[Marxism] Arleen Rodriguez: In memory of Jon Hillson

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 4 07:50:18 MST 2004

(Translated for CubaNews by Ana Portela, this
comment appeared in yesterday's edition of the
Cuban daily JUVENTUD REBELDE. Arleen Rodriguez,
who is a regular participant in the televised
Mesa Redonda series, is also an editor of the
journal TRICONENTAL. She also spoke about Jon
Hillson on the Redonda Monday evening as well.)

February 3, 2004

In memory of Jon Hillson
By Rosa Miriam Elizalde

Arleen Rodríguez woke me with news that was hard to
believe: Jon Hillson was dead and a moment later her
poignant e-mail arrived. I will let her words fill this
column because it expresses a shared pain and the gratitude
we owe our friend.

With his suggestive login - cubansovereignty - his last
message he sent were two up dates on the Five and the
announcement of a debate panel to demand the right of US
citizens to travel to Cuba. The meeting called by the Los
Angeles Solidarity with Cuba Coalition was scheduled for
Friday the 30th. We don't know if it was held at all.

On Thursday 29, Jon Hillson, unconditional friend of the
Revolution, and Marxist intellectual who dedicated his last
breath to the fight for justice, gave his life and all his
energy to the defense of the Cuban cause and the workers of
the world. He died of a heart attack in Los Angeles. This
was confirmed in his own e-mail. It seemed absurd: Memorial
for Jon Hillson tomorrow, Sunday, February 1. His comrades
and friends in the island were suddenly caught up between
the initial bewilderment of a possibly (and hoped for)
information error and the quick and shattering certainty of
his death.

But it still sounded absurd. Everything seems possible
except the loss of such a generous heart... and of such an
energetic person. It is painfully true. Jon Hillson is
dead. But, he must not be bid farewell. Not when his work
of solidarity has left a fertile seed, capable of changing,
one day, the irrational policy of the government of his
country against the Revolution that he loved and always

If so many unknown persons wrote to us now from the United
States to share their pain over the premature death of Jon,
many will keep his memory alive, following with something
of what he did. I am thinking, mostly, of his extraordinary
capacity to multiply to the world each word about Cuba and
Fidel; to put a halt to any infamy, any campaign against
the island, and answer with irrefutable arguments. He
dedicated his body and soul to demonstrate that the
administration is not the people of the United States; and
he did not give an iota over to imperialism; he challenged
any actions against the Five, victims of a trumped up

Today we should read again the numerous and important
articles John wrote in La Jiribilla publication. And,
little by little, publish them. Although not a writer or a
journalist, he used both professions through strength of
convictions and necessities, as a communist in the US, to
fight imperialist totalitarianism. The clarity of his
thoughts, the deep questions he asked of economic and
social truths of his country, together with the passion he
gave us in solidarity, with no strings attached, placed
him, a long time ago, on the list of central human beings.
No one should forget him.

Arleen Rodríguez Derivet



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