Jul 12, 2020.- There’s no one like him to know how to assimilate each gesture, each word, each embrace of this or that spirit as he passes through the territory, much less to stop caressing a child, admire a young person or shake the hand of the one who looks at him like that hero that he is, the same one who was sentenced to two life terms, plus 15 years, the same who confesses not having words to express his gratitude to those who followed him from a distance and to the Commander-in-Chief, when 19 years ago, in a crucial moment of the fight for the liberation of the Five, he said with the certainty of a prophet: They will return!
“The empire’s plan with me was that I was still sitting in a maximum security prison, but if I am here, I owe it to the efforts of many people who for so many years contributed to the campaign for our freedom, therefore I thank you, for your contribution to the cause of the Five ”. Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, the national vice-coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, presented himself in this visit a few days ago to the province.
What new tasks are CDRs currently facing?
The organization has already issued its bulletin No. 56 dedicated to the production of food in patios and family plots, because as you know, during the most critical years of the special period in Cuba progress was made in terms of agroecology and ecological practices, we were even recognized for international studies, but after that stage, that popular movement was somewhat lost and today, what it is about, is to recover it, multiply it and each contribute their bit.
We have visited places where until recently there were landfills and the neighbors have cleaned them and turned them into rows strewn with food. This is our role, given that the international economic situation has been complicated by the pandemic, and at the same time Cuba continues to suffer the effects of the US blockade.
They, who claim to be so humanitarian, do not make a parenthesis in our disagreement, nor in moments like this, so that Cuba can buy their food and medicine, on the contrary, not a day goes by that they don’t give another turn to the nut, because in essence they want to bend us, they want to kneel us down because of hunger, that is why we, the CDR MEMBERS, try to do things that can contribute to the country and one of them is food production.
How do CDRs fine tune their work in the midst of a post-COVID-19 recovery stage?
The damages of the pandemic are not only physical for those who have suffered it, they are also economic and particularly in the area of food. Our country is facing difficulties, including, since before the arrival of this disease, President Miguel Díaz- Canel Bermúdez who called for import substitution, because too many resources are imported, which we can often obtain internally.
After the appearance of COVID-19, we insisted on this all the more, because we need to increase production. It is not about competing with Agriculture that has its plans and we wish it many successes, but rather contributing from our neighborhoods. The potential is there and the first fruits of this movement are already seen. Any banana bunch that is obtained in the patio of a house is a product that does not have to be bought in the market and, therefore, it is there for the people who need it most.
We are a great human family, as our dear Commander Fidel used to say, and particularly a great Cuban family, so we must help each other and who better than us who are in the neighborhood to promote this type of activity.
The 60th anniversary of the creation of the CDR is approaching, how will this celebration take place?
We work to commemorate, in the most joyous way possible, the 60th Anniversary of the creation of the CDR. We still do not know the particularities, nor how the activities will be, because it depends on the evolution that the country has COVID-19, but I assure you that we are going to celebrate it as it deserves.
The CDRs have also been present in each of the trenches that have been opened to combat the pandemic and I think they have done so in the spirit of the celebration of that upcoming 60th anniversary. Let us remember that this is an organization founded by Fidel, one of his great dreams and in which he placed all his trust to materialize the fundamental task, which is, without a doubt, the defense of the Revolution.
Some say that this is an organization of old people, but I assure you that what has changed is the time, because far from going out of style, we are present. At these moments it is important to remember and be faithful to the legacy of our Commander and to the trust he placed in the CDR, since he was always very clear that they were a bulwark of the Revolution and will continue to be so.
How do you value the role of young people in the largest mass organization in the country?
Together with other members of the National Directorate of the CDRs, we have toured various provinces of the country and one of the things that strikes us most is the one related to young people and their presence in the organization, contrary to what many people think, we have a very large youth force.
In the 60th Anniversary detachments we meet young people who have been on the front line, in the fight against the pandemic, visiting the most needy people, in the healthcare centers, distributing products in quarantine areas; but, above all, demonstrating that they have many desires to do, to contribute and to demonstrate that there is a continuity in this organization.
But there are also the children, who are the relief of those young people and who already stand out in the neighborhoods, right now are the protagonists of the applause at nine o’clock at night, which the workers in the health sector and all rightly deserve. those who in one way or another help in these difficult times.
However, children are the ones who contribute the most to remembering that it is important to turn off an unnecessary light bulb at peak hours inside the home, something that seems insignificant, but if in each of the 138,000 CDRs that exist in the country a light goes out It would be the same amount that would stop working to contribute to energy savings.
Any message to the people of Sancti Spiritus?
First of all, thank you for the solidarity of this people with the struggle of the Five. I share a birthday with Sancti Spíritus and not a single year passed in which, being imprisoned, I stopped receiving the congratulations of this town, for which I am very grateful to him and I do so also on behalf of my colleagues and our relatives who several times they passed through here and they always received a lot of affection.
If we are in this province today, we owe it, among other things, to the solidarity of all the people, including that of the people of Espirituanos, therefore, our eternal gratitude, particularly to the cederistas, the federated and all those who make up the neighborhood organizations, we are all.
At times like this I ask you to move on, or are we going to surrender to the pressures of the empire? Of course not, we will continue fighting, saving and producing, complying with everything, because better times will come, although hard work is required for this.
Featured image: Vicente Brito / Escambray
Translated by Walter Lippmann