A year after the death of the historic leader of Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, and the Cuban people continue loyal to the ideas expressed in his concept of Revolution, announced on May 1, 2001 in Havana.
The many lessons of his legacy have proven vital at a time when the country is facing adverse weather events, undergoing necessary transformations, and working hard to build the kind of future to which we aspire.
From the most common to the most difficult situations, the twelve key points of Fidel’s Concept of Revolution continue to mark the country’s course as it looks to the future.
A SENSE OF THE HISTORIC MOMENT
This 2017 Cuba paid well-deserved tribute to a figure whose example has transcended the limits of time and space: the Argentine-Cuban guerilla Ernesto Guevara de la Serna.
Cuban schools, faithful to the Revolution and ideas of Fidel, are “changing everything that must be changed,” in order to improve. Photo: Jose M. Correa
At a time when right wing forces are reclaiming positions in regional governments, returning to the ideas and experiences left to us by Fidel helps us to understand the history Cuba shares with the people of the Americas and the threat imperialism poses to the region.
CHANGING EVERYTHING THAT MUST BE CHANGED
This principle is exemplified by improvements being made to the national education system (the third process of its kind to be undertaken in the country).
With well-defined objectives (raising the quality of the teaching process, putting a greater emphasis on the role of students in the learning process, and recognizing the figure of the teacher), Cuban schools are aiming to transform themselves into the most important educational centers in the community and continue to fulfill their responsibility of training the new generations.
FULL EQUALITY AND FREEDOM
These are rights that are being legitimized and defended in the country’s 2017-2018 general elections, a genuine expression of citizen participation. Cuba is one of just five countries worldwide where the minimum voting age is 16, while individuals are eligible to hold a position in Parliament once they reach 18 years of age.
However, the years of struggle that it has taken to reach these achievements for present and future generations have been far greater; and thus must be preserved and protected.
BEING TREATED AND TREATING OTHERS LIKE HUMAN BEINGS
This is a principle which has been present in the humanist character of Cuban medicine, the most obvious examples being the doctors and nurses, who since the earliest years of the Revolution, have offered their solidarity and assistance in the most difficult circumstance all over the world.
The internationalist work of Cuban doctors is one of the clearest examples of what Revolution means to the people of the island. Photo: Emmanuel Vigil Fonseca
On January 31, 2017, the World Health Organization awarded the Dr. Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health to Cuba’s Henry Reeve medical brigade - created by Fidel - in recognition of their work combating natural disasters and serious epidemics around the world.
EMANCIPATING OURSELVES ON OUR OWN AND THROUGH OUR OWN EFFORTS
For almost 60 years of Revolution, Cuba has invested a great amount in to training highly-qualified human resources, committed to the principles of socialism and the country’s development.
Meanwhile, the computerization of Cuban society, the policy for which was approved in this past February by the Council of Ministers, is one of the most important processes currently being carried out on the island and is among efforts undertaken by the country’s leadership to emancipate “ourselves on our own and through our own efforts,” by prioritizing Information and Communications Technologies as a strategic sector closely linked to the island’s economic growth and social development.
CHALLENGING POWERFUL DOMINANT FORCES IN AND BEYOND THE SOCIAL AND NATIONAL ARENA
For almost 60 years Cuba has resisted aggression by the United States, which has used a wide variety of methods in an effort to crush the spirit of the Cuban people and eliminate its principal leaders.
The continued application of the economic, commercial and financial blockade; attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the country; efforts to isolate Cuba politically within the international community; developing and implementing subversive programs; as well as the refusal to return territory illegally occupied by the Naval Base in Guantánamo, are only a few examples of the struggles Cuba faces, which have been, and will continue to be, difficult.
DEFENDING THE VALUES IN WHICH WE BELIEVE AT THE PRICE OF ANY SACRIFICE
The U.S. should not expect Cuba to "make concessions inherent to its independence, or accept preconditions of any sort;” according to a Statement by the Revolutionary Government issued in June this year, following the announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump of the elimination of individual people-to-people travel, the prohibition of economic, commercial and financial transactions between U.S. companies and Cuban entities affiliated with the Revolutionary Armed Forces or intelligence and security services.
MODESTY, SELFLESSNESS, ALTRUISM, SOLIDARITY, AND HEROISM
A prime example of such principles are the tireless efforts of Cuban doctors and teachers, who even under difficult conditions, ensure that the people enjoy their rights to health and education.
The 2017-2018 general elections are a genuine expression of the principles of full equality and freedom expressed in Fidel’s concept of Revolution.
So too is the resolve with which Cubans face daily challenges caused by the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States, the way in which we share what we have and not what’s left over; our composure as we prepare to face the future with the banner of socialism held high.
FIGHTING WITH COURAGE, INTELLIGENCE, AND REALISM
The fact that Cuba is an island is an irrefutable reality which makes the nation more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Last May, the Council of Ministers, approved the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment’s Tarea Vida (Life Task) project which – as part of the government’s strategy to combat climate change - features measures to preserve the life of people in vulnerable areas, food security, and the development of tourism.
Not only are human, material, and natural resources important to the country’s development, but so too is knowing how to use them wisely.
NEVER LYING OR VIOLATING ETHICAL PRINCIPLES
The well-founded response by Cuban authorities to allegations of “sonic attacks” against diplomats from the United States Embassy on the island, not only confirms the seriousness with which Cuba complies with international agreements on the safety and integrity of diplomatic personnel, but also features scientific arguments proving the existence of a campaign aimed at reversing advances made in the normalization of relations between the northern country and Cuba.
A PROFOUND CONVICTION THAT THERE IS NO POWER IN THE WORLD THAT CAN CRUCH THE POWER OF TRUTH AND IDEAS
The mass marches held across towns and cities nationwide as part of May Day celebrations, demonstrate how important defending the truth and our ideas are to the Cuban people.
On the principle that “Cuba will not renounce its ideas of independence and social justice,” hundreds of thousands of workers, with their families and friends from all over the globe, came together at the place where Fidel announced his concept of Revolution 16 years before.
UNITY; IT IS INDEPENDENCE, IT IS STRUGGLING FOR OUR DREAMS OF JUSTICE FOR CUBA AND FOR THE WORLD, WHICH IS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR PATRIOTISM, OUR SOCIALISM, AND OUR INTERNATIONALISM
This premise alone encapsulates the unconditional support shown by Cuba in international forums for the most noble causes, including the struggle against illiteracy; training foreign students on the island; its opposition to all the forms of colonialism which still exist in the world today: and its solidarity with progressive and legitimately elected governments, and the oppressed classes. It is the humanist essence that has characterized this almost 60 year process, which would not have been possible without Fidel.