To visit and work in Cuba, to feel the love and affection of the people for Che Guevara's memory and Fidel Castro's leadership is a very emotional experience. Arnol R. Camps, a Granma correspondent, explains why this is so.
In Feb 65, Arnol, as Deputy Foreign Minister had met up with Che at a seminar in Algiers on his return from China and listened to his speech - in French to be better understood. The words remained in Arnol's memory - 'In this fight to the death, there are no frontiers, we cannot remain indifferent to what is happening in any part of the world; a victory over imperialism on the part of the peoples of any country is our victory, just as the defeat of any one imperialist nation is a defeat for all.'
Che was intensely interested in that seminar because of its themes and because it would afford him an opportunity for fraternal discussions with comrades representing those countries, of which he felt a part. He stated that Cuba had come to speak for the American peoples.
The audience in that hall was riveted to the innovative content of his speech. He defined new political, economic and social parameters and attested that 'the forces of the underdeveloped countries must be at the ready and take firm steps along the route towards a new society -under whatever name- where machinery, the instruments of work, are not instrumental in the exploitation of human beings by other human beings.
He presented a new world, which would come about via the most honest relations between countries. A world for which people would give up their lives to attain. A world to be forged from its precursor.
His words at this 2nd Economic Seminar in Algiers were not forgotten, they were sown, and now, with his thinking and actions, his life and his death, and the theory and practice of the most advanced revolutionaries, they are taking root.
During his stay Che had many gifts thrust upon him. They were never seen as personal. Only one was kept - a magnificent branch covered with figs given to him in the desert which he carried back to Cuba for Fidel. He took great care that no-one took anything for themselves, no matter what it was. He was the enemy of convention, a man of good manners, who knew how to be diplomatic when required.
To Che, everything was valuable and he had one objective: the shaping of humanity. Everything rested on the same pedestal: that of honesty and bravery. Arnol completes his thoughts with the words "Inspired by the experience of spending that time in his company, I realised more than ever before, that I had come to know a different man, a man who seemed difficult but very simple at the same time, courageous yet somewhat shy.'