Today, a two-part special: An interview with Fidel earlier this month by the Argentine sociologist Atilio Boron, which appeared on Boron’s blog and was also published at Pagina 12.
Fidel and Boron discussed the G-20 meeting, and the motives for inviting Argentina, Brazil and Mexico to dine with the adults. And Fidel talked about the recent cabinet changes: “If I expressed an opinion about the change in the cabinet,” he said, “it was due to the necessity to cut off at the root the talk about a conflict between Fidel’s men and those of Raúl. I couldn’t endorse this stupidity by my silence…Raúl is the one who is governing. In Cuba, many people paid with their lives for the victory and consolidation of the Revolution, not just in the Sierra Maestra and in the struggle against Batista. Afterwards, they also killed our literacy teachers in Cuba, and they are still doing it outside of Cuba. The same thing goes on with our doctors, who risk their lives to make socialist internationalism a reality.”
Finally, they discuss the ominous possibility of a rightward political swing in Latin America as a consequence of the economic crisis.
Fidel and the Battle of Ideas
Following his meeting with the Cuban leader, the Argentine sociologist, Atilio Boron, talks about how “Fidel lives surrounded by books and papers. Daily press summaries keep him informed about what’s happening in the world, and in his ever-present notebooks, he jots comments, ideas or questions which go on to make up his Reflections,” he says.
By Atilio A. Boron – Pagina/12
English Translation: Machetera
Fidel doesn’t rest. He remains steadfast in the gap. He hasn’t abandoned, nor will he abandon the struggle. Warrior of so many battles, he continues his relentless hounding of imperialism. His will is indomitable, and as with the best steel, the passage of time, far from nicking it, has only made it harder. He knows that to build a better world, a decisive battle must be won: the battle of ideas. As the faithful heir of Martí, of whom he has not coincidentally spoken as the intellectual author of the attack on the Moncada, he knows as well that one must be cultured to be free. But this culture which leads to liberty should be nourished in the best traditions of critical and emancipatory thought, of which socialism is an indispensable and irreplaceable component.
His prolonged convalescence, which has allowed him to regain his health in a dramatic way, and his distancing from government functions has made it possible for him to cultivate his insatiable intellectual curiosity. But his is not a solipsistic attitude, as it is always guided by the necessity to change the world, not just contemplate it. Few such as he are as aware of the catastrophic outcome that capitalism is pushing upon us, converting the human race and nature into simple commodities to be traded in the marketplace, with the exclusive purpose of making a profit. An intellectual curiosity, we’d say, in which his solid humanistic formation has been enriched by an exceptional political experience, all of which is then socialized in the periodical articles in which he analyzes the most pressing issues of the contemporary scene. Continue reading