How long did you know him? How did you discover the mystique that accompanied him? At what point did he declare himself his disciple? Thus, serene and at the same time impetuous, Apollo sat next to the angel, whom he had to decipher; to the man whose paradigmatic spirit hovered over the convulsive present of the decade in which he was rescued from the dust and the epidermis, back in the 20th century; whom he had been called an Apostle.
The intense and short life of Julio Antonio Mella takes us by the hand through spirituality and heartbreaking sacrifice, the one that made him stand firm in defense of the revolutionary ideal, of an existence full of virtue, of our José Martí.
Julio Antonio understood that living as a Martian was a challenge, and he took it on. That was his choice, that of a young man marked by a natural force still indescribable today, that of a university student who meditated on what it would be like to be like Martí and thought, in turn, of how to endow him with life beyond his non-existence. physical.
Mella was a Martian; he was one of the first to discover the usefulness of martianity and, as a valuable treasure, he used it to make his beautiful and authentic work.
From Martí he inherited that human nature that elevated him, in a few years, to a superior category of man; the new man, the one to whom Che Guevara invited us some time later, the one of moral forces, as we learned from José Ingenieros, the paradigm of so many generations of young people that we feel very close to because of his character, intelligence and creative spirit.
How much is Martí in Mella? An entire character based on ethics, the moral question that governed his behavior, the decency of the good citizen, who assumes a morally superior behavior in a society that needed to be transformed, that itself demanded a revolution. And that is the revolutionary character of both.
Mella laid the foundations, from the deep roots of Martí, of the socialist revolution in Cuba, founder of Latin American Marxism, original, enemy of hackneyed canons.
Thinking for themselves, having criteria and defending it, invariably unites them. That is the Mella that asked us to be thinking beings and not driven. Mella had a dialectical thought and, like Martí, militated for social justice. As a young Cuban and from our America, he felt the entrails of Caliban, and stood by the poor of the earth. Like Martí, he made that choice, that is why he longed for the true independence of the Homeland, that is why he fought from his university hill, founded the first Communist Party of Cuba, the Anti-Imperialist League of the Americas, the José Martí Popular University and the heroic Student Federation University, which already reaches its centenary. Mella was a founder, he learned it from Martí, in the heat of ideas, from that cauldron of ideas that forges revolutionaries.
Working with their own hands and respecting the rights of others were traits that Mella discovered in the extraordinary life of Martí; and it is that our Rebel Angel went to the depths of the Master, it did not remain in the epidermis, it was not superficial or repetitive. Mella set out to discover Martí and it was his intention to help make the hero of Dos Ríos truly known among Cubans. With his precise word and in accordance with the demands of historical time, he wrote those notes that did not remain on the pages of a notebook, but in the thought and action of successive generations until today. They are his glosses on Martí’s thought, a deep interpretation that Mella made of Martí, not finished because he left us an immense challenge: to continue deciphering the mystery of the ultra-democratic program of the Cuban Revolutionary Party created by Martí.
Mella was convinced of the need for a book to be written about José Martí, and he wanted to do it, but he couldn’t; Here are his words in which you can see how much there is of Martí in Mella: «I have been thinking about a book about José Martí for a long time, a book that I would like to put in print. I can say that this book is already in my memory. I have thought about it so much, I have loved it so much, that it seems to me like an old book read in adolescence. Two things have prevented the dream from coming true. First: the lack of time for the things of thought. We live in an era that makes us consider that all time is short to DO (…). Second reason: I am afraid of not doing what the memory of the Apostle and necessity impose. Far from all patriotism, when I speak of José Martí, I feel the same emotion, the same fear, that is felt in the face of supernatural things…».
And that continuous act of deciphering the mystery of the ultra-democratic program of the Cuban Revolutionary Party makes us think of the original and authentic consciousness that we forged from the founding moments of our nationality. It is justice as the Sun of the moral world and a culture morally superior to capitalism, rooted in Martí’s thought and in Marxist ideas. Julio Antonio Mella is the son of this tradition and bearer of a worldview capable of uniting, for the good of Cuba, Martí’s thought and the ideas of socialism.
Mella identified with our Martí, went to his epic meeting, unraveled the spirit of Martí and made it part of his life and work. The Apostle was no longer forgotten or dead. We could find it in Mella and in a generation that woke up the sleeping and that gave the sap of Martí to that other one that in the year of his centenary touched the sky of freedom.