Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro died on Friday night at the age of 90. The unfortunate news was released by President Raul Castro, through a television address on national television. The head of state explained that the body of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution will be cremated according to his own will.
Fidel Castro Ruz or Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1926 and studied in various religious schools, before graduating in law from the University of Havana. For many, this would have provided the perfect platform to pursue conservative politics, but not for Fidel, as he is fondly called. He chose a different path, to become one of the greatest and finest revolutionaries. He not only challenged the imperialist hegemony of the US, from what it considered was its 'backyard', but stood up to it without flinching. All the attempts of the US to bring down Cuba to its knees have spectacularly failed. And Fidel Castro had a major role to play in all these developments. He pulled together a band of fellow revolutionaries with the aim of overthrowing Fulgencio Batista, Cuba's dictator.
In an address, Raul Castro said, “"Today November 25, at 10:29 p.m., the Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz died." In compliance with the expressed will of Fidel, his remains will be cremated. Saturday morning, the organizing committee of the funeral will provide our people with detailed information on the organization of the posthumous Homage that will be tribute to the founder of the Cuban Revolution. !Ever onward to victory!”
Obituaries have started pouring in from different parts of the world which includes messages from different leaders, movements and political parties. In a press statement, Communist Party of India (Marxist) said, “The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) pays its respectful homage to the memory of this towering revolutionary figure, who did so much to shape the revolutionary movements in the second half of the 20th century.” The press statement goes on to say, “Fidel Castro proved to be a creative practitioner of Marxist theory and practice. He emerged as the most eloquent champion of socialism in the second half of the 20th century. In his passing away an era has ended. But his revolutionary legacy will endure. His life and example will continue to inspire revolutionaries and progressives all over the world in times to come.” The statement can be read here
Former Labour trade minister Brian Wilson said Castro had sent out a “beacon of hope” to Latin America.
“He educated his people and he gave them healthcare they had never had before, and you can admire all of that without being an uncritical supporter, believe me, but do not lose the bigger picture - that Fidel Castro, for his region and for oppressed people throughout the world, sent out a message of hope.”
The communist party of India has also expressed its condolence on death of the Cuban leader. In a statement, they have said “National council of the CPI received with deep grief and sorrow the news of demise of Com. Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban Revolution and inspiration for all generations of revolutionaries world over. The National Council, on behalf of all the party members and Indian people conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Communist Party of Cuba and Cuban people. It reiterates its commitment to carry forward the heroic and revolutionary heritage of Com. Fidel Castro.” The statement can be read here.
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the CPI (M) has called it an “end of an era.” He goes on to say that, “revolutionaries like Fidel Castro live forever”.
In his speech to the seventh Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in April 2016, Fidel spoke of his impending death; in a way only he could.
“I will soon turn 90 years old, something I would have never thought of and that is not the product of any effort, but the whims of fate...Soon I will be like everyone else. This may be the last time I speak in this room..."
He further stated: "The time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban Communists will remain as proof on this planet that if they are worked at with fervor and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we need to fight without a truce to obtain them...Communism is the most distorted and maligned concept in history".
Fidel will be remembered as true champion of the people, a leader who stood against the mighty USA and opposed imperialism till his last breath. Long Live Fidel!
Image Courtesy: wikipedia.org