Some days ago I mentioned his name as an example of a militant communist, whose struggle gave his life meaning. For eight years he held the highest posts within his Party. He shared Allende’s faith in Chile and the beautiful vision that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues would again be opened “down which free humans could march toward the construction of a better society”.
Neruda’s biography and several other interesting and courageous books were his intellectual and political contribution to the new generations.
I talked to him at length the last time we met, early in 2005. He came to Cuba as a guest of honor of the Casa de las Américas Literature Prizes, and also to launch a new book at the International Book Fair.
Two days ago, on Thursday evening, we received news of his death at 7:30 p.m. On that same evening and almost at the same time the Literature Prize winners were announced. Volodia was so modest and so decent that he seemed to be awaiting that news before going.
I will not say he has died. He has gone on to live in ideas. He has joined the ranks of those who are fighting and will continue fighting for those dreams.
Fidel Castro Ruz
February 2, 2008