Conversation with the communist: Gerardo Hernández

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: Were you at the Party’s convention?

Gerardo: Yes.

Correspondent: Please, tell us, how do you view the convention’s results and what effect in your opinion will they have on life in Cuba?

Gerardo: It was a very important convention. Especially it was important for the Five. Because it was the first convention in our time out of prisons. Moreover, out presence was not just as honorable guests but it was participation of delegates in discussion and decision making of the convention.

The Five have participated in the discussion on the documents prior to the convention’s beginning. Some edits were made, something was changed and the projects, that were than presented at the conventions, were worked out. Five heroes had the same opportunity as other public Cuban organizations (student, union etc.) to get to know original projects of documents, make their own suggestions, express ideas and participate in this work prior to the convention itself.  Than they participated also in plenary meetings of the convention, where it was possible as you know to hear the speech of commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro.

This convention is very important because it took place at an extraordinary moment in Cuba’s history.  It is the moment, when the so called generational change is happening in the leadership, with the leaders of Cuba. Comrade Raul’s speech and comrade Fidel’s speech were both very clear and precise on this point.  Comrades at the Central Committee and the Political Bureau are relatively young and have a considerable amount of experience in the same time.

The result of the convention are the documents, which outline the main directions of what the Cuban people want to achieve. It describes the type of society that we want to reach. And this is a very important guidance for future work. I can say that the plenary meetings of the congress are over, but the convention itself broadly speaking is being continued. Because the decisions of the convention will be discussed by our population. In educational institutes, at workplaces and of course, in places where people live. And all Cubans will have an opportunity to contribute to the enrichment of these documents, before they become complete. That’s why I think this is a very important event.

Correspondent: You have suffered for Cuba so much, what is you view on it, considering the convention’s decisions. What must be Cuba like in future in your opinion?

Gerardo: I don’t have an idealistic or an ear candy like view on Cuba. No idealistical view on Cuba.We still have a lot of problems that we need to work on. There is a lot of work to be done. That’s what a revolutionary’s life is about: to work, to solve problems. If there were too few of them - it would be boring to live. In general, Cubans understand how many problems we have. We understand and we know that it isn’t easy to reach out goals in the world that we live in. This world is very far from what we imagined as an ideal world, the one we would like to live in. And that’s why it will take a lot of work to build the society we dream of.

Correspondent: I don’t like when an answer is pushed and yet I want it to sound in the interview. Do you view the future of Cuba as socialist?

Gerardo: This was said by Fidel straight forward and clear - the future of Cuba is inseparable from socialism and this is inevitable. To separate it from socialism would mean to deny its history. It would be a return to the past. I don’t have a magic crystal to foresee the future of Cuba in detail. But I think that now there are many Cubans including myself and my four brothers who are ready to do everything for Cuba to remain socialist forever.

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