Erect no monuments in my honour
label no institutions with my name –
Cuban law forbids a leadership cult
but poets will forever sing of Fidel.

Compañero, implying a close bond
which arises from shared labour, is
rarely heard nowadays, amigo being
the preferred term for casual friends…

Barefoot on steep mountain paths,
slipping on wet clay, stumbling
on sharp rocks, packing supplies
while shouldering a heavy carbine,

spotter planes circling overhead,
the prospect of torture if caught,
fires kindled under cover of night,
no trees felled to attract attention,

absolute confidence that a dozen
committed revolutionaries can
overthrow a hated regime, the will
being strong, the time being ripe.

Hoist an antenna above your camp
in the Sierra Maestra and your voice
will be heard all over the Caribbean.
Learn to grow cassava from the locals,

a populace barely accessible to one
another in these precipitous regions,
toughened by hurricane and landslide,
before tyranny experiencing brutality –

existing like us, you are not outsiders,
and since we have nothing to lose,
let us all learn the skills of combat,
becoming campañeros in the deed.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.