THANK YOU COMPAÑERO FIDEL CASTRO!
By Nikos Mottas*.
“Rights are to be taken,
not requested; seized,
not begged for”
– Jose Marti.
After 25th November 2016 humanity is poorer. The international working class, the people who fiught for a better world, those who believe in a society without exploitation of man by man, are poorer. Along with the proud people of Cuba, the international communist movement mourns the biological death of one of the greatest, the most emblematic revolutionaries of contemporary History. The heart of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Comandante Fidel Castro stopped beating, marking the biological end of a life of 90 years full of struggles and sacrifices for the ideals of Socialism-Communism, for a Cuba where the people will be the masters of their destiny.
The death of Fidel, as well as the biological deaths of other extraordinary revolutionaries and communists like Lenin, Stalin, Che, Ho Chi Minch, consists a motive for the evaluation of their revolutionary work and legacy. A work and a legacy which are key factors in the formation of the class conciousness of the working class.
Fidel approached Marxism-Leninism in practice. He was a communist in actions, not words. Comandante Fidel identified himself with revolutionary practice which is dialectically inter-connected with the Marxist revolutionary theory. Along with his comrades and the Cuban people he accomplished an extraordinary achievement- the first Socialist revolution in the history of the American continent. Comrade Castro and the Cuban Revolution proved that Imperialism is not undefeated and that the only real superpower is the people who resist, the people who fight against capitalist barbarity and open the road to socialist perspective.
Various imperialists, apologists of Capitalism, fascists and anticommunists are trying these days to vilify Fidel and his legacy. They have already failed. Because History- the only unmistakable judge- has absolved him. Fidel has been irreversibly and ultimately absolved by History. The achievements of the Cuban Revolution consist a solid proof of that.
Today, 57 years after the 1959 Revolution, the achievements of socialist construction in Cuba’s public sectors including Health, Education and Housing is much higher than in many capitalist countries in Latin America. The literacy rate is almost 98%, education is accessible to all citizens without exceptions while the Cuban national health system (free for all) is justifiably regarded one of the best in the world. Some indicative data speak by themselves:
- In 2007, the average life expectancy rate in Cuba was 78.26 years, having increasing trend. For the same year, the rate in the US was 77.99 years. (World Bank).
- In 2010, infant mortality rate in the island was 4.7 for ever 1000 births, less than any country in the whole continent, including the US.
- During the last years, 1,390,000 patients from 32 countries had their vision improved or fully restored in 59 ophalmology centers operating under the support of the Cuban and Venezuelan governments.
- The centralized, state control of economy has let Cuba to constantly develop the national health system, even after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the hardening of the US economic blockade. From 1990 to 2003, the number of doctors in Cuba increased by 76%, of dentists by 46% and nurses by 16%. During the same period, the population coverage of the social institution of “family doctor” was increased by 52.2%, touching a rate of 99.2% in 2003.
- In November 2008, Cuba had more than 70,000 doctors. From them, approximately 17,600 were sent to 75 different countries in order to offer their services there. In 27 countries (including African countries such as Ghana, Botswana, Namimbia etc.) Cuba has supplied medical personnel which offers high quality services. In Timor Leste, for example, it is estimated that between 2003 and 2008, the Cuban medical mission saved 11,400 people contributing significantly to the fall of birth mortality rate.
- The high solidarity feeling among Cuban people is undoubted. The first Cuban medical team was sent in 1960 to the then devastated by an earthquake Chile. From 1960 to 1980 the Cuban government immediately sent medical aid to 16 countries which had been facing natural disasters or conflicts. On August 2005, after the disastrous hurricane
- Katrina in the United States, the Castro government volunteered to sent a team of doctors to the state of Louisianna.
- The proposal was turned down by the Bush administration. During the same year, on October 2005, Cuba sent the largest number of specialized medical personnel (2,500 men and women) to Pakistan, shortly after the earthquake. Moreover, the Cuban government offered 1,000 scholarships to Pakistani students from poor families who desired to study medicine.
- The 99.8% of Cubans over the age of 15 know how to read and write (UNESCO). That consists the highest rate of literacy in Latin America and one of the highest internationally.
- During 2010, one million young Cubans were graduated from the country’s universities.
- The role of woman in society is upgraded. Fourty-three percent (43%) of the seats at the country’s parliament are held by females, while 65% of the labor force in technical sectors are women.
- Despite the relatively small size of the country (11 million), Cuba is a significant power in sports. For example, in the Pan-American Games of 2011 held in Mexico, the country was terminated second with 58 golden medals.
On the above we should add the fact that any citizen, indifferently of sex, race or ethnicity, can find a job, without facing the terrible situation of unemployment that bedevils many “developed” capitalist countries of the West.
The socialist construction in Cuba is not perfect- there are existing problems which constantly changing and the Revolution faces new challenges. However, we should ask ourselves: Under what conditions does Cuba and Cuban people try to live and develop the socialist system for more than four decades? The answer is clear.
Since the triumph of the 1959 Revolution and until today, Imperialism- more specifically the U.S. imperialism- has not stopped to undermine the socialist construction in this small but proud island. The inhuman embargo (economic blockade) that has been imposed by the US government is an example of a multi-dimensional war that Imperialism has declared to Cuba. It is estimated that, in economic terms, 8 hours of economic blockade equals with 140 school buildings’ renovations. Three days of blockade equals with 100 tones of pharmaceutical material.
The war of Imperialism against the Castro government and the Cuban people became more relentless after the counter-revolutionary events of 1989-1991 in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. However, Cuba’s Socialism managed not only to stay firm, but also to progress under especially adverse circumstances. That consists the unambiguous and undoubted vindication of Fidel Castro.
Every communist, every Marxist-Leninist, every honest fighter against capitalist exploitation and Imperialism, in every corner of the world, owes a massive “Gracias” to Comandante Fidel.
Thank You companero Fidel Castro! Thank you for your dedication to the ideals of Socialism-Communism. Thank you for all the unforgettable heroes who fought by your side- for Che, for Camilo, for Celia, for Raul and many others! Thank you for the proletarian internationalism which you and Cuba honoured in the best possible way! Thank you for your solidarity to the people of the world. Thank you for your extraordinary speeches which will continue to inspire a spirit of disobedience and rebellion against Imperialism. Thank you for the Revolution and the bread of the Cuban people who loved you like a father.
Thank You, Compañero Fidel, most of all, for the hope for a better world! Hasta La Victoria, Siempre Comandante!
*Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of In Defense of Communism, a PhD candidate in Political Science, International Relations and Political History.
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