November 25, 2016 will be a sad day for the Cuban community and for the whole world. One of the most influential leaders of the 20th century had passed away. Fidel Castro was one of my most respected and admired, favorite leaders in this world. Even in one of my courses I dedicated an essay to his personality. He was an exemplary leader in protecting his nation’s rights in international and domestic arena. Every leader, especially from Third World needs to learn from his legacy, leadership and policies.
He was born in 1926. From university times, he began to be interested and involved with Marxism. In 1952, General Fulgencio Batista seized power through Coup d’état. In his period, Cuba was a country which was ruled by criminal syndicates. Cuba was a country for playboys. Rate of the prostitution, gambling, drug trafficking was very high. There was a quite big difference in the living conditions between rich and poor. Batista was supported by US and US also frequently intervened on the Cuban affairs. Fidel Castro and his allies could not bare to this injustice and wanted to overthrow Batista, Their attempt in 1953 was unsuccessful and Fidel was arrested, but he was released in 1955 in General Amnesty.
In 1959, he was able to make Socialist Revolution and defeat corrupted and US’ puppet Batista. Legendary guerilla fighter Ernesto Che Guevara was one of his closest friends and helped him during this revolution. Of course, USA would not like his “favorable” candidate to be overthrown and a communist regime was gonna to be established. In 1961, with the help of CIA exiled Cuban private army came to overthrow Fidel, but Fidel was able to stay strong against and repulsed them. Following year, Nuclear crisis emerged. USSR leader Khrushchev wanted USSR’s missiles to be located in Cuba. This event escalated tensions between USSR, USA in Cold war. But after mutual agreement(USA refused its weapons secretly in Turkey) Khrushchev also agreed on the removal of the missiles in Cuba.
USA hated him. He was a thorn for their Big Power Status. Castro was regarded as a real enemy and USA tried to eradicate him illicitly several times(poison to his cigar, medicine for losing his iconic beard, etc) Reportedly, 638 assassination attempts was made against him by CIA. USA put economic embargo which is still in power against Cuba. Despite all of these disadvantages, Castro was independent and tried to improve Cuba’s position in international area and develop its social welfare inside the society.
Castro was a passionate speaker whose speeches consisted of several hours. He never refrained from expressing his strong discontent about US’ external policy. Fidel Castro also helped other countries especially to left-wing parties in their revolution. He deeply believed that each country should control its own resources without any foreign power’s intervention. Castro trained several training troops in his country also sent thousands of Cuban fighters in the battles in several African countries. He contributed to the conflicts or supported governments in Angolan Civil War, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nicaragua, Algeria, South Africa etc. He believed that Marxism is the most essential concept that would bring prosperity to every individual of the society. He hated capitalism, because he saw its worst consequences and ramifications in his country, he saw how poor people lived and what difficulties they had. Also, he was against apartheid in Africa.
After USSR’s collapse( even last chairman of Communist Part Gorbachev withdrew USSR’s help to Cuba), Cuba entered to a stagnation period. But beginning of the 21st century brought new opportunities for Cuba. Venezuela’s Ugo Chavez became a very good ally with Cuba and helped them a lot. Due to declining health, he began to withdrew from his official positions and in 2008, he withdrew from his Presidency post and his brother and one of the important members of Cuban Revolution Raul Castro took his position.
In 2015, the relationships between Cuba and USA got more lenient and Obama’s visit created new opportunities in the frozen relationship between Cuba and USA.
Castro nationalized US people’s owned soils. Castro offered free health and education for its people. Cuba’s literacy rate rose to 99,7 percent! In US this number is 86 percent. Moreover, in 1998, Cuba was second in the number of doctors per person or family in the world.
Most of the people, especially exiled Cuban people did not love him. They consider him as a tyranny. They are talking about human right abuses, torture on opposition, because, they or their ancestries were wealthy and enjoyed gambling, prostitution, when poor people were dying from crimes, starvation. They did not like him, because what the hell US is always right, and everyone is wrong! Fidel was a thorn for U, therefore he is an evil, because he did not let US to exploit Cuba’s recourses and he did not let US to interfere in Cuban affairs. So, most of the people consider Castro as an evil, because of his love to Cuba, resistance against US and other big powers, and his ideals(which was socialism, equal life for everyone, not one enjoy prosperity and other die from poverty).
Castro brought free education and free health. Castro strengthened Cuba’s role in domestic and international arena. Castro was able to resist against the enemy of Cuba at that time USA. He brought prosperity, stability and power. I am ensuring you, dear readers, democracy would not have brought this prosperity in Cuba, there was not any leader who could have substituted him even his brother Raul was not able to. Thus, I respect Fidel, thank you, comandante, for all of what you have done for Cuba, for the world. Third World(unfortunately reality is this due to big powers) countries’ leaders need to learn lots of things from Fidel Castro. Fidel means Cuba, Cuba means Fidel! Viva Fidel, Viva Cuba! Rest in Peace, Fidel!