Conversation with the communist: Antonio Guerrero

In May of 2016 six Cuban heroes came to Moscow for the first time. Five of them are known to the whole world as the Cuban Five. This interview, that Ramon Labanino, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez gave to the representatives of the Russian Free the Cuban 5 Committee – the Red TV and the Workers University, we named “A talk with a communist”. In the course of the discussion the heroes not only answered various questions about their life in Cuba after being released from jail, but also questions that are important for all of the Russian communist movement: on the development of Cuban revolution, reforms, normalization of Cuba-U.S. relations, on the revolutionary movement in the world and resistance to the imperialist reaction. Questions, which they answered as representatives of their country. As communists.

[Ramon Labanino], [Gerardo Hernandez], [Antonio Guerrero], [Rene Gonzalez], [Fernando Gonzalez]

Correspondent: Do you work in media?

Antonio: No. We haven’t told anyone yet where we will work. I answered one question asked by the journalist of  Russia Today . He said that it seemed that we were political agents, political representatives. And I said: “Yes, we have visited many places, expressed our ideas but soon each of us will have his own work”. She wanted to know what work but we didn’t tell her this.

Correspondent: It as already become your habit – not to tell anything to anyone.

Antonio: Yes, she said the same. But I can tell you.

Correspondent: Tell me .

Antonio: I will work in construction. In the Ministry of Construction .

Correspondent: Construction of airports? So, this is your profession.

Antonio: More ambitious. The ministry of construction in Cuba includes many different organizations. A part of them is in charge of construction, the second is in charge of construction materials, and the third one is in charge of designing. I will work as a deputy director for designing. But I don’t know what to do exactly. I am speaking sincerely as it is not a secret. It will be my work. I will not work on the radio and in the media.

Correspondent: It’s a pity. I would like to talk to you about the media, to be more exact, about the role of media in the modern world. Frankly speaking, I think that Cuba is the only country which has worked out certain immunity to the media, to the means of pressure by media. And I would like to know how.

Antonio: There is no a single person who has such immunity. Not a single country. The owners of the largest media serve the interests of enormous monopolies. They have much money. They have all the resources to work, to influence peoples ideology. So, no one has such immunity. But now we, the people of Cuba have high level of education. We have history, we have clarity and everyone understands the level of threat. The threat of what will be if we lose education and preparation of the new generations. If a person thinks more about himself he will be far from our ideas. If he doesn’t think about work but where to live better. You know, the Americans say that we have no freedom for self-expression.

Correspondent: They say a lot .

Antonio: In Cuba the people feel free to express their ideas. The person creates his ideas, his thoughts on the basis of his education. TV, media, Internet, magazines influence a person directly. The capitalists want the people to forget their history. They don’t want the people to read more books, for example, about the Great Patriotic War. They want the people to read novels, to watch the movies about imaginary heroes they create. And they do everything for people to forget their history. In these conditions it is dramatically necessary to do such work to resist the influence of these media. Of course, it is difficult. They are the owners of all communications. They have the possibility to print high-quality papers with good photos. For example, we publish the newspaper  Granma in black and white. But we must try so that people wished to read, to find what really interests them in the newspaper. To understand that the current time is very difficult. This is one of the most important questions the revolutionaries put before themselves. We must work on the creation of the new generation.

Correspondent: Formation of a new man?

Antonio: Yes.

Correspondent: Antonio, the process of normalizing the relationship with the USA is right and necessary, but in case of their further development the flow of their culture will inevitably rush to Cuba. For example, have you discussed anything that Cuba could oppose strange and massive information pressure?

Antonio: Every revolutionary process has the challenge at each stage. Now we have a challenge in another sense. For example, the  Rolling Stones came to us, and the young people could relax. Well, The , Rolling Stones is a group that belongs to our Northern neighbor that thinks it is the best in the world. But we must protect our culture not in an artificially closed condition. It must be open. These are my principles. Always bear in mind that the Cubans are not so stupid

Correspondent: We don’t think so!

Antonio: I know. We are not stupid. I know that’s a challenge. But it’s just. We must be able to protect our revolution in these modern conditions and clearly realize waking up every day that capitalism in Cuba can destroy everything we built with such big efforts. But we want the most worthy future for our people. The one that is more just for our people, and we will protect all this. This is the challenge for us.

Don’t think that people in Cuba haven’t heard the Rollin Stones before. This is they (the USA – editor) didn’t want The  Rolling Stones  to perform in Cuba .

The USA thought they could destroy the revolution putting bombs in hotels. They thought that they could destroy the revolution capturing Playa Jiron in 1961. And after the end of the Soviet Union they thought that Cuba wouldn’t have any more resources and in would destroy itself.

Correspondent: Many thought so .

Antonio: We started developing tourism. And they started putting bombs in the hotels. They blocked us but didn’t become happier. Now they understand that such policy is inefficient. Now they have changed their policy but the approaches remained the same. We know it. We ourselves let them come and see with their own eyes what we have. And we must know what we possess. And we always tell our friends that they shouldn’t doubt that we know ourselves, we know well what we want.

Translated by: [E.I], Natalija Sulejmanova, Andrej Borisov