We have prepared the following collage in honor of iconic Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Fidel’s name meant “Loyal” and that he was, throughout his life, to his revolutionary ideals of social justice, equality, anti-imperialism and people’s democracy. In a world dominated by the squalid and ignoble ideology of capitalism embedded in American culture, Fidel personified humanity’s aspiration to something superior, the Quixotesque impulse to fight injustice and self-seeking literally against impossible odds.
His legions of detractors, from the filthy U.S. media sycophants to the empire’s politicians and reactionaries worldwide —including from his own land—are busy denying and tarnishing his legacy, as they have done since he burst on the stage of history in the 1960s. Indeed, their joy at his passing, their dancing on his grave, only certifies their moral degeneracy. Yet the Cuban people, despite the erosion of revolutionary fervor due to the hardships imposed by the decades-long siege laid by the empire, and the innocence of the younger generation, remain believers in the goals of fidelismo and the revolution, bruised but not beaten, still marches on. The real test will come when the underhanded, corrosive influence of capitalism and consumerism force a re-entry of “Privatisation” and individualism into the lives of most Cubans, and starts to dismantle the socialist edifice that the revolutionaries built at so great a price. We begin this series with Stephen Lendman’s homage.
Long live Fidel and the Cuban revolution!—P. Greanville
Media Scoundrels Denigrate Fidel
Media scoundrels are masters of fake news, serving as press agents for wealth, power and privilege, including denigrating independent leaders, unwilling to bow to Washington’s will. Fidel was heroic, a revolutionary giant, beloved by most Cubans, his agenda an antidote to governance of, by and for the privileged few alone, the way things are in America and most other societies. When he ended tyrannical Batista rule, Cuba was “a country where there was (mass) unemployment, (mass impoverishment), (mass) illiteracy, (deplorable repression and human misery), and where one had to beg to get into a hospital,” he said in a September 1961 UN General Assembly address.
Thousands of children died for lack of vital medicines and treatment. “Yankee monopolies” and rich Cubans owned the land, preventing agrarian reform he instituted.
BELOW: AMERICAN JOURNALISTS IDEA OF FAIR REPORTING
Outrageous as it is, this is just typical American disinformation masquerading as legitimate journalism. Where do you go for an unbiased view of Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution? My, that’s easy, to a sworn enemy of the revolution, to an opportunist gusano like Marco Rubio , what else?
Cuba was a mafia-infested brothel, exploited for profit, resisters imprisoned or otherwise eliminated. Castro changed things, providing vital social services, including healthcare, education and employment, considered fundamental human rights. Imagine how much more was possible had illegal embargo not been imposed for 56 years. The New York Times turned truth on its head, saying he ruled by “repression and fear that kept him and his totalitarian government in power for so long.” What rubbish, typical Times misreporting.
Neocon Washington Post editors deplorably called Cuba under Castro “a decrepit museum piece of Soviet-style totalitarianism.” Disgraceful!
Wall Street Journal editors said his leadership was “murderous and tragic,” ludicrously describing pre-Castro Cuba as “relatively prosperous (with) a vibrant civic life,” making Batista-style tyranny sound like paradise.
Visiting Cuba at age 81, the late Gore Vidal said it was “so rare to see a contented people…no sullenness…We’ve seen the bad side of Cuba because we’re fed nothing else by the media. Fidel Castro “has been generally benign. The bloodcurdling stories we’ve been told by our government (and media are) not…true at all.”
Addressing a University of Havana audience, he said “(i)t gives me pleasure to be in a place full of hope.” In America, “people do not have the basic understanding of what they have lost. There has been a (duopoly power) coup and the republic has died.”
Castro cared about the welfare of all Cubans. He deplored wars and other forms of imperial adventurism. He once said “(t)hey talk about the failure of socialism, but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?
Where is it successful in North America except for the privileged few?
Cubans Mourn Fidel’s Passing
Frail and weakened by earlier serious illness nearly taking his life, Fidel’s passing didn’t surprise.
Yet his larger than life persona, extraordinary revolutionary spirit and redoubtable anti-imperial resolve for so long made losing him hard to imagine he’s gone.
Around midnight on Friday, Raul Castro announced it on national television. Granma, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party of Cuba, published his statement, saying:
“Dear people of Cuba:
With deep pain I appear to inform our people, the friends of our America and the world, that today November 25, 2016, at 10.29 p.m., the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, died.
In compliance with the expressed will of Comrade Fidel, his remains will be cremated.
In the early hours of Saturday 26, the Organizing Committee of the funeral will provide our people with detailed information on the organization of the posthumous tribute that will be taxed to the founder of the Cuban Revolution.
Hasta la victoria siempre (Ever onward to victory)!”
The Havana Times said he “left his mark on the history of Cuba and the world…(H)e stood with the poor (and) deserves respect” from allies and enemies alike. A new era begins with his passing, hopefully continuing and building on the best of what he accomplished and stood for.
Little Havana Miami Cubans shamefully celebrated his passing, symbolically dancing on his grave – despicable revelry at a time millions worldwide mourn the death of Cuba’s liberator. They took to the streets, waving Cuban flags, banging pots and pans, setting off fireworks, some popping champagne, others carrying shovels for a symbolic burial. Police closed off streets. Helicopters hovered overhead. All night Friday into pre-dawn Saturday morning, Miami television networks broadcast live, joining the macabre festive mood.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado disgracefully said “(a)s the world celebrated when Hitler died, today Cubans are celebrating the death of Fidel Castro, and it will go on for hours and for days.” Crowds chanted “Fidel, tyrant, take your brother with you.” (“Fidel, tirano, llévate a tu hermano!”)
In Havana and across Cuba, millions mourn his passing. All day Saturday, Cuban media aired his speeches, likely continuing through the weekend with much more to come on his life and achievements for nine official days of mourning from November 26 through December 4.
When Raul announced his death, sadness replaced music in Havana. Streets emptied. Earlier reports of Fidel’s death were false. Now it’s true. One Havana resident likely spoke for others, saying “(l)osing Fidel is like losing a father.” Others said he’ll never be forgotten. “Of course I’m crying,” a mourner said. “We Cubans are Fidelistas.”
During his last public appearance in April, he said “(s)oon I will end up like everyone does.” On November 25, his end time came. His redoubtable spirit remains eternal. Cuba won’t be the same without him.
A Final Comment
In a letter of condolence to Cuban leader Raul Castro, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said “(t)he name Fidel Castro will live forever in the minds of generations and remain an inspiration for all the peoples who aspire to achieve real independence and liberation from the yoke of colonialism and hegemony.”
STEPHEN LENDMAN lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” ( http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html ) Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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