Dimas Cecilium Castellanos Martí

* 1943

  • “I know Cuba from Fidel Castro's plans, I experienced Cuba in the centenary commune, I knew what was the “Young Rebels Union” [Unión de los Jóvenes Rebeldes], the great mobilizations, I was a member of the “Young Communist Union” [Unión de los Jóvenes Comunistas], I knew the dismemberment of the Cuban trade union movement, I've been through so much here. I lived in the Soviet Union. I know what means university life, also as a university professor. And I concluded. If I come from scratch and I got to this level and I have this knowledge, the easiest of course would be to leave, I have my wife who is on the other side [other side of the Atlantic Ocean is Spain] and a sister in Italy and I could stay with them on any trip I make to these places. But I have a mission in Cuba, it is a problem of ethics. And because I helped to assemble this, now as I have the knowledge and experience, I feel the commitment to disassemble this system.”

  • “Cuba is as it is because of the weak civic formation of Cubans throughout their lives, because this weakness is also supported by a totalitarian system. The dictators that may have been in Cuba, also Fidel Castro, are the actors of that, but at the same time they are a consequence of that. They have come to power because of that weak civic formation of the Cuban people. That is why I always say, even if there are changes tomorrow in the name, in the party, or towards multi-partyism, if there is no change in Cubans, Cuba will not change. You have to change the people, everybody has to change internally, something else has to change.”

  • “In that group of mine with the exception of four people who were black, they were all white and all with a high level of education - Dr. Alsouna, who was a personality in Cuba´s geography, Dr. Graciela Barraqué [Francisca Graciela del Carmen Barraqué Nicolau is pedagogue of special teaching of geography], another personality of geography of Cuba and many more capacities. The first day I got to do this course, all students were already in the classroom, when I entered; the elderly people were there too; When I entered, do you know what happened? Sixteen of those who were presented on my seminar, stood up and left my class, and I stayed in the classroom only with the four blacks.”

  • “I remember the day we arrived in Odessa, first, we were badly received, because in that period I am talking about, Cuba had a totally cold relations with the Soviet Union. Due the Che Guevara behaviour [one of the leaders of the Cuban Revolution], due the guerrillas that appeared among Latin America that the Soviets were against and because of 66 [1966]. Practically nothing in Russia was published about Cuba, Cuba did not exist for the Soviet Union at that time, even if both were communists. And we arrived in the time, when Soviet troops just entered to the Czechoslovakia. We arrived to the Black Sea, our ship was from Russia, surrounded by airplanes that were constantly flying over the ship, boats of NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization], tanks, I could not imagine what was happening, but all the maritime region was controlled due the situation that was happening in Czechoslovakia with the entry of the Russian troops. When we got there, we realized that friendship [between Cuba and Soviet Union] practically didn´t exist.”

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“My mission is to create civil formation in Cuba.”

Dimas Cecilium Castellanos Martí
Dimas Cecilium Castellanos Martí
photo: PB

Dimas Cecilium Castellanos Martí was born in 1943, in Jiguaní in the Republic of Cuba. He grew up in a humble home with communist ideology presumed by his father. In 1968, he was sent to study metallurgy in the Soviet Union, where he closely lived the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Coming back to Cuba, he decided to deepen his knowledge in the political sciences and devote himself to the teaching of Marxist philosophy at the University of Havana [Universidad de Habana]. However, he was fired for his conduct against the ideology of the communist regime in Cuba. During the 80s, he was a member of the Cuban mission in the Ethiopian war. Returning from Africa, he started to work in a library as a Russian - Spanish translator. Since 2001, he has collaborated with newspapers opposed to the communist regime; “Encounter on the Web” [Encuentro en la Red] and the “Diary of Cuba“ [Diario de Cuba]. Since 2006, he has acted as an independent journalist and political analyst. Dimas has published more than 500 articles and has written several books - the most significant, “Unsuccessful Revolution” [La Revolución Fracasada], which describes the circumstances of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Although his wife lives in Spain, Dimas resides in Havana and continues to fight for change in the civil formation of Cubans.