Havana, August 22, 2016
“Year 58 of the Revolution”
Dear compañeros of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba:
Please accept my congratulations on this 55th anniversary of UNEAC, which arose during a decisive stage of the Cuban Revolution and has been at the service of culture for more than five decades, considered by Fidel the “shield and sword of the nation.”
Amid the attention and resources that defending our country required at the time, we did not neglect the strategic tasks of education and culture. Indeed, in 1961 we carried out the Literacy Campaign, the most significant cultural event in our history. This was also the year when, shortly after the victory of Playa Girón, Fidel met with writers and artists and delivered that speech of such relevance known as “Words to Intellectuals.”
UNEAC then emerged, headed by the great poet Nicolás Guillén, which, in a unitary spirit, convened the artistic vanguard which joined in the building of Martí’s “trenches of ideas.”
Today we are threatened in the field of culture on two fronts: by subversive projects that aim to divide us and by the global wave of colonization. The UNEAC of today will continue to confront with courage, revolutionary commitment and intelligence, these complex challenges.
My congratulations extend on this date to the founders and to the various generations that have provided continuity to the work begun in August 1961.
A strong embrace,
Raúl Castro Ruz