Cuba’s history is rich with stories of revolutionaries. Sitting atop a hill, is Havana’s most famous university, La Universidad de Habana, which has been the stomping ground of come of Cuba’s most legendary revolutionaries. Two of those revolutionaries are Julio Antonio Mella and Fidel Castro.
Since we all pretty much know Fidel, I figure this is a great time to introduce a new person. In 1925, Mella was expelled from the University after he and fellow students forcibly took over the university and made demands including modernizing text books and free education for all. After being accused of a bomb plot, Mella was expelled from the University for this “radical”, political involvement. Once freed from jail, Mella fled to Mexico, where he was assassinated under suspicious circumstances just a few years later, in 1929, at just 26 years old.
Julio Antonio Mella was one of the founder’s of Cuba’s 1925 Communist Party, originally established in opposition to the dictator, Gerardo Machado, the party sought to free Cubans of the dictators rule, although the party then turned to support him and other dictators to follow under the “socialist” title. Originally, the party was also against Fidel Castro — and Castro is another former student of La Universidad de Habana.
Not far from the university, there is a monument that displays the following quote from Mella:
Luchar por la revolucion en la America, no es un utopia de locos o fanaticos. Es luchar por el proximo paso de avance en la historia.
Translated, this reads, “Fighting for revolution in the Americas is not to fight for a Utopia of crazies or fanatics. It is to fight for the next step in the advancement of history.” To me, this means that revolutions are a constant reality in humanity. As we fight for progress, we cannot assume perfection is even possible. Sometimes, we are simply fighting so that the next generation can join in the fight when they are ready.
It was almost impossible for me to leave Cuba without being inspired as a human being in the fight for humanity. Visiting this site with my mother made me ever so grateful for all the hard work and sacrifices she endured to I thought it was important to share this message because I doubt it will ever “get old”. We/people will always have something to fight for or against. We are such complex human being and it might take us longer than we like for the world we imagine to become reality — if we ever even see that for ourselves. I applaud all those combating daily evils and encourage you to keep up the fight until the day the baton needs to be handed off.
Viva la revolucion.