Saturday, November 26, 2016

Via Con Dios, Comrade

A towering historic figure and one of my personal heroes, has passed away, and with him an era of history, the waning of true independent nationalism. I am heartbroken, and that such a true symbol of The People should have died in 2016, a year of such immeasurable loss, seems fitting.  The words come to mind: "He should have died hereafter..."  I weep for a world without his brilliance and vision, his tenacious example of leadership, and constancy of responsibility for the poor.  Rest in Peace, Fidel.

Some commenters from the Times today below...


 Washington 5 hours ago

Lots of people are going to rag on Cuba, but I've got a slightly different perspective - Cuba represents a different way forward. While other Marxist-Leninist countries have reformed and failed, like the Soviet Union, or reformed and turned basically state-capitalist, like China, only Cuba has remained pretty much entirely socialist. And the thing that scares the owning class, I think, is that they're not a total failure.
You've got this little colonial backwater of an island that was built on slavery and a single cash crop, released from imperial control over a hundred years after the United States, fell promptly into U.S. influence, suffered repeated puppet governments and highly exploitative agricultural practices, and following a socialist revolution, it now has the highest standard of living in the Caribbean, one of the highest in Latin America, is the only country in the world to be highly developed in a sustainable manner, has relatively successful universal medical and educational programs (at all levels), eliminated extreme poverty in ways even the U.S. has not, maintained the second largest international military presence during the Cold War, has sent more medical aid workers worldwide than the UN, the World Health Organization, or all the G8 countries combined, and has survived half a century of economic warfare from the world's preeminent military and economic superpower (not to mention repelling a U.S.-backed invasion in '61).


 Coombs 5 hours ago

I'm not alone in remembering the images of Fidel in the mountains of Cuba fighting Batista. I was 8 or 9, he immediately became my hero, he still is. He fought against the tyranny of the gangsters who ran the casinos and brothels of Cuba. He was sure the US would applaud his ousting of the crooks. the United States turned against him. He introduced free medical care. He improved education,the literacy rate in cuba is probably higher than that of the US.

Philip S. Wenz

 is a trusted commenter Corvallis, Oregon 4 hours ago

When I went to Cuba I observed that there is no poverty there. The people are poor, compared to Americans, but no one is an economic outcast. Everyone has food, shelter, medical care and a free education. Let the US live up to that standard, and then we can brag about our moral high ground.


 NYC 4 hours ago

Fidel Castro is a Cuban nationalist and for that reason he was the enemy of the United States who much prefer foreign countries to have a pro-American leader that's willing to oppress its people for the benefit of the US. We see this in US overthrow of democratic Iran, Libya and numerous 3rd world nations.

Had Washington not try to occupy Cuba for the last 6 decades, Cuba probably will be a Scandinavian or France like country. Maybe not as wealthy but definitely middle class with small income gap courtesy of its industrious populace.

I hope Raul Castro and the Cuban people hold fast and continue Fidel's legacy of national sovereignty and equality.
 Houston 3 hours ago
American leaders have long confused the nationalist agenda as represented by Fidel Castro with communism, just as they did with Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, the nationalist movement in the Philippines in 1900, and similar such engagements in Central/South America; this was also true but not well-recognized in China at the beginning of the 20th century. The desire for global leadership by US government since the 1890's was reflected in the Monroe Doctrine in the Western Hemisphere, and by the Open Door Policy in Asia. Our policies since the 1920's relied on the "oh, look, over there...a squirrel!" type of deflection by using a grossly inflated 'fear' of Communism to cloak our real motives of global domination. Fidel Castro understood this completely, and originally worked US policy to his great advantage. Unfortunately, he became so enamored with power and dictatorship that his countrymen suffered for his ego. But he retained great popularity within his country; the people of Cuba did not forget the horrors of US-led dictatorship under Batista; American citizens either did not know, or chose not to know, about those manipulations, in Cuba and throughout South America as well as globally as mentioned. Castro was not a hero to Americans, but he was to a great many Cubans and South Americans for a long time...a great example of the saying that "all politics are local".
 Zika 6 hours ago
Viva la Revolucion! For millions of the oppressed, Castro was a symbol of hope. He defied the largest and most powerful empire for over 50 years, only 90 miles off its shore.
They tried, over and over, to destroy the revolution in Cuba, but they could never kill it - or him.
Fidel may have passed on, but the ideal of liberation from the horrors of capitalism will never die. Working men and women of the world will have victory one day.

“Nobody should be under the illusion that the people of this dignified and selfless country will renounce the glory, the rights or the spiritual wealth they have gained with the development of education, science and culture,” Mr. Castro wrote.

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