Travelling with Fidel Castro

E P Menon

Frontier | Vol 55, No. 10, Sep 4 – 10, 2022

Way back in 1966 when I received an invitation to join the Indian Delegation to Cuba for participating in the first ever Tri-Continental Conference involving only those countries from Latin America, Africa and Asia, I was delighted and agreed immediately. It was a 14-member group under the leadership of Aruna Asaf Ali and endorsed by the Government of India.

More than 1500 delegates were accommodated in the majestic Hotel Havana Libre for two weeks and after the 10-day events we were all given a country-wide tour for two weeks which was indeed very educative and forward-looking for building better human solidarity and world peace. Two specific events can never be erased from my mind.

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63rd Anniversary of the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution

Nikos Mottas

In Defense of Communism | January 02, 2022

The Cuban Revolution inspired and continues to inspire the workers-people’s struggles in all over the world, proving the vitality of the Marxist-Leninist worldview and the significance of proletarian internationalism. Figures such as Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Camilo Cienfuegos, Vilma Espin, Fran Pais and others became eternal symbols of the revolutionary working class movement throughout the world.

Under the leadership of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz and with the decisive contribution of the Soviet Union and other socialist states, Cuba achieved a number of extraordinary – unprecedented in Latin America – achievements in sectors such as Health, Education, Womens’ Rights, Culture, Sports, etc. 

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Address by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz at Céspedes Park in Santiago de Cuba, on the 1st of January of 1959

On January 1, 1959, the Cuban revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro overthrew the U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Compatriots of Cuba, all:

We have finally reached Santiago. (SHOUTING AND APPLAUSE) The road has been long and tough, but we have arrived. (APPLAUSE)

It was being said that today at 2 o’clock in the afternoon we were being expected in the capital of the Republic and I was the first person to be amazed (SHOUTING AND APPLAUSE) because I was one of the first people to have been surprised by that traitorous and confabulated coup this morning in the capital of the Republic.

Furthermore, I was going to be in the capital of the Republic, I mean in the new capital of the Republic (SHOUTING AND APPLAUSE), because Santiago de Cuba will be the capital, according to the wishes of the provisional president, according to the wishes of the Rebel Army and according to the wishes of the people of Santiago de Cuba who so highly deserve it. (SHOUTING AND APPLAUSE) Santiago de Cuba will be the provisional capital of the Republic! (SHOUTING AND APPLAUSE)

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How is it possible that Cuba has survived?

Because we have socialism, memory, love, courage, intelligence, science, determination, dreams, convictions and utopias

Karima Oliva Bello

Granma | December 08, 2021

Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

Although many are already predicting the decline of the empire, the United States continues to be one of the most powerful nations in the world from an economic and military point of view.
The government has spent millions and millions of dollars to attack Cuba in every possible way. They have practiced terrorism. They have trained and advised all kinds of opposition leaders, from ladies in white to ex-Marxist intellectuals, to gossipy youtubers and mediocre artists.
They have attempted to asphyxiate our economy, cut the jugular vein of our economic opportunities. They have bombarded national and international public opinion on a daily basis, with artillery of influencers working to discredit Cuban socialism, demoralize our leaders, distort our history, magnify our limitations and contradictions, destroy consensus, weaken collective consciousness and stir up dissatisfaction to the boiling point.

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Farewell letter from Che to Fidel Castro

Fidel:

At this moment I remember many things: when I met you in Maria Antonia’s house, when you proposed I come along, all the tensions involved in the preparations. One day they came by and asked who should be notified in case of death, and the real possibility of it struck us all. Later we knew it was true, that in a revolution one wins or dies (if it is a real one). Many comrades fell along the way to victory.

Today everything has a less dramatic tone, because we are more mature, but the event repeats itself. I feel that I have fulfilled the part of my duty that tied me to the Cuban revolution in its territory, and I say farewell to you, to the comrades, to your people, who now are mine.

I formally resign my positions in the leadership of the party, my post as minister, my rank of commander, and my Cuban citizenship. Nothing legal binds me to Cuba. The only ties are of another nature — those that cannot be broken as can appointments to posts.

Reviewing my past life, I believe I have worked with sufficient integrity and dedication to consolidate the revolutionary triumph. My only serious failing was not having had more confidence in you from the first moments in the Sierra Maestra, and not having understood quickly enough your qualities as a leader and a revolutionary.

I have lived magnificent days, and at your side I felt the pride of belonging to our people in the brilliant yet sad days of the Caribbean [Missile] crisis. Seldom has a statesman been more brilliant as you were in those days. I am also proud of having followed you without hesitation, of having identified with your way of thinking and of seeing and appraising dangers and principles.

Other nations of the world summon my modest efforts of assistance. I can do that which is denied you due to your responsibility as the head of Cuba, and the time has come for us to part.

You should know that I do so with a mixture of joy and sorrow. I leave here the purest of my hopes as a builder and the dearest of those I hold dear. And I leave a people who received me as a son. That wounds a part of my spirit. I carry to new battlefronts the faith that you taught me, the revolutionary spirit of my people, the feeling of fulfilling the most sacred of duties: to fight against imperialism wherever it may be. This is a source of strength, and more than heals the deepest of wounds.

I state once more that I free Cuba from all responsibility, except that which stems from its example. If my final hour finds me under other skies, my last thought will be of this people and especially of you. I am grateful for your teaching and your example, to which I shall try to be faithful up to the final consequences of my acts.

I have always been identified with the foreign policy of our revolution, and I continue to be. Wherever I am, I will feel the responsibility of being a Cuban revolutionary, and I shall behave as such. I am not sorry that I leave nothing material to my wife and children; I am happy it is that way. I ask nothing for them, as the state will provide them with enough to live on and receive an education.

I would have many things to say to you and to our people, but I feel they are unnecessary. Words cannot express what I would like them to, and there is no point in scribbling pages.

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In the country’s every heartbeat

On Fidel’s 95th birthday, in a 2021 full of challenges, a pandemic and a criminal blockade, the Comandante en jefe returns “on battle footing,” in this great struggle for life

Elson Concepción Pérez

Granma | August 13, 2021

Photo: Granma Archives

Fidel is always present, with his example, with his ideas and actions, in the country’s every heartbeat. In times of adversity and of times of victory.

Now, on his 95th birthday, in a 2021 full of challenges, a pandemic and a criminal blockade, the Comandante en jefe returns “on battle footing,” in this great struggle for life, guiding the generation of continuity, correcting the course of the work we are constructing.

From the sacred boulder, where his physical remains rest, he accompanies his brothers and sisters in combat, in the Sierra and on the plains, and his younger followers, who apply his teachings, offering, first and foremost, his example of always being close to the people, listening to them, convoking them, sharing the truth, building confidence in victory.

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Being Fidel and doing so now

We must assume the phrase “I am Fidel” in practice, as the best tribute to the person who showed us that the only option we should never contemplate is surrender

Miguel Cruz

Granma | August 12, 2021

Photo: Granma Archives

Interrupting the solemnity of the moment, like a wave gaining strength, the clamor rose and little by little the Plaza de la Revolución became a single voice chanting: I am Fidel. It was Tuesday, November 29, 2016 and the people of Havana, representing all of Cuba, had gathered there to pay tribute to our undefeated Comandante who had departed to immortality.

As we joined the collective affirmation, one after another, the emotion grew, expressing our urgent need to make clear that the man, who so many times had raised his voice in this same spot, would never leave us. His legacy would endure forever. It was only right and opportune to make the statement there, and repeat from one end of the island to the other, that we would be like him, that we would stand in his place. But have we fully understood what this means?

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The power of Fidel’s counter-offensive

The name shouted August 5, 27 years ago on the corner of Prado and Malecón emerged anew last July 11, with the same power, when I saw a group, that had just failed in its attempt to take the Capitol, back away when confronted with the image of the Comandante

Iroel Sánchez

Granma | August 12, 2021

When the Comandante en Jefe arrived at the site of the disturbance, August 5, 1994, the rocks immediately disappeared, as if by magic. Photo: Granma Archives

In Cuba in the summer of 1994, Cuba’s economic panorama was dire, following the disappearance of trade with the Soviet Union, which eliminated the source of more than 70% of the country’s foreign currency income: power outages lasted more than 12 hours, a dwindling food supply turned a phrase from a popular soap opera, “Hey girl, say hello to your boyfriend,” into a synonym for rice and beans, the most frequently available dish, along with other Creole inventions such as soy meat and goose paste, while access to the few cafes that sold hamburgers was organized by neighborhood Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, with priority given pregnant women and the elderly. Public transportation practically disappeared, to be replaced by the massive use of bicycles, despite caloric intake that was decreasing day by day. Solitary cans of clams in shop windows were the last evidence of a state market in Cuban pesos, which had once satisfactorily complemented food made available to all via the basic supply booklet.

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Book on Fidel Castro Analyzes Construction of Socialism in Cuba

teleSUR | August 12, 2021

Presentation of the book
Presentation of the book “Pensamiento estratégico de Fidel Castro Ruz: valor y vigencia” (Fidel Castro Ruz’s strategic thinking: value and validity), at Casa de ALBA Cultural. From a collective of authors. Tribute to the Commander on the 95th anniversary of his birth. | Photo: Twitter @RadioCOCOnline

The volume, dedicated to Commander Manuel Piñeiro Losada and José M. Miyar Barruecos (Chomy), addresses, among other topics, international economic relations, socialism as a condition for development, the struggle for democracy, and the historical roots of a culture of solidarity.

The book “The Strategic Thought of Fidel Castro Ruz: Value and Effectiveness” is today a tribute to the historical leader of the Revolution from the specialized analysis of his experience in the construction of socialism in Cuba.

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