played by members of our “Movement” on the outside.To a certain extent it is due to force majeure, but this in no way precluded a rather large personal guilt.
As for me, I with steadfast patience and despite enormous obstacles, gazing in more or less distant future with full faith in success sought to “Movement” has taken its worthy place.However, for the shiny moral victories in the difficult days that followed the 26 July, throughout the trial, there was a long period of inertia, futility and decline. We weren’t quite rise to the unreasonable obstacles that have erected in front of us cowardice and wretchedness of the environment and cruel persecution by our enemies. Our tips, guidelines and initiatives yielded nothing. Absolutely, naprosto I wrote page after page, pointing out what to do. Wednesday, vicious atmosphere in the country was stronger.You cannot claim to be the renovators of society and leaders of the people, if there is no ability to resist the stupid winds of the era. I cause incredible suffering, when I see our people entangled in the routine and those roads from which we ought long ago to go. They suffocate in the stench of senile adventure, devoid of principles and ideology.
We were hoping that you’ll clear the way while we forge here exemplary revolutionaries by hard work on their education and political education. Was hoping in vain…
So the pseudo-revolutionaries no other concerns, in addition to crack move, and to divide his remains like vultures, because they’re pathetic politicians who are unable to seek and prepare people. They do not honor the “Movement” respect and seek only to use its members as cannon fodder. How would things be different if we were on the loose!They know it. Or would be committed serious
deep revolution, headed the “Movement 26 of July” or “July 26 Movement” alone would be a revolution. But nobody interested in the fact that we have released. If the crimes committed in Santiago de Cuba, would be sufficiently exposed, if the people of Cuba introduced the greatness of our gesture, the government would be forced to open up the prison doors, as it was forced to open them for Pintxos Gutierrez and will soon open for the prisoners in the case of Country club. They had comrades who have dedicated their energy and mind to the struggle for their liberation.And while we are rotting in prisons, and “authenticity” and the Orthodox-conspirators (the same can be said about the “authentic” behind Grau) intentionally and despicably silent about these crimes, our comrades on the Moncada assault, forgetting about the fallen and about their ideals, are willing to participate in their booth and serve them cannon fodder. No! You need to have dignity. You need to be able to get respect yourself.
If there is a real desire to overthrow the dictatorship, then why not use all means to fight for something, to rescue from prison of people who can make a decisive contribution to this fight? Impossible to hide, which in this case is prosecuted is not to be disclosed the purpose of restoration of the power or its capture, and we are the obstacle to these ambitions.You still can not understand how it pains me to realize that our comrades lie forgotten in the ground, not being able to serve even the banner in battle, to serve the cause of exposing the tyrant who killed them.Those who do so, forget that his cowardice and shortsightedness they are digging a grave for many future revolutionaries. If in Santiago de Cuba, it killed 70 people, made the unprecedented bloodletting and publicly about it yet not a word was said, next time, emboldened the executioners will kill 500 people and may have killed many more of our lost orientation of his comrades.
Hence I am not able to put an end to the confusion and chaos that now covered the Movement. This problem is not for those who are quite isolated. In addition, I know that someone has reached that challenged the top leadership of the “Movement” of the General meeting held prisoners here and trying to make such organizational forms “Motion”, which would negate this right for our group, which is the brain and soul “Movement.”My instructions are always given with full consent of the other prisoners are not executed, or performed poorly, or not fully recognized. In these circumstances, we are unable to continue to implement the leadership of the “Movement” here. Know that this moment, this obligation is entirely up to you.
No need to organize discussions on this issue. As for me, since this moment I fully relinquish that authority. And don’t waste time trying to convince me. I don’t need no Ghost posts or conversations for the sake of talking. In your hands the lives of all our comrades and responsibility before history. This responsibility we cannot assume, without having any information and not knowing what really is happening on the outside. I wish you to carry out the management of DOCTYPE and only ask not to forget about the memory of the fallen and not to do anything that would Sully it. Someday we will get together, discuss everything and require a response. If the result of this “Movement” will crumble if a desert and leave a wonderful banner under which we went to death for the sake of true ideals, we remaining here will start from scratch.
I know that some criticize me for what I’m talking about the civil revolutionary movement instead of stand up everywhere over the rebel plans. Let these masters of the “revolutionary deeds” do not forget that a few days before, on 26 July, I did sowing of rice in Pinar del Rio! Or, maybe all of us here in prison, ceased to be warriors, because there’s a new breed, more radical than ours?
I am very deeply disappointed, as I have done with it. More of course, I won’t say a word about it.Why I went to all of the victims killed themselves at work? After all not in vain. Five months was not enough to bring it to people. The indifference in this case, evidence of the deplorable ignorance in regard to the importance of ideas in history.It is very sad to observe how the workers ask for freedom for those arrested in the case of the Country club, even without thinking about the participants in the Moncada assault, as do not know what they gave their lives 80 of young Cubans — the vast majority of whom were poor workers—to achieve not only freedom, but also the realization of a bold social program which has ever been shed Cuban blood. Comrade Jose Suarez told me that he said in prison Principe, it was delayed because some comrades
believe this is a bad time to go out with her. After over 14 months of all ignore the crimes committed, isn’t this shameless behavior to contribute to this disgrace? Perhaps later it will need? Later you will need to expose other crimes!
Make it so that it became as soon as possible the heritage of the street. This time it’s just a request. At least in order to prevent repetition in the future, such gruesome murders arrested. To hide it is a crime and betrayal.If the start of repression, they would primarily be used against me, a man, suffered and continues to endure much. If someone will kill in the chamber when the first revolutionary outbreak, it’ll be me. Nevertheless, I want it done the property of the streets, not wasting a minute. Don’t make my heart bleeds because of impotence! You are more cruel than those who hold me prisoner.
On March 15, 1955
To be a prisoner means to be doomed to a forced silence. Listen and read what is said and written, not being able to Express their opinion. To endure the attacks of cowards who use the circumstances to act against those who cannot defend themselves, and to make statements, which, if we had the material capabilities, would deserve our immediate response.
We know that all of this needs to stand firmly, courageously and calmly, how bitter the Cup of sacrifice that requires any ideal. But there are times when you need to overcome all obstacles, for it is impossible to remain silent at a time like touches dignity. I write these lines not in search of applause, which so often unnecessarily given for the appearance of merit in a theatrical gesture and which are denied to those who are able to fulfill the duty simply and naturally. I do so because of a clear conscience, attention and respect to the people, loyalty to him…
What a strange line by the government against us! In public they call us murderers, in the narrow circle of knights. The audience fiercely attack us, and privately visit us at a high level, buying a cigar, offer the book, all are very polite. A few days ago came three Ministers — pleasant, helpful, attentive. One of them says: “don’t worry, it will pass. I’ve planted a lot of bombs and was preparing an attempt on Antonio Machado in “Countryclub”. I, too, was a political prisoner”.
The usurper holds a press conference in Santiago de Cuba and declares that public opinion is not in our favor. A few days later occurs out of the line case:
the mass of people in the East during a rally by the party to which we belong, rally, which, according to journalists, gathered the largest number of people throughout the election campaign, shouting our names, and demanded our release. Excellent answer of the noble and devoted people, who knows the history of Moncada.
Now it’s our turn to respond equally civic moral
challenge that brings to the regime, claiming that Amnesty will be the case if the prisoners and sent the NC of the country would change their position if they take the acknowledgment or obligation to recognize the government.
One day the Pharisees asked Christ whether they should pay tribute to Caesar. The answer was to embroil him either with Caesar or with the people. The Pharisees of all times is familiar to this trick. So today try to discredit us in the eyes of the people, or to find a reason to leave prison. I absolutely do not want the regime to prove the need for Amnesty, I do not care.What I am interested in is to show the falsity of his argument, insincerity of his words, cowardice and meanness of the trap he sets for those who are in prison for something that fought against him. They say that they’re generous, because you’re strong. In fact, they are vindictive because of weak. Say they do not hate. However, they brought her to us in a way that has never been done against any group of Cubans.
“Amnesty is when there will be peace”. On what moral grounds can you make such statements are people who for the past three years promoting that coup, to give peace to the Republic? So, there is no peace, therefore, the coup did not bring peace, and thus, the government acknowledges his deception three years after the establishment of the dictatorship, admits in the end that in Cuba there is no peace since the day they seized power.
“The best proof of the absence of dictatorship is that we have no political prisoners”— they said for many months. Today, when prisons are overcrowded and a huge number of people is in exile, they cannot say that we live in a democratic constitutional regime. Their own words condemn them. “For the Amnesty it is necessary that opponents of the regime changed its position.” In other words, done
a crime against human rights. We become hostages. With us go the same way as the Nazis did in the occupied countries. So today we are not only political prisoners but also hostages of the dictatorship.
To conduct Amnesty prior obligation to recognize the regime. Crawlers that offer this, I believe that in 20 months of exile or imprisonment on the island, under the influence of the harshest measures taken against us, lost vitality. With lucrative and comfortable positions in government that they would like to keep forever, they have the baseness to speak with those who were a thousand times more honest, buried in prison. The writer of these lines for the past 16 months isolated in solitary confinement, but he has enough strength not to humiliate their dignity.Our conclusion is wrongful.I don’t understand why a right should be on the side of those who attacked the barracks with the goal of eliminating the constitutional law established by the people, not those who nosel on it to compel respect for the rule of law. Why the right should be on the side of those who deprived the people of sovereignty and freedom, not those who engaged in battle to bring them back to the people. Why should they have the right to control the Republic against the people’s will, while we are for their loyalty to the principles languish in prison.Look at the way of life of those who rule, and you will find there a lot of dark deeds, fraud, dishonestly amassed fortunes.
Compare it with the way of life of those who died in Santiago DS Cuba, and those of us who are here in prison. There’s not one spot, not a single dishonest act. Our personal freedom is an inalienable right that belongs to us as
citizens born in a country that does not recognize any of the hosts. Power can deprive us of that and all other rights, but they will never, ever be able to achieve that we agreed to use them price unworthy compromise. In short, for our liberation we will not give any nuggets of our honor. They should take the PA committed itself to respect the laws of the Republic, which was unfairly trampled by them. They should respect the sovereignty and will of the nation, who so scandalously violated by them on 1 November.They must create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility in the country, which for three years are kept in fear and excitement. The responsibility falls on them. Without 10 Mar there would be no need to engage in battle on 26 July, and no citizens would become a political prisoner.We are neither professional troublemakers, PI blind supporters of violence, provided that our
desire to make home the best it can be with weapons of persuasion and mind. There is no such people who would go for a group of adventurers trying to plunge the country into a civil war where there is no injustice in a peaceful and legal ways are open to all citizens involved in the civil clash of ideas.
We agree with Marty that a “criminal is the one who is pushing the country to war which can be avoided, but the one who does not go to war, which is inevitable.” And the Cuban people will never see us in the role of instigators of the civil war that can be avoided, but I repeat that every time, when Cuba will be in a shameful position, as happened after the March 10, crime will be the rejection of the inevitable uprising.
If we saw that a change of circumstances and situation positive constitutional ganapti dictate a change in tactics of struggle, we would have gone for it, but only because of the interests and desires of the nation and never in power are cowardly and shameful agreement with the government. And if we require this compromise as the price for providing the freedom we respond with a definitive “no.”
No, we’re not tired. After 20 months, we stand and steadfast as at the first day. We don’t want Amnesty at the price of dishonor. We will not pillory set dishonest oppressors. Better a thousand years in prison than humiliation. Better a thousand years of prison, than the loss of dignity. We make this statement deliberately, without fear and hatred. Now, when first of all we need the Cubans willing to sacrifice himself to save the civic conscience of our people, we offer ourselves. We are young and do not suffer from mongrel ambitions. So let us not afraid of politicians who are different but more or less disguised paths are already rushing to the carnival of personal desires, forgetting about the huge injustice suffered by the Motherland.And now not only Amnesty, but even improve prison conditions, through which mode, showing all of his hatred and rage against us, we will not ask. The only thing we would take from our enemies with satisfaction, once said Antonio Maceo, is a bloody scaffold, on which our other comrades, we are more than happy we
managed to come up with your head held high and a clear conscience of a person killing themselves and shot just cause of the Motherland.
In response to the shameful compromise we are today, 77 years after the heroic protest of the Bronze Titan, proclaimed himself its duhovye sons.
2 may 1955
…With regard to material comforts, if not for the need to live with minimal material well-being, over me, I’d be happy with a shelter in a communal apartment and going to sleep on the couch with a drawer for storing bedding. I have enough of one dish of lilac tannia grown or potatoes which I find as delicious as manna from heaven. Despite the high cost of living, I can live luxuriously at a reasonable used 40 centavos a day. It is no exaggeration that I say frankly.I would be less good, if I get used to the need to have more to life, if you forget about the fact that you can be deprived of everything and not feel miserable. So I learned to live, and it makes me terrible, passionate, tempered by the sacrifice of an ideological fighter. I will be able to promote by example that speaks volumes.How much less will bind me to the needs of material life, so independent and healthier I’ll be.
Why should I make sacrifices to buy guayabera, pants and stuff? I’ll be out in your that rumpled wool suit, though now the height of summer. Didn’t I returned the other suit, which I can’t afford and in which I’ve never had the need?Don’t think I’m eccentric or became one, just have on clothes to stretch legs — I’m poor, I have nothing, I have never stolen a single centavo, no one begged for money and my career sacrificed for our cause. For what should I wear guayabera of thin lapchatki, if I were a rich man, or officer, or embezzler?
If now I have no income and to have something, someone must give it to me, I can not, should not and will not agree to be at least to some extent, a boarder in someone else. From the moment I got here, my biggest efforts have been directed to make it clear, and I’m not tired doing it that I did not need anything. I need only books and books I consider as spiritual values. In short, I can’t help but worry about all of the costs that are made in connection with our release from prison. And even those that are absolutely necessary, are very concerned about me because I still had not thought to ask how you get out of the situation. It’s not resentment, and bitterness from all of this. You can’t feel safe, not yet anyway not show your love and care for me.
I’m strong as an oak, indifferent to hardship, my needs are not worth the sacrifices that you bring, and for which I iskreni pronounce you. What is the need each time to prove the love that I already know very well? And not
in words. This is the reality in which you need to be aware of.I am deeply moved by the urge to bring me little joys. But it’s perfectly possible to do without financial sacrifice!
Want an example? To see my books in perfect order upon arrival would be my pleasure and joy, would make me more happy than anything else, and at the same time would not cause sorrow, resentment and bitterness. I have no room for weakness. No matter how small they may be today,tomorrow I have nothing to wait for…
* * *
in About 2 years, Fidel Castro and a small group of his associates landed with a small yacht “Granma” in Cuba, to change history.
So this man started, and today he’s gone and all the world accompanies him in eternity. Who is sincere, who is hypocritical, who is hissing at him.
Castro forged himself as a man who changed himself, changed the cube that changed the world.Very few people manage to even cope with the first task. Castro was able to achieve success in the tasks he had planned when there was only a handful of like-minded people and when his rebellious spirit was bound by the prison walls. This is his true historical greatness.
Rest in peace Fidel and Thanks for Everything!