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    Battle of Ideas, its current legacy

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    Batalla de Ideas, su legado actual

    This month we arrive at the 21st anniversary of the transcendental words pronounced by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz in the Open Forum on March 31, 2001, at the Eduardo Saborit Sports Circle, in the Havana municipality of Playa, in which the leader of the Revolution contributed fundamental concepts about what it considered to be the largest mass mobilization in the history of our country, which began with the demand for the return to the country of the child Elián González.

    The Battle of Ideas began on December 5, 1999, when Cuba denounced the rape suffered by Juan Miguel González, a humble Cuban father whose six-year-old son had been kidnapped to take him clandestinely to the United States in a boat that was shipwrecked and from which the child miraculously survived.

    When he was rescued on November 25, 1999, he was taken to Miami to the home of relatives who, in explicit agreement with the Cuban-American mafia, refused to hand him over to his father.

    It was a stage in which we were at the gates of a new century and Cuba, in the face of all the omens that predicted its defeat, was arriving at the first decade of successful resistance against the United States, after the disappearance of the socialist regimes of Europe. of the East and the dissolution of the USSR.

    The Cuban people became fully involved in the campaign for the return of the child Elián González, which would be the first episode of a much broader struggle that would be embodied in the Oath of Baraguá on February 19, 2000, read by Fidel Castro in the historic place where Lieutenant General Antonio Maceo rejected the Zanjón Pact.

    On that occasion, Fidel expressed: “What would the simple return of this child be worth if tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, any day of any week, any month or any year, another Elián, tens of Elianes, hundreds of Elianes, thousands of Elianes, Can they disappear into the turbulent waters, be transferred to the United States illegally, separated from one or both parents without their authorization or any possibility of legally recovering them?

    The Baraguá Oath outlined what would be the historical objectives of the people for the next generations: to fight against the manifestations of the Cuban Adjustment Laws, Helms-Burton, Torricelli, for the elimination of the blockade and the criminal economic war, against terrorist campaigns and for the return of the Guantánamo Naval Base.

    Fidel also expressed that “Our struggle will adopt a thousand different forms and styles. The masses will always be ready; the transmission of the message will be permanent, the forces and energies will continue to accumulate and be saved for each necessary or decisive minute”.

    After a hard battle, Elián González returned to the country hand in hand with his father through the José Martí International Airport on June 28, 2000, thanks to the united strength of his fellow citizens in their just claim and to the goodwill of sectors in the United States. USA that made it possible for justice to be imposed.

    In the historic Open Tribune of the Eduardo Saborit, on March 31, 2001, Fidel ratified the Oath of Baraguá, specified that there were tasks for many years and called for deepening the cultural and educational battle and its expressions in projects such as University for All, the Round Tables, the development of the Schools of Art Instructors, of libraries within the reach of each citizen and the use of audiovisual media.

    He related the heroic past of our people and on that occasion—close to the 40th anniversary of the imperialist defeat at Playa Girón, which would take place on April 19—he said that in the coming years “in the Battle of Ideas we dare to predict that the imperialists, only a gigantic Girón awaits them”.

    More than 20 years after those words, the nation faces a redoubled attack that, together with the traditional aggressive blockade policies and subversive actions of all kinds, the empire imposes with its strategies on the scene of culture, education, and cyberspace and on social networks on the Internet.

    In the face of such maneuvers, it is necessary not to forget and keep in mind the teachings of unity and integration of the revolutionary forces, of study, permanent preparation and fidelity to the principles of the Battle of Ideas, conceived and initiated by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro.