About my April 5th Interview in La Jornada
By Celia Hart
I would like briefly to let you know about my real internal upheavals, which did not gel in this interview with La Jornada. I don’t blame the reporter at all. I said it, no doubt about it, but I did not get to communicate to him, it seems, exactly what is vibrating inside me....
For starters, I am the literal daughter of the Cuban Revolution; my own existence would have been impossible without it. Haydeé Santamaría and Armando Hart could only love each other under the unique and renovating impulse of a true revolution. Otherwise, they would have gone their own separate, narrow, ways. Celia would not have been true without the revolution, in the same way [that] the sun, because of violent explosions, hydrogen atoms fuse to give out Helium, and light. Even though it may be hard to acknowledge it, because of my love for freedom, I am something like a “test baby.” It is a real punishment.
Going to the subject: What I said about the option of the left did not come out clearly. I do not believe in any way that there can be a “victorious” option for Cuba at the left of Fidel Castro. That is impossible. The cliff is to the left of Fidel. Without him, without counting on him, it is impossible to create anything viable in the left. It happened with Marti. Mella could not raise the struggle of the proletariat without the Apostle.
For some reason in this interview, a color, a shade that had nothing to do with my vibes, got in. I have my arguments and my doubts with the Cuban Communist Party, but I am in its files, and I do not want to leave it. It is true we inherited the old Stalinism, but Fidel has overcome it, as he always does. In Cuba there is a mysterious, true, Communist Party, forged with the battle of ideas. I think the option of the left opens in Cuba precisely because Fidel is its paradigm.
Trotsky, Rosa [Luxembourg], Lukacs, Gramsci, etc. are nowadays in Cuba and with its youth, precisely because our Revolution, the Revolution of Fidel, of my mother, and Ché, has not given up. If that were not the case, the youth would be talking about something else.
Of course, there are some springs of capitalist restoration. They are there. I summarized it in my work “Socialism, that Only Better World,” but there is also a counteroffensive in the battle of ideas that we are using to repair the rips in our ship, which has never capsized.
Fidel’s Party exists, because in this world of financial springs, the Revolution is able to increase pensions, give out bread and fish, when not even the deceased Pope could have done it.
The Cuban Revolution is one of the most transcendental events in the History of Socialism, and without it, there can be no criticism at all. The youth currently has political questions, which should be listened to, and they will always be in the left, Anarchists, Trotskyists, etc. But all of them are revolutionaries... The answer in Cuba, which lives on, and could not be manufactured in Miami by the right wing with everybody and their millions. It is from the left, therefore, it belongs to the Revolution.
I am not, and I cannot even feign to be, to the left of the most enduring revolutionary of the Twentieth Century. And I am not saying that to flatter him, I criticize him when I think it is right. Sometimes, for a short while, we are not in the same barricade, but the rifle’s target has never changed for either of us. That target has always been the same, ever since I was old enough to breathe.
I am transcribing, then, some phrases an enemy sent me, who called me terrorist, and also my answer. That answer will be exactly the same I should have given La Jornada and did not, and also my deepest convictions on religion, which is so common now.
“I see that you come from a family related to the July 26th Movement, one of the most active terrorists in Cuba in the ’50s, from which terrible things came out, as what’s called Revolution in Cuba, and macabre ideas, such as the Tricontinenal, which is in charge of coordinating international terrorism.
“Lets see if with your rhetoric, manipulating Marti, as the SOP [Son of the People] of Fidel Castro has done, you can explain to me why my passport renewal to go into my country is being denied, if I have never done anything against these scoundrels, in spite of the fact that they deserve it.
“Well, I know you will not answer me, but it is as well. I read Granma every day. I only want to stress that the Judeo-Christian civilization is not afraid, and that terrorists such as the July 26th Movement, FMLN, FSLN, OLP, ANP, Al Queda and others, will not win. And you, who support them, will only be able to see capitalism’s progress, yelling behind a sign, or breaking windows in McDonalds and banks, while you send others to kill others or themselves for lost causes.
“Do not get bored, waiting for victory.”
Yes, I go on, thank God! Because of a loving act between two people who have loved more their homeland, humanity, and me. Do you want a better combination? I don’t know; the meaning of words has been changed around so much, that the henchmen who murdered uncle Abel, taking his eyes out, were Priests. And Marti is a terrorist. I still don’t deserve to be a daughter of “those two,” not even to be a niece of all my uncles, or granddaughter of my grandparents, neither the daughter of Cuba, where you can find the forgotten songs for freedom and decency. Luckily, letters like yours, show me that I am on the right road.
I have in my veins my mother’s fiery words, “Abel has not died, because dying for your country is like staying alive.” And those from my father, who as a child defended the right of this country to swipe tyranny away. His book, Aldabonazo, will continue opening doors. You should read it. They were both in jail, because they were free, as Marti said: “The right to be honest.” Oh, yes, I manipulate Martí! Of course I manipulate him. I touch him and I use him. My blood and my love for him allow me to do that. There is compatibility.
I invite you to find a single letter from Marti that you can manipulate. Don’t deceive yourself...he is from our army. This army of Fidel. As you rightly say it, “SOP (Son of the People).”
I thank you because in a couple of lines you reminded me of my commitment, just for being the daughter of those two people whom I still do not know how to thank their making me. I have them by my side. They are the ones who push my clumsy fingers over the keyboard.
It is surprising that the photos of the Iraqi prisoners do not alarm you, it is surprising that you are not alarmed by the sin being committed against our (your) people, separating families under a “Judeo-Christian” verdict. It is surprising that children are dying in Palestine in the name of God. And don’t be alarmed. You do not know who Christ was. It is obvious that current Judeo-Christians will not be able to go through the eye of the needle; they cannot even pass the most elemental of Christ’s teachings. Not even the sky, which you are trying to pollute and desecrate, will be yours.
Christ was assassinated by the Imperialists and Zionists from Israel...for being a terrorist, as you say. The crown of thorns was put there in our name. That’s why we are defending it, in the name of the world’s poor.
Read the Bible again. How the Church of the Poor was founded, those poor we must fight for.
Enemies like you are barking. Beautiful; we are galloping.
I hope God is with me to write an essay this July 26. My mother left. But I want my father and his generation to see, before they leave, how proud and how committed I am with this blood and this heritage they wanted to give me and make me burst with passion for the world. I will not stop until Christ, Buddha, Mahoma are, once and for all, our prophets, and [let] charlatans [allow] beautiful Earth to continue revolving while the sun is alive.
I have five brothers imprisoned with life sentences. Terror and mediocrity decided that. It does not matter. I am with Lincoln, Whitman, and the beautiful Republic of the North which is bent on eliminating this struggle to see them free. The last drop of blood you call terrorist is at their service.
I am not doing enough. But Ill do it. I am in combat. I feel as a Princess of the Race.... Thanks for reminding me.
God is on our side. Who is against us?
Translated for CubaNews by Maria Montelibre
—CubaNews, April 9, 2005