“AS the Marxist I am, I accept the historical fact that I will not see what I want to see. I think it’s only natural that a revolutionary never sees all that he desires, because if he did, at some point he would cease to be a revolutionary.”
Thus began decorated Hero of the Republic René González’ comments to delegates attending the 8th Congress of Cuba’s Federation of University Students (FEU).
“You will see some of the things I would like to see, but you must construct them,” he continued, “Although you honor me with your applause and appreciation, the honor is mine. In any case, the admiration, the respect, the affection are mutual.”
The anti-terrorist fighter answered questions posed by students and insisted on the need to study history profoundly, to be able to confront the current, complex world situation.
“Isolating ourselves from the world is not how we are going to do it. With current technologies, it is impossible to isolate oneself,” he said, “We know what happened in the socialist camp. To consolidate our victory, to make it sure, we must go deeper, seek the truth, the errors, look history in the face, because the construction of socialism is the work of imperfect people, the result of many disagreements amongst ourselves, of struggles between points of view, in a context in which capital holds sway.”
“We must understand why it is necessary that capitalism disappear as a system,” he added, “When you see abundance in a country, you need to understand where it comes from and why we are resisting.”
René called on the young people in attendance to read Karl Marx and Martí, who he described as, “Thinkers who profoundly understood the essence of these phenomena.”
He emphasized the importance of listening to all youth, without exception, saying, “You are the vanguard of youth, but there are many who must be approached. Go beyond the classroom and walk along G Street.”
“Some will never reach the university, but they are part of society. We cannot forget that many young people are not in school, but they produce wealth with their hands.”
“If you rise to the occasion and meet the challenges of the times in which you live, you will be doing the best you can for my imprisoned compañeros,” he concluded.
The gathering, which relatives of the Five also attended, additionally featured a tribute to Dr. Armando Hart Dávalos, director of the Martí Program Office and president of the José Martí Cultural Society, on the occasion of his birthday.