Monday, 12 December 2016

Fidel Castro Ultimate Political Survivor

A pain in the butt for the U.S., Castro became the boogeyman of U.S. Latin American policy for more than half a century. Soon after the 1959 Revolution, Cuban government launched an anti-literacy campaign Alfabetizacion across the country especially in Rural Cuba to completely eradicate illiteracy in Cuba by sending armies of teachers to educate millions of Cubans who didn't have access to schools or substandard education. Today, Cuba's literacy rate is 99.8% and every citizen has access to school. Following the philosophy of global solidarity, Cuba exports specialized doctors to neighboring countries and around the world also provides financial and educational support to doctors from across the developing world to study at the Medical School of the Americas in Cuba. Still Castro is condemned as a dictator by the United States and Western countries.

The Real Life old man and the Sea. Castro with Ratzinger

This time the news is for real. The world is shocked. Fidel Castro Ruz died on November 25, 2016 at the age of 90 years old. He died so far from natural causes. It would make him one of the last remaining revolutionary leaders from the early days of the Cold War era. Curiously, he died 3 days after the 53rd anniversary of JFK's death on November 22. For decades the tabloids have jokingly and falsely reported that Castro had died some years back. However, the reports proved to be false. Fidel Castro's death was announced yesterday by the younger Castro brother Raul. First through Cuban state media than carried across the world by international media. The Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida (who celebrated his death with joyful cheers and flag waving) have always seen Fidel as an unending oozing wound in their sides for more than 50+ years. The exiles were so sure that Fidel would croak soon enough.
       As history would have, Fidel Castro has become the ultimate political survivor. He has lived through 11 U.S. presidencies, outlive six American presidents, also witnessed 6 papal conclaves beginning with Pope John 23rd in 1958 and ending with the current Pope Francis. He and the Cuban government aided many African liberation movements throughout the 1960s-1980s beginning with Congo to Eritrea. Most of his allies of the Cuban Revolution and 1960s anti colonial independence movements are all gone including Muamar Gaddafi. Even Castro's recent strongest ally Hugo Chavez couldn't outlast him. Castro has lived long enough to see himself become a mythical figure and a legendary icon. He has also witnessed the reopening of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Not to mention that Castro never broke from standing up to the United States and imperialism. Even up to his last week. Castro has driven the CIA insane over his ability to cheat death on multiple occasions. Even more rare, Castro was able to meet with the more popular popes John Paul II, Ratzinger and Francis.

CCTV News: Castro was a Liberation Icon in South Africa

The man had friends and supporters all around the world. They are all saluting and consider him a lasting inspiration in the same vain as Che, Simon Bolivar, Patrice Lumumba, Nelson Mandela, etc. Giants in their own right. The die-hard revolutionaries, decolonization writers, artists, fighters, intellectuals, separatist movements, the veterans and heroes of the liberation and independence movements in Angola and South Africa who received help and back up from Cuban soldiers many Afro-Cubans. Cuba is respected for fighting against the apartheid regimes in South African, Angola, Naimba and providing support for Eritrean Liberation Front against Ethiopia in 1970s. Inside Cuba and outside, many ordinary people have playfully regarded Castro has immortal.

Castro and Che with (back turned)

Castro as a teen playing basketball

He survived the 1959 guerilla war along with his right hand man Che Gueverra (died in 1967) that turned into 1959 Cuban Revoluton that overthrew the hated dictator Fulencio Batista. He next survived the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion, a U.S. back invasion where hundreds of Cuban exiles were used in hopes of creating an American style Democracy on the island. He traded through the ongoing U.S. embargo on Cuba. So far, the embargo is the only thing that Castro couldn't beat. The CIA tried to assassinate him over the last 50+ years to no avail. Castro managed to survive 600+ assasination attempts. A world record that has not been repeated by any world leader since. Castro is also one of the longest ruling leaders (1959-2008) that is not a monarch. The onslaught of propaganda and the U.S.' negative outlook on Cuban revolution couldn't shake Castro's popularity in Cuba and across the Third World. He was one of the earliest revolutionary leaders to be vilifed and demonized as a terrorist, madman, a permanent thorn in the side of the U.S. government and American Empire, an existential threat to the U.S., a Soviet puppet and a Communist boogeyman bent on world domination. Castro knows what it is like to be hated beyond reason. Heaven forbid the Global South see an inspiration in Cuban Revolution and the benefits of Cuba's 1960 Literacy campaign and one of the best healthcare systems in the world built with less resources than many wealthy countries. Inside Cuba, Castro was both admired and hated. He was also an enigma.

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