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Farewell Fidel

Viva La Cuba

vivafidellFidel Alejandro Castro Ruz 1926 - 2016 led a daring revolution and protected his country from the mob.

In the week following the passing of Fidel Castro, much of the world's media was filled with scornful opinions. Some deride him because he was a nonconformist, or because it's reported that he has 14 children and was something of a womaniser. Others deride him because he kept his country from progressing, but all of these people are largely ignorant and self glorifying themselves in their own opinions.

In the era of the revolution, the USA was hard at work replacing democratically elected governments all over the world with tyrannical kiss-arse regimes that allowed US corporations to drain their economies. Few people care to remember that the USA has actually replaced some 70 governments around the world installing its own version of democracy.

Fidel and his friends saw this happening and Cuba as an exclusive club for the Hollywood and US corporate jet set. But the Cuban people lived in poverty and only a small elite benefited from the US tourists who spent their money in US owned hotels and casinos.

The people of Cuba lived a hand to mouth existence with little prospect for advancement beyond joining the criminal elite that deprived and persecuted them. This was reason to rebel, we must salute their daring and endurance in the face of the world's opposition. The revolution began in 1953 and ended with the expulsion of the Batista regime in January 1959 and the Soviet Union became Cuba's closest ally.

The new Cuban regime headed by Fidel Castro endured the Soviet collapse, the US invasion in April 1961 and the US blockade that prevented Cuba from trading with the world or having normalised international relations. The USA was the law and it has used the international criminal court to torment and enforce its dominance even though it is not a member of the ICC. Even the United Nations is run by the USA who uses it ruthlessly to dominate the world.

Cuba’s 1959 revolution, for whatever else can be said about it, produced a notably flat society. Since shortly after a guerrilla force headed by Fidel Castro seized power, everyone has owned their home. Education, right through a doctorate, or two, is free. So is health care. As a consequence, Cuba is the Latin American leader in life expectancy, literacy and many other development indicators. Just as striking, when compared with Caracas or Sao Paulo or Mexico City, is the lack of a glaring disparity. Havana has “good” neighbourhoods and less prosperous ones, but it does not have enclaves of mansions-behind-high-walls, green and serene in a sea of shantytowns." The Globe and Mail

After the US  naval blockade was relaxed in 1962, Cuba began to recover despite the trade embargo imposed by the USA. Under the Cuban economy, the people didn't have much in terms of material wealth, but they have a first-class education system and a first-class healthcare system that is completely free for the people. Everyone had enough to eat but not so much that they would get fat which also kept them healthy.

Now that Fidel has gone and his brother is also ageing, Cuba's future seems almost certain to become dominated by global corporate interests. Barack Obama has relaxed the sanctions and regular flights from the USA to Cuba are resuming. US corporations are rubbing their fat greedy hands together and planning on how they can exploit the Cubans.

There is a chance that President-elect Donald Trump will throw a spanner in the works, but unless that happens the Cuban people will have to look forward to adapting to real poverty, paying for the education, paying for their healthcare and seeing most business profits depart to the USA.

Fidel Castro did his best for his people and if you entertain the negative views about him, you're a fucking idiot who needs to wake up and grow up. Of all the leaders in this world, Fidel Castro deserves our respect because he stood up not only for its own people, but for real social justice.

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