MÓNICA BARÓ SÁNCHEZ AND DALIA GONZÁLEZ DELGADO
THE finest gift that the Cuban Revolution has given to youth is a tree which is now beginning to produce its own fruits, stated Minister Farrakhan, leader of the U.S. Nation of Islam, in an encounter with students, professors and political leaders in the University of Havana’s 250th Anniversary Hall.
Farrakhan gave a master lecture titled "The importance of education for the new generations as a means of guaranteeing the continuity of the Cuban Revolution," in which he defended the idea of education oriented toward serving humanity and society, not for individual enrichment.
Present at the conference were José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera, head of the Central Committee of the Communist Party’s International Relations Department; Caridad Diego Bello, head of the Religious Affairs Office; as well as students, professors, researchers, journalists and leaders of political and mass organizations.
In his lecture, Farrakhan identified two kinds of poison which are lacerating education in the West. One is the idea of racial and cultural superiority in relation to other civilizations, which ignores the achievements and knowledge of the rest of the world. The other is what he called "education for money."
He noted that if students attend university solely to obtain a degree and without discovering the objective of the education they are receiving, this education is only vanity.
He commented that youth are the principal objective of imperialism, as the West is always seeking students with a banal mentality, who just want the asset of education for themselves and not for the totality of society.
The Muslim representative acknowledged the difficulties, pain and sacrifice which members of the new generation have to confront due to the U.S. blockade which is strangling the Cuban economy, but affirmed that every revolution is built with sacrifice and effort.
He went on to explain that the historic hatred of the oppressors, directed at the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz and many other revolutionary fighters in the world is completely comprehensible. "There is no revolutionary who has been armed by the powerful," he noted, given that it is not in the interest of the powerful that there should be defenders of the weak and the poor.
During the subsequent press conference, Farrakhan spoke of the importance of his encounter with Cuban youth. "Very soon, the future of the Revolution will be in the hands of young people," he observed.
Referring to the recent wave of violence in the Islamic world provoked by the film denigrating the Prophet Muhammad, he said that although it cannot be affirmed that the United States is responsible for the film, it is a fact that intolerance toward Islam does exist in the country, particularly after the terrorism attacks of September 11, 2001.
He regretted the incidents against embassies which led to the death of four Americans, including an ambassador. "I hope that the storm will calm and reason will prevail, he stated.
He added that the Nation of Islam would never react in this manner, given that "we love our prophet and for that reason would never dishonor him."
"Justice rests upon truth and injustice will be eliminated from our planet," he noted, also confirming that his prayers will be for the Five, so that they return to their families and their people.