A researcher in physics, educated in the German Democratic Republic, a member of the Cuban Communist Party, Celia Hart is the daughter of two historic figures of the Cuban Revolution: Armando Hart, former Minister of Education and Haydée Santamaria, leader of the July 26 Movement and later director of the Casa de las Americas (she killed herself in 1980). This slim but enthralling work brings together some of her speeches or interviews - some of which appeared in the newspaper “Rouge” - over the last four years.
A free and courageous spirit, CH discovered through reading Trotsky the explanation of the crisis and collapse of the so-called “socialist bloc”. It is thanks to him, the founder of the Left Opposition, she writes, that I have understood that social justice and individual freedom are not contradictory: we are not condemned to choose between the two.
The fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the USSR do not mean the end of socialism: socialist society, which can only exist on a planetary scale, belongs to the future, not the past. And if today Russia, in the hands of a capitalist/bureaucratic Mafia, has renounced its revolutionary past, the red flag with the hammer and sickle still flies on tomb of Lev Davidovitch, in Coyoacan. Ramon Mercader, the Stalinist killer - whose presence in Cuba in the 1960s remains a fact unbearable for her - was able to liquidate a man, but not his ideas: internationalism, permanent revolution.
These ideas have found their place in the history of Cuban communism: CH recalls that Julio Antonio Mella, the founder of the Cuban Communist Party in the 1920s - he was assassinated in Mexico in 1930 - was close to the Left Opposition. While Ernesto Che Guevara understood better than anybody the dynamic of permanent revolution of the Cuban process and the struggle in Latin America: “either a socialist revolution or a caricature of revolution”. If his interest in Trotsky only manifested itself in his latter years - we know that he brought with him to Bolivia The History of the Russian Revolution - Che found his way, through his own efforts, to some of the most important ideas of the founder of the Red Army. It was Che Guevara who made me a Trotskyist, she writes. If CH regrets the silence on Trotsky which reigns in Cuba, she nonetheless manifests her enthusiastic support for the Cuban Revolution, as well as the Bolivarian process unleashed by Chavez in Venezuela. There is no, and can be no, “socialism in once country” but we have, in the course of the 20th century, seen authentic socialist revolutions, of which the Cuban is one of the most striking.
She also sees the dangers which threaten its future: the interpenetration of the bureaucracy with the market can give birth to a bourgeoisie ready to restore capitalism. In this case, Cuba would experience the same destiny as the GDR. She thinks, however, that the Cuban revolution has the possibility of correcting its own errors, thanks to an internationalist perspective.
A charismatic personality, animated by an inexhaustible faith and energy, CH is convinced, as the title of her book puts it, that it is “never too late to love and revolt”. In this moving little book, which ends with a letter from prison from her mother, Haydée Santamaria, dated from 1953, she gives free course to her love for the revolution and her revolt against the injustices of capitalism and Stalinism.
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