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Cubans recall student leader Julio Antonio Mella’s ideas

Havana, Mar 25 (Prensa Latina) Cubans recall on Monday the 121st birthday of student leader Julio Antonio Mella, who was considered one of the emblematic figures of the revolutionary process in the first half of the 20th century.

Born in Havana, Mella developed in his short life a political activity that made him an international leader.

In 1923, he organized and presided over the First National Congress of Students and inaugurated the José Martí Popular University, which was aimed to provide political and academic training for working people.

The Federation of University Students (FEU), founded on December 20, 1922, was another of his spaces of defense for the country. From there, Mella organized the students to reform the university and also joined forces with the workers’ movement to fight against Gerardo Machado’s tyranny (1925-1933).

The radicalization of his thought and his identification with communist ideas led him to be part of the group that founded the first Cuban Communist Party on August 16, 1925, a militancy he defended until his death.

Due to his actions and rebellion, Mella was expelled from the University of Havana, arrested by the authorities (in prison, he went on hunger strike), and forced into exile, from where he linked up with the international movement.

The historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, considered him “the Cuban who has done the most in the shortest time.”