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.
Correspondent: You have been free for two years; you are in your beloved Cuba, among your closest people and compatriots, who adore you. What do you do now?
Fernando: I work at the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the People (ICAP)
Correspondent: There is no such structure as ICAP in our country. I think, the vice president of the ICAP would be the best person to tell about ICAP and the role ICAP plays for him.
Fernando: There are some structures at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that do similar work. We met with the representatives of these units during our visit in November of 2014. But still, these are units of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is different from Cuba, where ICAP is an independent and also a public organization. I work as one of the vice presidents of the ICAP. I am responsible for work with the Western hemisphere.
Correspondent: We met with Kenia Serrano, we participated together with Tanya Danilova in the work of colloquiums in Holguin and Guantanamo, we have endless respect for ICAP, write a lot about it. Now, here is a very important question to you as a ICAP’s vice president. What is your perception of the extremely difficult situation in Latin America? Which ways of repelling the counterrevolutionary attacks do you see and what is your view on the near future of Latin America?
Fernando: Of course, I agree that the situation in some Latin American countries is very complicated. A counterattack of imperialism united with local oligarchy is taking place. It is an attempt to reverse revolutionary or progressive processes in a number of Latin American countries. We see this in elections in Argentina, where the rightists have won. We see this in Venezuela, where the progressive forces have lost in parliamentary elections. We see bullying of Dilma Rouseff. We see this in Ecuador, where things are getting more complicated with the upcoming elections. We see this in Bolivia, where the president Evo Morales didn’t win the referendum. We think that these are components of a general counterattack, which have its roots not in local oligarchy, but are coordinated by the empire (USA).
And all of this in my personal opinion is defined not only by the urge to get access to the natural resources of Latin America. Which is very important, of course. However, it also has to do with the integrative processes in Latin America and geopolitical processes in the world. Since with the weakening of Brazil, BRIC is also weakened, this also an attack on Russia.
The world lately acquired the traces of multi polarity, and the empire, which aims to reestablish its dominant role, doesn’t like it.
BRIC is a very important development, considering its weight in economy and politics in the member countries. And if we look closely at what is happening in Brazil - this is not only an attack on Dilma, this is an attempt to get Brazil’s Workers Party out of the future elections competition. Without doubt, the control over the natural resources of Brazil is very important, but it is no less important which role it plays in the Latin American integration in the system of BRIC.
The same is with Venezuela. It does not only have to do with its oil resources. But also it has to do with the role that it plays in Latin American integration. I think that we – Latin American people must learn lessons from the experience, that these events give us. Governments, that were behind progressive processes, which existed up to this point in Latin America, must make some conclusions. I mean that these processes must be radicalized. I don’t think of myself as a theoretician, who is able to give advice or directions. But every time something like this happens in Latin America, I remember a book by Lenin, which in my opinion is a master piece – “State and Revolution”. I think it is very important for the people of Latin American people to continue the fight even in case of defeat. As a representative of ICAP I will say that we, Cubans, remain in solidarity with all nations of Latin America.
Correspondent: How do you view possibilities of Russia’s participation in normalization processes and is there a possibility for public organizations to influence and improve the situation?
Fernando: It is difficult for me, having come to Russia, to express my opinion on Russia’s politics.
Correspondent: Than can you say, what do you expect from Russia’s politics?
Fernando: I think that Russia without doubt plays a stabilizing role in the world. I will say once again that the world is moving towards some kind of multipolarity and this is a positive thing. And Russia plays an important role in this multipolarity. During the years of out imprisonment, Russia has become significantly stronger. I think that today Russia plays a much more dynamic role in world politics and is a lot more present there than twenty years ago. And plays a very positive role.
Russia has a made a contribution to the fact that there are new centers in the world now and previously dominant position of the empire is being challenged. That the USA have entered the path of normalizing relations with Cuba is not only the result of a different situation in Latin America, but also the result of the fact that the world has become different. And a very important part of that are the politics of Russia. Many factors influences the government of the USA to free the Cuban Five and to begin to normalize the relationship with Cuba. Including the wide social movement. Of course, the resistance of Cuban people played the decisive role. But this would not be possible without many factors. I view the role that Russia plays in the world as a very positive.
Translated by: [E.I], Natalija Sulejmanova, Andrej Borisov