Fidel,- At 19 years of age, with his diploma in hand, Fidel appears in the Colegio de Belen yearbook, with a singular comment, one could say a premonition: «He has managed to win the admiration and affection of all. He will study law and we have no doubt that he will fill the book of his life with brilliant pages. Fidel has what it takes and he will be an artist.»
The artist was there and, within a few years, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz became Fidel the revolutionary, the politician, the fighter, the intellectual, the heir of Martí, the Communist militant, the internationalist, the defender of every just cause, the most extraordinary human being born in Cuba in the 20th century.
Fidel is and remains present. Millions of compatriots and peoples throughout the world knew this and know it, and even the enemy is obliged to recognize this reality. «We can be sure of one fact: Fidel Castro possesses those indefinable qualities that allow him to be a leader of men. Whatever we may think of him, he will be a great factor in Cuba’s development… He has the power of leadership.”
This was written by U.S. politician Richard Nixon, then Vice President, in a report sent to President Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, while they were hatching the most perfidious plans for aggression and the longest blockade known to modern history.
Each of his contemporaries had their own Fidel: the Comandante, the One, the Chief, the Giant, the Enlightened One, epithets lavished over time.
With poetic foresight, Che Guevara called him «prophet of the dawn,» as they departed Mexico aboard the Granma.
In the verses of Argentine Juan Gelman: «They will correctly call Fidel / the great driver who set history on fire, etcetera / but the people call him the Horse and this are right / Fidel mounted Fidel one day / he threw himself headlong against pain, against death.»
In the epic substance of Chilean Pablo Neruda: «Fidel, Fidel, the peoples thank you / words in action and deeds that sing…»
In the intrepid composition of Nicolás Guillén: «The people sing, they sang / the people are singing like this / Fidel came and fulfilled / what Martí promised.»
Young people who did not know him directly then approached him with a new phrase: I am Fidel. This is not a chant that serves as a circumstantial pleasantry, but the necessary projection of a driving force and fertilization.
«Fidel is Fidel,» Raul said in his day, and so he will be, with the same rare ability, noted by an Algerian friend, to travel into the future, and return to tell the story. Many and one. One and all. One people, one country, one path, one vocation.