SANTIAGO DE CUBA.—An honorary doctorate from the University of Oriente has been conferred on Antonio Guerrero, the anti-terrorist fighter and hero of the Republic of Cuba incarcerated in the United States, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the institution’s founding.
Described by Rector Martha del Carmen Mesa Valenciano as an immense honor for the university, Antonio’s award was proposed by professors and students in recognition of his qualities as an educator and for his revolutionary steadfastness.
After graduating in 1983 from the Kiev Civil Aviation Engineering Institute in construction engineering, Tony immediately began working in the aerodrome and investment center at Santiago de Cuba’s Antonio Maceo International Airport.
Professor Tamara Wantong of the Civil Construction Faculty attached to University of Oriente, stated, "While I was working in this department, which I headed for some while, educational visits by fifth year transport engineering students to the airport facilities were authorized.
"Tony was so well informed on the subjects in which he specialized and made such an excellent contribution to students’ increased knowledge that he was immediately offered a contract to lecture in the faculty on airport design and construction."
As an assistant instructor at the Julio Antonio Mella Advanced Institute Construction Faculty, part of the University of Oriente, Antonio Guerrero taught three subjects during the 1988-9 and 1989-90 year courses.
His file in the University of Oriente Human Resources Department states, "He is well regarded by students, given the up to date technical level of his classes, his personal presence and his requirements of them."
Tony himself explained his feelings about this experience in a letter sent from prison to those students. "I remember that when I assumed the commitment, more than an additional load on top of my work at the airport, I felt that I was doing something that I have always enjoyed: teaching."
During his prolonged and harsh imprisonment, it is known that, faithful to this vocation, Tony has established excellent relations with other inmates and, after completing prison duties, replying to his extensive correspondence, writing his poems or drawing, has found the time to improvise Spanish language and general culture classes with them.