Salute To A Great Freedom Fighter: The Indomitable Spirit Of Fidel Castro Will Live Forever in World

by Gerald A Perreira (credit: David Comissiong)
The late Fidel Castro

The late Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro can never die.  Today he departed the physical plane but he will live on forever. His intellectual prowess and wisdom were extraordinary among mortals. His legacy and influence is global and monumental. This humble man, from a smallCaribbean country, can truly be said to have changed the world.  One of his greatest contributions to humanity is the example of his unwavering revolutionary determination and courage, in the face of enormous obstacles placed in his path. He became an inspiration to all who fight for true independence from the Empire and its trail of poverty, racism, death and destruction.

Here in the Caribbean he stood, and will stand forever, as one who refused to believe that our fate is sealed by the absurd concept of ‘geographical and historical determinism’. So many Caribbean misleaders, cowards and satraps of the Empire, have accepted this fate, that our future and destiny is shaped by the fact that we reside in the US’s so-called backyard. However, in the words of the late revolutionary leader of Grenada, Maurice Bishop, “We are in nobody’s backyard”. The same Maurice Bishop, inspired and assisted by Fidel, aptly described him as “incomparable”. Every revolutionary initiative in the Americas and the Caribbean, and for that matter worldwide, since 1959, owes a debt of gratitude to Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution.

Fidel taught us that our destiny is determined by faith and an enduring belief in our principles and in our ability to empower ourselves and the masses of our people. He showed us true empowerment by virtue of the fact that one man and a nation of just over 11 million people could play such a decisive and significant role in the liberation of people all over the world.

We will never forget Cuba’s military response to the forces of Apartheid at the historic and decisive battle of CuitoCuanavale, when Cuban troops defeated the racist forces of South Africa’s regime, and in so doing, forced the Boers to the negotiating table. While others condemned apartheid with words, it was Fidel who sent troops across the world to do what had to be done. He would later admit that this battle exerted such a strain on Cuba’s military resources that it put Cuba’s own national security at risk. However, as Fidel explained, “We have a commitment to Africa, for African blood flows freely through the veins of every Cuban”. The airlifting of Cuban fighters to Angola was codenamed “Operation Carlota” after an African woman, enslaved in Cuba, who led an insurrection against her Spanish slave-masters.  This is why the great African freedom fighter, Kwame Ture, could have called Fidel Castro “the blackest man in the Americas”, and why Nelson Mandela said,”The Cuban people hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Africa. The Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom and justice, unparalleled for its principled and selfless character.”

Fidel Castro turned Cuba into a powerhouse of health, education and solidarity. He sent doctors and teachers to every part of the globe to assist countries ravaged by decades of the neo-liberal capitalist project. Cuba is always the first on the ground when it comes to responding to natural disasters in the region and afar, from Haiti to Pakistan.  Despite being a relatively poor nation with few natural resources, Cuba’s literacy rates, infant mortality rates, life expectancy rates and other indicators rival that of any nation on earth, including the wealthiest nations of the world. Surely, this is the true measure of democracy.

Of course, the need for change and adjustments to any political and economic system put in place in 1959 is inevitable. What must be remembered, and something which may not be well understood by this generation, who are too young to have experienced the world as it existed in 1959, is that Cuba’s alignment with the then Soviet Union was inevitable in a world characterized by two superpowers engaged in a ‘Cold War’.

The Cuban conceptualization of a socialism shaped by Soviet Marxism which saw private property and small, privately owned business as synonymous with capitalism was erroneous, and now needs rectification.  Following the Cuban revolution, other nationalist revolutions with socialist objectives, have learnt from this mistake. Carlos Tablada and many other Cuban theoreticians and economists, with full support of the revolution, have themselves addressed these issues and proposed measures to resolve these problematics. All political and social systems must evolve and change or otherwise become stagnant and perish.  However, this in no way deflects from the outstanding achievements of Fidel Castro and Cuba in their historic fight for human advancement and dignity.

The changes and transformations that Cuba is currently pursuing are not about taking Cuba in the direction of capitalist restoration, but rather about finding ways to make the socialist project more viable and sustainable. This has been one of the Cuban revolution’s most enduring legacy; to teach us how to remain steadfast, courageous and relevant in an ever-changing world, ravaged by neo-liberal capitalism and the flawed liberal-democratic notion of what constitutes democracy, that is, where 1% own and control everything, and where the resources and wealth of a nation do not benefit all the people. The Cuban revolution’s ability to survive all these years in the face of the contradictions, double-standards, hypocrisy and the bullyism of global capitalism and the Empire is a testimony to the leadership of Fidel Castro.

After 57 years, despite the arduous struggle involved when a small nation stands up to the might and brutality of Empire, despite the sacrifices that had to be made by the Cuban people, there is an outpouring of grief and sadness on the streets of Cuba today. Cubans, both young and old, have expressed not only their grief at the loss of a man who is seen as the father of this nation, but also their determination to honour the life of their heroic leader by continuing the struggle for Cuba’s right to self-determination and true independence. This is surely the litmus test of any revolution.

Thanks to Fidel Castro and this remarkable revolution, the people of Cuba are highly educated and politically conscientized. The revolution has given them the education and knowledge to advance their struggle and to avoid the pitfalls of what we refer to as conceptual and intellectual incarceration. Cuba’s revolution has truly removed not only the physical and material shackles that enslave us, but most importantly, the shackles on the minds of the people. In this sense, the Cuban people can be said to be truly free, unlike so many of their counterparts throughout the region, where the Empire still calls the shots, and so many people continue to be manipulated by the Empire’s propaganda machinery.

In the Caribbean, we lovingly call him Uncle Fidel. Regardless of the absurd and nonsensical rantings of the 1%, and their servants in academia, the corporate media and neo-colonial regimes, Uncle Fidel will forever live on in the hearts and minds of the millions of oppressed and dispossessed people worldwide. He will eternally remain an inspiration for all those who struggle for our inalienable right to self-determination, justice and human dignity. He will be loved and revered by those who know the truth: that he is a hero and undefeated freedom fighter.

Farewell Commandante – in truth, words are indeed inadequate to express our gratitude to you. Like all great revolutionaries, you had no rest in this life, instead you made the ultimate sacrifice, dedicating your life to benefit humanity. May you now rest in peace and power. We know that the best way to live up to your legacy is to renew our pledge,on this day,to continue the struggle for all that you stood for.

On behalf of Organization for the Victory of the People, Guyana, South America


  • This essay is well-intentioned and I agree with much of what it says. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite satisfy, because it’s tone is too deferential.

    Fidel was not a humble man. He may have rejected the cult of personality but he demanded enormous sacrifices of the Cuban people, and did not allow most of them to disagree with the goals he set for them. While he did much that is good, he must be criticized for failing to make room for all those Cubans who were not as serious, or as committed to the ideals of social justice as he was.


  • How did Castro change the world his fight against America imperialism can be seen as a failure ,america is still a world power and Castro is still recognized for the many social injustice against his own people and Cuba sits on the bottom tier of social dislocation and high level of poverty
    Castro benevolence to other countries cannot and will not compensate or erase his grave inhumanities to his countrymen
    Truth unlike milk does not sour so to those who would like to ride Castro into a glorious sunset of humanitarian in death the truth stands out like a sour thumb of demanding that the writers of Castro history make note and place in true historical the many voyages his people took across the high sea fleeing his tyrannical rule
    These people lives were torn apart families displaced in what is best known as the lost and forgotten people of Cuba.
    Historians owes these lost Cubans a debt of gratitude and recognition placing their ordeals in moments and time in true historical context and not simply forgetting their traumas and in their flight for refuge , whilst compensating Fidel with a sickening aura of romantic gratitude


  • AC

    is confused. The plight of Cuban dissidents driven to desperate acts has been extensively and exhaustively documented in hundreds of thousands of newspapers, newscasts, TV documentaries, books and academic journals. There is no danger that those stories will be forgotten because they are part of the content stream of the Great American Megaphone.

    What is often given short shrift in Western media is the role Castro played in helping to liberate southern Africa and in providing medical services to the poor in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. You don’t hear about it on US television, and it is only briefly noted on British and Canadian channels.


  • Zoe December 1, 2016 at 8:37 AM #

    “Crazy with fury, I will strain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred flight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl.” – Che Guevara, Motorcycle Diaries

    “Until July 26, 2008, Fidel Castro ruled Cuba with an iron grip for nearly five decades.”

    “Having seized power on January 1, 1959. Fidel Castro followed the tradition of Vladimir Lenin and immediately turned his country into a slave camp. Ever since, Cuba has distinguished itself as one of the MOST MONSTROUS HUMAN-RIGHTS abusers in the world.”

    “Half a million human beings have passed through Cuba’s gulag. Since Cuba’s total population is only around eleven million, that gives Castro’s despotism the highest political incarceration rate per capita on earth. Firing squads have carried out more than FIFTEEN THOUSAND EXECUTIONS. Torture has been institutionalized; myriad human rights organizations have documented the regime’s use of electric shock, dark coffin-sized isolation cells, and beatings to punish ‘anti-socialist elements,’”

    “Since Castro’s death cult, like other leftist ideologies, believes that human blood purifies the earth- and since manifestations of grief affirm the reality of the individual, and thus are anathema to the totality- mourning for the departed became taboo. Just like Mao’s China and Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Castro’s Cuba warned family members of murdered dissidents NOT to cry at their funerals.”

    “Cubans do not have the right to travel out of their country. They do not have the right of free association or the right to form political parties, independent unions, or religious or cultural organizations. A Committee for the Defense of the Cuban Revolution (CDR) governs every single city block and every agricultural production unit. the CDR’s purpose is to monitor the affairs of every family and report anything suspicious. A Cuban’s entire life is spent under the surveillance of his CDR, which controls everything from his food rations to his employment to his use of free time.”

    “A vicious RACISM against BLACKS accompanies this repression. In pre-Castro Cuba, blacks enjoyed upward social mobility and served in many government positions. In Castro’s Cuba, the JAIL POPULATION is 80 percent BLACK, while the government hierarchy IS 100 PERCENT WHITE.”

    “Cuban communism follows Lenin’s and Stalin’s idea of ‘equality’ wherein members of nomenklatura LIVE LIKE MILLIONAIRES, while ordinary Cuban’s LIVE IN UTTER POVERTY.”

    “Denied the right to vote under Castro, Cubans have voted with their feet. Pre-Castro Cuba had the highest per capita immigration rate in the Western hemisphere. Under Castro, approximately TWO MILLION Cuban citizens (out of eleven million) have escaped their country. Many have done so by floating on rafts or inner tubes in shark-infested waters. An estimated FIFTY THOUSAND to EIGHTY-SEVEN THOUSAND have lost their lives.”

    “Not content to trust the sharks, Castro SENT HELICOPTERS to DROP SAND BAGS onto the rafts of would-be-escapees, OR JUST GUN THEM ALL DOWN. Epitomizing this BARBARITY was the TUGBOAT MASSACRE of July 13, 1994, in which Castro ORDERED Cuban patrol boats to KILL FORTY -ONE unarmed Cuban civilians – TEN OF THEN CHILDREN- who were using an old wooden tugboat in their attempt to FLEE Cuba.” (UNITED IN HATE, The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror, Jamie Glazov, pp. 47,48,50,51) Emphasis added.

    The above is just scratching the surface of the brutal, dictatorial, tyrannical, beastly RULE of Fidel Castro over Cuba and its people, a wicked, evil man, beloved by other LEFTISTS MISFITS, right here in B’dos and elsewhere, Oh, if Castro could speak right NOW, where he IS IN CONSCIOUS everlasting MISERY and TORTURE, beyond anything he gave to others.

    What RIP in WHAT!?


  • Listen Chad 9999 you cannot make such an asinine statement in regards to what people know of Castro benelovence to other countries as such has been written over many years and will be recorded
    What is at issue presently is a new and systematic unveiling of historians who found favour with Castro benelovency to revere Castro as the humble pied piper without giving little regard or reference to his tyrannical effect to the long suffering people of Cuba
    I have no problem with history in a context of truth facts and evidence which incorporates the good and the bad side of an individual for which Castro cannot and should not escape


  • Zoe

    Had you the opportunity to read Che Guevara autobiography? Do you know what drove Che Guervara to staged armed resistence against the imperialist? Are you not cognizant of the fact that those words spoken by Che Guervara were spoken with in given historical context? So before you start misrepresenting the motivation behind the words of Che Guervara try and grasp the historical context in which those words were spoken, and what really motivated Che Guervara from a young boy to fight against European Economic Imperialism in South America. I read this man’s autobiography as a younger in Barbados, and I can say without much equivocation that I respect and admire the efforts this man made to endeavoured to liberated the South American people from vice grip of European Economic Imperialism. He as well as Castro weren’t perfect men by any stretched of anyone’s imagination, but you can’t help but to admire the testicular fortitude of these two men, and pride as well as hope the both of them brought to bear upon the people who were shackled to the bedpost of European Economic Imperialism.


  • Cuba under Castro compares favourably to Chile under Pinochet, where in the space of just a few years, 10,000 dissidents were “disappeared” and to Argentina under a series of military junta where at least 30,000 opponents of the generals were “disappeared”– some thrown out of planes into the Atlantic.

    Pay attention, Zoe. You have nothing to say about Chile and Argentina, which have never even lifted a finger to help other countries.


  • Fidel Castro, well ever be regarded as a hero in the eyes of the majority of South Americans, West Indians and African people.


  • Everyone trying to fly along side the ashes of the now deceased Castro trying to take a a shotened view of his infamancy which only tailgates and cast doubts on who the real Castro is
    Yes he played well his both sided to an audience who wanted to know more of him
    Like Donald Trump he gave his well wishers wanted they hoped for ,but in the final analysis it is not how many fights he fought abroad to save or help other countries but a benelovency of humanatarian platitudes that he fought hard against for his own people
    A jesture that would have sealed his legacy in time and death and carried over in seeing that his country and people got a justice deserving and founded on civil rights


  • How about China?

    Let us see how Trump deals with China’s most favoured trading partner status. Especially given recent events read Taiwan.

    On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 1:08 PM, Barbados Underground wrote:



  • Well Well & Consequences

    At least Fidel dod not have the cult mentality, so prevalent and very unattractive in small island leaders.

    “Castro’s dying wish
    Added by Barbados Today on December 4, 2016.
    Saved under International

    As thousands joined Cuban President Raul Castro to say goodbye to his brother, Fidel, on Saturday night, the younger brother imparted one of Fidel’s dying wishes: that his image and name never adorn public places, from streets and parks to government institutions.”


  • As thousands joined Cuban President Raul Castro to say goodbye to his brother, Fidel, on Saturday night, the younger brother imparted one of Fidel’s dying wishes: that his image and name never adorn public places, from streets and parks to government institutions.”

    That wish was also expressed by EWB,who eschewed statues,monuments or mementoes ….sadly his wish was not honoured and could be seen as the final insult by the Bees to the Dees.

    All humanoids have feet of clay and sadly many of those living need crutches in the dead or mythology to hold onto and tend to ignore the negatives and only speak of the positives after death but prefer myths as they can create whatever without fear of contradiction……Zoe know well about this syndrome.


  • Vincent Haynes December 4, 2016 at 1:02 PM #

    As thousands joined Cuban President Raul Castro to say goodbye to his brother, Fidel, on Saturday night, the younger brother imparted one of Fidel’s dying wishes: that his image and name never adorn public places, from streets and parks to government institutions.”’

    From Santiago de Cuba to Havana images and quotes from Mr Castro adorn walls and billboards


  • Zoe December 4, 2016 at 8:05 AM #

    Brain Reacts To Religion Just Like Drugs
    Like most drugs, it has its pros and its cons. What I find impressive is people who take none of it literally but can still get high. That is an admirable (and useful) amount of cognitive dissonance. · Video · YouTube


    I now understand the situation…..time you went to religion rehab.


  • Well Well & Consequences

    Ah know..5 or 10 years from now the criminals will disrespect Castro’s wish and exploit his image everywhere for their own benefit, just as they did with Barrow, just as they did with Marley who wanted to be buried in Zimbabwe, dont even know if he’s buried yet since they put him in a glass case, I think it was in Halfway Tree to make money off the dead dude…greed has no respect.


  • Well Well

    Irrespective of where Castro’s earthly tabernacle respites, he shall always find a place in my heart until the man who sits upon high and looks down low calls for my last breath. This man was a childhood hero and I spent many mornings in the reference section of the library down town Bridgetown in the early 80s, in searched of any and everything I get my hands on regarding Fidel Castro.


  • I was listening to a round panel discussion on cbc highliting the legacy of Fidel Castro and his war against Imperalism
    What really got my attention was the reply given by one of the guest when questioned on Fidel benelovence to other countries in the form of military aid
    To which the guest replied that Castro benevolence was built around a frame work by which to deliver a message principled to a socialist agenda


  • I lived in Cuba, though as an invited employee, for approx 2.5 years in short stints from 1994-2000.

    Cuba is one big social experiment. It is continually changing and evolving. They try.
    It is impossible for me to condone the forceful threats which are ever present. The “Party” pays very special attention to its military and various policing functions to ensure people do not stray. They ARE consequences. They do not tolerate non-conformists.

    “The changes and transformations that Cuba is currently pursuing are not about taking Cuba in the direction of capitalist restoration, but rather about finding ways to make the socialist project more viable and sustainable.”

    This will be very interesting, to watch that bridge unfold. There is already some unrest, for employees in the tourism sector (the prime earner of forex) are being paid better than certain professions.

    The Revolution took over an existing infrastructure. They have not maintained it well. (the major reason I was there). This is expensive, especially when you do not have the equipment. And despite having a ‘wash-pan’ of engineers, their practical knowledge is weak. Prior to hotels, they did (not the USSR) very little construction and even less restoration.

    Cuba has a vibrant underground economy. The “Party” doesn’t look after the people, the people look after the people. Necessity is the mother of invention.

    So I say. the Cubans are people. Toss away all your opinions of ideology, I know not of perfection. It is easy to be negative or positive when you are not living something, when it becomes a part of our imagination, guided by an article here or there.

    It will be very interesting to see where Cuba is in 20 years, should I live that long. But beware. They have more undeveloped miles of beachfront property than is imaginable. To date, their tourism business has focused on the low-middle end mass market, and they like to concentrate it, effectively creating small compounds or zones. The day they enter the higher end market, watch out. And while the entire real estate market is in its infancy, the person up above only knows what will happen should they open up private ownership of beach front real estate.


  • Cuba is just under 43000 sq miles and 11 million socialists who will not be inclined to the gringo yes sir,no sir,three bags full sir kowtowing attitude abroad in other islands of the Caribbean.I posit there will be no great changes in Cuba for a few decades well.
    It is irony that as one pretender has taken his leave of us,we are saddled at least for 4 years with a more dangerous ideologue in the great US of A.What a humoungous let down.Its enough to force a re look at this thing called Adult Suffrage.First the U.K,then the US,now Italy.The world is populist confused.


  • Very insightful and knowledgeable commentary at 5:59 pm Mr Northern Observer however i am a little wary of the view that – ‘The day they enter the higher end market, watch out. And while the entire real estate market is in its infancy, the person up above only knows what will happen should they open up private ownership of beach front real estate.’- because the bureaucracy is so entrenched and deep rooted that doing business the fast way would be problematic since servitude service without incentive and reward would remain inefficient and not conducive to business designed for profit.


  • Mr Skeete, you could be right. They have certainly figured out not only the profit in hotels, but how to get others to invest at the 49% level, so they maintain ownership without full investment. The “sale of houses” is another story, as they have no registry system, and trying to figure exactly who owns and has the right to sell is confusing. The sale of vacant land maybe easier, as they have a base zero from which to operate.


Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s