SANTIAGO DE CUBA.— The historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, shared a telephone conversation with young members of the 70th Anniversary Contingent, which is commemorating Fidel’s arrival to the University of Havana in 1945 with a journey across the country, to visit a number of historic sites and climb the island’s highest peak.
Fidel encouraged young members of the 70th Anniversary Contingent to extract from Cuba’s glorious past the lessons which will allow them to grow, as the group visits the very sites where the country’s history unfolded. The Contingent is commemorating the 70th anniversary of Fidel’s arrival to the University of Havana with a ‘Conquering history’ tour which began April 11.
During the telephone conversation with Randy Perdomo, president of Cuba’s Federation of University Students (FEU), Fidel emphasized the importance of the journey, saying it wasn’t a matter of simply satisfying curiosity, but rather of acquiring useful knowledge.
The conversation was amplified for the benefit of all Contingent members who were participating in a forum with local Party and government leaders.
Displaying the concern of a father, Fidel asked about the sites visited by the group, which since leaving Havana has stopped in Santa Clara; enjoyed a baseball championship game in Ciego de Ávila; toured La Demajagua and other historic sites in Granma province; and scaled the country’s highest mountain, Pico Turquino.
After inquiring about a variety of details, including logistics, Fidel suggested that the university students follow the trail of the mambises in Camagüey, to learn more about Cuba’s first independence struggle.
Referring to his birthplace in Birán, which the students visited April 16, Fidel encouraged the contingent to visit the lands occupied by the United Fruit Company, which held a 140,000 hectare sugar cane plantation, which provided work just three months a year.
He commented that they would find the house pretty, which it is now, but that in his time, there was nothing there, only an old field telephone with a line to the sugar mill. Fidel told the young people they should be happy to have been born during this era, although it is more dangerous than any other period, since things were much worse in Cuba during earlier times.
FEU President Randy Perdomo said that the week spent following the footsteps of the country’s heroes had been one of “great learning.”