Cuba: Homeland, from the Steps of the University

By Laura V. Mor on March 18, 2023

The Alma Mater was illuminated welcoming a night that far exceeded expectations. photo: Alejandro Azcuy

The Staircase of the University of Havana was the scene of an event that brought together thousands of young Cubans on Friday night in a display of pride and enthusiasm for their country that exceeded expectations.

The occasion was for the closing of the Second International Colloquium Patria, which had brought together more than 50 foreign guests from 14 countries and Cuban specialists who debated on media and counter-hegemonic ways of communicating, in the face of disinformation, hate campaigns and the U.S. blockade of Cuba that directly affects the development of the country by imposing the digital blockade.

“Not only were we summoned to reflect on what is happening today in the world with social networks, hate speeches, with fake news; but above all they are summoning us to organize ourselves, to articulate ourselves, to act jointly in this new scenario”, explained the Mexican Daniel Tovar, militant of the National Regeneration Movement – MORENA and one of the participants of the Colloquium Patria that for two days reflected on the current journalism immersed in the midst of the scenario of digital confrontation.

Tovar stressed the importance of acting in an articulated manner to counteract hegemonic media campaigns and manipulation against our countries and governments in Latin America.

“One of the terrains in dispute against our peoples is the digital terrain” he affirmed making a call to collective struggle: “we have to take each one in our hands as our own, accompanying our governments and leaders as part of the popular militancy that must be fought in the digital terrain”.

“We come to pronounce ourselves in support of honest and vital communication, and for this the Cuban youth are essential, because they are a beacon of militant youth around the world,” said the Argentine María Fernanda Ruiz; making clear reference to the blockade -also digital- suffered by Cubans imposed on themby the United States.

“Long live the people who have never been brought to their knees”, exclaimed Gabriela Rivadeneira, the most voted Assemblywoman in the history of Ecuador, former president of the National Assembly during the Citizen Revolution and current Executive Director of the Institute for Democracy “Eloy Alfaro” (IDEAL), before an applauding crowd.

Rivadeneira denounced once again “an illegal, immoral and irrational blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba six decades ago, which has not only caused the rejection of hundreds of countries around the world, but has made visible what a blockade can do against a country and against other countries that dare to support a country with a blockade”, referring to the political persecution against Latin American leaders.

“We are in front of the most dignified People, of the greatest resistance, and that resistance turned into organization and that organization into Revolution” she expressed before the young Cubans who, over flowed the steps, as they listened to her attentively; those “voices of young men and women who will never allow Fidel’s voice to be extinguished, or Fidel’s action to be extinguished, or Fidel’s thought to be extinguished”, she shouted with the emotion of those who live and defend what they believe in.

“We will always remember it as Fidel’s University” said Yuri Valdés Balbín, Deputy Director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute, and one of the scientists responsible for Cuba having achieved the first vaccine against Covid-19 in Latin America, marking with it a milestone in national sovereignty.

“Cuban vaccines were made to be effective and today they are alive,” he said while recalling that Cuba was the country in the world that managed to vaccinate the entire pediatric population over two years of age before reopening schools.

Cuba currently has one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 per capita, Yuri stressed “for 9 months now there have been no deaths” due to the disease, thanks to that “strength of a country” of which Buena Fé speaks that “is what has kept us alive and united” despite the vicissitudes and systematic attempts to destroy from the outside enormous achievements such as this one.

“It is a joy and an immense honor to share this space with you, which is a space of all of us,” expressed Bruno Lonatti, a law student and militant of the Communist Youth Federation of Argentina.

“You are an example, an inspiration for all of us who from all latitudes who want to fight, organize and dream of a different world”, he affirmed in front of those who today continue to be that beacon of resistance for the Latin American peoples, who, as the young man from Córdoba emphasized, “taught us that in the face of difficulties the word defeat does not exist in our vocabulary”.

The example of which the young Argentinean Bruno spoke with emotion was followed by Cuban musician Nelson Valdés who introduced Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, accompanied by a standing ovation.

The Cuban Head of State thanked the participants of the Second International Colloquium “Homeland”, who came to Havana from different latitudes to discuss and propose strategies for joint struggle against the disinformation imposed by the big media monopolies on the peoples of Latin America and the world, demonstrating that Cuba is not alone.

“Cuba will always be a beacon of freedom and social justice for the world.”

“Cuban youth will never give up because on a daily basis they face the shortcomings of the blockade imposed by the United States.”

“Our young people do not lose hope or the desire to dream, they are an example of the present and the future of what we want to build.”

He thanked the national team -popularly known as Team Asere- which these days is participating in the V World Baseball Classic.

“They have already won because they entered the hearts of the people, that is why we will support them in their struggle for the victory they will seek in the next game.”

The president finished his talk saying, “I call on all Cubans to participate in the National Elections on March 26 with their vote for the Homeland, the Revolution and socialism.”

The political-cultural event had a staging with renewed and modern aesthetic codes, in which as a novelty there was a video mapping on the building of the high house of studies and micro-visuals were projected, where young Cubans also explained the daily ways in which the digital blockade affects them.

The show featured performances by Cienfuegos troubadour Nelson Valdés, the duo Iris, Teresa Yanet, DJ Reitt and Shanara, the Lucecita Choir, the Argentinean quenista Rodrigo Sosa and the Revolution dance company.

The evening ended with a concert by the popular Cuban duo Buena Fe, who performed songs from their most recent album “Morada”, among others that were loudly chanted by Cubans in a night that will remain engraved in our memories.

Source: Cuba en Resumen