The Unstoppable Fidel in Terms of Inspiration

Raúl Torres is recording a new disc with the local Unicornio record company to compile some of the experiences lived in the last year entitled’ Niñito historia’by the writer of the book entitled’ Candil de nieve ’ that has become a kind of spokesperson at the time of expressing what it is felt by thousand of people. However, we all don’t have the gift for making music by placing the words in their proper order. That was what happened after Fidel death.

The occasion needed a poem, a verse and there was a line which expresses the really hard moment the nation was going through. Raúl Torres was there and he said, and even better, he sang what we wanted, besides, there was another song dedicated to Fidel some days ago and he said again that there are thousands of people who are silent and suffering under the absence of the leader.

The Unstoppable Fidel in Terms of Inspiration

“We were used to reading his writings on the Granma newspaper, his speeches and his few appearances at the end, but people were used to that. I think that is the saddest lack of former presence that is happening to the Cuban people since many years ago and that is why he is missed.” Raúl told some minutes after carrying out his vote on November 26th. He feels that there is no doubt about the related tenderness about him as he is an artist who knows what that means in Cuba.

“A song like the one entitled´Cabalgando con Fidel´ is another of the songs and there are many songs made about Fidel not only by local troubadours and singer composers in the nation but also in other nations. Fidel is endless in terms of inspiration. He has inspired many poets, writers and the also singers songwriters. There are not enough songs to describe the dimension of the Comamnder-in-chief.” He stated.

The Unstoppable Fidel in Terms of Inspiration

Taking into account the great vision of any artist, tell us how do you see Cuba in 5 years time?

I see a Cuba renewing itself, fighting with its flags raised and I think that is the only alternative to keep holding the Socialist flag and I think that is the only altearnative that Fidel showed to us to keep defending what we are in this world as a special human beings. We are Cubans and that is thanks to Fidel and the Cuban Revolution.

By Jaime Masó Torres

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Fidel Castro: A Latin American Legend

The Cuban revolutionary remained influential in Latin America and across the world for half a century.

Fidel was born in 1926 during a period when then-President Gerardo Machado was cutting off the traditional elite from its long-held power and defending the island’s sovereignty from the United States.

As a child, Fidel was sent to live in Santiago de Cuba, where he excelled more in sports than academia.

His youth was marked by turbulent politics: Fulgencio Batista became president in 1940 and ruled the country until 1944 before returning to power through a coup in 1952. With the blessing and material support of the United States, he ruled Cuba with an iron fist until 1959 in what even John F. Kennedy once referred to as “one of the most bloody and repressive dictatorships in the long history of Latin American repression.”

While studying law at the University of Havana, Fidel became increasingly involved in anti-imperialist activism. After traveling to the Dominican Republic and Colombia, Fidel sharpened his leftist politics and led protests against right-wing governments in both countries.

Upon returning to Cuba, Fidel used his legal training to oppose the Batista regime while founding an underground revolutionary socialist group called “The Movement.”

Armed Struggle

The Movement staged a failed attack on the Moncada barracks, and many—including Fidel—were arrested.

Prison was a time of learning for Fidel, who devoured authors ranging from Marx, Lenin and Marti to Freud and Shakespeare. It was during this time that Fidel made one of the most famous speeches in history, “History Will Absolve Me,” as part of his own defense in court.

Millions of Cubans hailed the anti-imperialist movement to oust U.S. imposed dictator Fulgencio Batista | Photo: File

Released in 1955, Fidel left Cuba for Mexico, where he met and soon befriended the Argentine Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The Movement ultimately survived and reorganized in Fidel’s newfound country, eventually assuming the name “26th of July Movement” in honor of the Moncada attack.

IN PICTURES: The Victory of Fidel Castro's Revolution

Fidel began his takeover of Cuba the next year, sailing to the island aboard the Granma. The few fighters soon multiplied and despite initial defeats against Batista forces, Fidel’s strategizing and sustained guerrilla attacks eventually resulted in the country being taken over piece by piece.

Despite U.S. attempts to stop him, on Jan. 1, 1959, Fidel officially declared victory in what would be the final nail in the coffin of the Batista regime.

Putting Words Into Action

Fidel transformed the country from one terrorized by torture, killings and dispossession to one radically committed to wealth redistribution, education and universal health care.

Domestically, he built his legacy on agrarian reform, establishing one of the world’s most ambitious literacy campaigns and developing a free, world-class health care system. He went on to nationalize companies, refineries and land and would serve as head of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1965.

Fidel parades through the streets of Havana 56 years ago celebrating the triumph of the Cuban Revolution | Photo: File

In Washington, he is known for opposing U.S. aggression, most prominently the CIA’s Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, and being a major player in the 1962 Missile Crisis that marked the peak of the Cold War with the USSR. He is also believed to have survived at least 638 assassination attempts as well as countless attempts to destabilize the small Caribbean country.

ANALYSIS: 5 Times Fidel Proved He Was a True Internationalist

In Latin America, Fidel built the groundwork for a tight partnership between left-wing governments of the Caribbean and South America. Along with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, he helped found ALBA, a socialist bloc opposed to privatization and liberalization which offers a vision of post-neoliberalism rooted in principles of social welfare and mutual economic aid.

For the Global South, Fidel is a revolutionary icon who has consistently supported principles—and policies—of internationalism. He was a key figure in the Non-Aligned Movement, winning the respect of leaders across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where thousands of Cuban troops, doctors, agricultural specialists and teachers have helped on humanitarian missions.

Fidel’s Dawn

On April 19, 2016, at the final session of the Cuban Communist Party’s 7th Congress, Fidel addressed his audience. “This may be one of the last times that I speak in this room,” he said, “but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain as proof that on this planet, by working with fervor and dignity, we can produce the material and cultural wealth that humans need."

A photograph of Fidel being installed in preparation for his 90th birthday in Havana, Cuba, August 12, 2016 | Photo: Reuters 

It was a rare public appearance for the 90 year old, who still nonetheless penned letters and articles on global issues, influencing strategic decisions in Cuba with his moral weight. His behind-the-scenes diplomacy has also helped establish peace between the FARC and the Colombian government, and now the U.S. and Cuba through the normalization of diplomatic relations.

Suffering from an undisclosed digestive illness in July 2006, Fidel announced the transfer of presidential duties to his brother, Raul, who was vice president at the time.

On Nov. 25, 2016, his brother and fellow revolutionary Raul Castro announced that Fidel had passed at the age of 90.

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Fidel’s Favorite Book and Why You Should Read It

The Cuban revolutionary had an eclectic reading taste. But what was his favorite book?

While Fidel Castro is best recognized as a revolutionary political leader, the former Cuban president had another serious passion — reading.

IN DEPTH: Fidel: A Revolutionary Life

Following the failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1952, Fidel was sent to a prison north of Santiago. It was here that the leader of the Cuban Revolution immersed himself in books, avidly reading all genres — from philosophy to history and the great literary masterpieces.

This period proved formative in finessing his political ideology and outlook on the modern Cuban state.

Trapped in a gloomy cell, Fidel found inspiration in the works of Freud, Kant, Shakespeare, Munthe, Maugham and Dostoyevsky. But while the Comandante accredits many authors for expanding his political education, there was another book that deeply moved Fidel — “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” by Ernest Hemingway.

The novel is told through the perspective of Robert Jordan, a young U.S. guerrilla in the Spanish Civil War. Fighting for the Republicans against the fascists, Jordan meets Spanish fighter Maria and together they plan an attack against an enemy transport route.

It is a story of resistance, solidarity and the struggle for justice — themes that resounded with Fidel Castro and would later inspire the Cuban Revolution.

The title is taken from the John Donne poem “No Man Is an Island,” which also speaks to human camaraderie.

In the poem, Donne writes, “any man's death diminishes me, / because I am involved in mankind.”

RELATED: Cuba Bids Farewell to Fidel: Live Updates

These sentiments are echoed throughout “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

In the book, a character asks “For what are we born if not to aid one another?” and later states, “I am thee and thou art me and all of one is the other.”

As well as appealing to Fidel Castro’s humanism, he also saw in “For Whom the Bell Tolls” lessons on how to stage guerrilla warfare.

Speaking in a 1975 interview with U.S. writers Kirby Jones and Frank Mankiewicz, Fidel revealed that “Of U.S. authors, Hemingway is one of my favorites."

“I read ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ when I was a student … Hemingway spoke about the rear-guard of a guerrilla group fighting against a conventional army … The novel was one of the works that helped me devise strategies to fight against Batista’s army.”

As the world prepares to pay their final respects to Fidel Saturday, the words of the Cuban leader’s favorite book appear more pertinent than ever:

“If we win here we will win everywhere. The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.”

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Puerto Rico's Oscar Lopez Rivera Honors Cuba's Fidel Castro

Mementos, songs and photos were brought out for the occasion to honor the revolutionary life of Cuban hero Fidel Castro.

Fidel Castro's legacy is an example for the world, Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera said Wednesday during a tribute ceremony in Cuba for the Cuban revolutionary leader.

RELATED:  New 'Fidel' Musical Celebrates Cuban Revolution in London

Mementos, songs and photos were brought out for the occasion. The event, coordinated by the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the Casa del Cultura in Havana.

“I can say this afternoon for me has been a great honor and an experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life, with the desire that other people around the world rise and follow the example of the leader in order to achieve a better world,” Lopez said to the crowd of 140 international guests and media personnel

With the assistance of the Tricontinental Audiovisual Space, Fidel's life became a living mobile of photos.

“The whole world must emulate the example that the commander in chief Fidel Castro Ruz left to us,” Lopez Rivera said.

During his visit to Cuba, the independence activist, who spent nearly four decades in U.S. prison as a political prisoner, also visited the University of Havana to speak with students.

“This country has achieved like no other poor country in the development of human resources and the system of university education has been a pillar,” Lopez Rivera told the students, adding that Cubans enjoy debt-free education.

Lopez described the strength and wealth of opportunity open to Cuban youth, saying he planned to leave the congregation of students more confident in their abilities.

He criticized the host of sanctions targeting the nation by U.S. President Donald Trump and he denounced the travel and economic bans as a means to disempower Cuban people.

RELATED:  Oscar Lopez Rivera Tells Young Cubans They are the ‘Future'

“We Puerto Ricans, those of us who love freedom, those of us who believe in independence, live deeply grateful to the Cuban people, to their government of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, and to all those who have been in solidarity with our struggle,” Lopez Rivera told the students.

“Youth is the future of every people, it is the driving force that has made this society achieve so many accomplishments. When I look at you, I see the best of this society,” he added.

The Puerto Rican activist spent two weeks touring Cuba and will bring his visit to a close after stopping for a short time in Guantanamo Bay.

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New 'Fidel' Musical Celebrates Cuban Revolution in London

"With just a few hundred soldiers and limited means, they took on Batista's army of thousands with its tanks, aircraft and backing from the United States."

The Cuban Revolution will be brought to London audiences in musical form this week when "Fidel," a new stage show celebrating the life of the revolutionary in song, premiers at the Actor's Church.

The musical depicts Fidel Castro's life in the years leading up to and during the Cuban revolution of 1953-59. It was written by University of Southampton Professor Denise Baden, who was inspired by what she called the “David and Goliath story” of the Cuban Revolution during a research trip to the socialist country.

"I can't believe it's not on stage already as a massive musical," Baden said.

Baden hopes to depict – entirely through song – how Cuba overcame "impossible" odds against the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista to fight for independence and sovereignty.

"With just a few hundred soldiers and limited means, they took on Batista's army of thousands – with its tanks, aircraft and backing from the United States… and won," reads the play's official billing.

"Their secret was bravery, dedication, and the support of the Cuban people, who desperately longed for justice and an independent Cuba."

The musical score was composed entirely by students from schools across the United Kingdom through a nationwide songwriting competition, in an attempt to mirror "Cuban values" of "education and inclusion," according to the show's website.

One actor, from Latin America, pointed to the stark difference in how the Cuban leader is commonly viewed in the South and the vilifying propaganda so prominent in the U.S. and Europe.

"Back home he's not seen in the same way they see him here," he said. "He is quite vilified in the U.S. He's like this evil dictator who, whatever. Back home the whole left side of politics still kind of view him as a hero."

Actress Gabriela Garcia, who plays revolutionary Celia Sanchez, said she is deeply inspired by the role of women in the Cuban revolution, and hopes to depict that to London audiences through her character.

"For me, women like her in the Revolution or most of the time get forgotten. So everything, all the stories you hear, is about Fidel or Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, but actually, when you really start digging in deep and read about all these revolutionary women, there were so many. Especially in the Cuban Revolution,”

Fidel Castro is admired by leftist and anti-imperialist movements around the world for his role in building a sovereign Cuba, staving off the United States, and assisting worldwide revolutionary movements. He died last year at the age of 90.

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Fidel Castro Present in Regional Solidarity Event with Cubaoo

With a homage to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, the 2nd Central American Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba will conclude here, expressing its support to the Venezuelan government.

The legendary Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro has been an intrinsic part of this meeting, because of his legacy, his example of struggle against the US imperialism and for dignity, self-determination and integration of Latin America.

Since the opening march of the event up to the homage to Salvadorian revolutionary fighters Shafick Handal and Farabundo Martí, and Venezuelan Hugo Chavez, the image of Fidel Castro stands over the crowds.

Fernando González, Hero of the Republic of Cuba and president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, inaugurated the theoretical meeting of the event with a paper on the reality, perspectives and challenges of his country.

In turn, the Cuban political expert Roberto Regalado discoursed upon the imperialist offensive in the region and the resistance of the peoples, emphatically in the case of Venezuela, which faces a historical voting for the Constituent on Sunday.

In fact, in the early-rising tribute to Chávez, concerning the 63rd anniversary of his birth, many assistants expressed support to the democratically elected government of Venezuela with posters saying 'The Constituent Goes'.

Concerning the meeting, the Salvadoran leader Sigfrido Reyes valued the role of the solidarity before the current regional challenges, but especially with Cuba and its 'brave people and fighter, with its revolutionary process'.

Cuba has always been a solidary nation with El Salvador, thousands of compatriots received medical treatment there, studied, improved their own health; Cuba is a brother country that has taken the way of its freedom and it is necessary to support it', he emphasized.

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Santiago de Cuba Holds May Day Parade Inspired by Fidel Castro

Santiago de Cuba, May 1 (Prensa Latina) Since the beginning, with an anthem based on the concept of Revolution stated by Fidel Castro, the parade on the International Workers'' Day was inspired by the leader of the Cuban Revolution.

That sentiment was expressed on hundreds of banners and posters evoking the legacy of the Commander-in-Chief, whose ashes have rested at the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery since December 4, 2016.

At the Antonio Maceo Revolution Square, the vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, who was accompanied by top provincial officials, headed the proletarian march.

Maria de los Angeles Cordero, general secretary of the Cuban Workers' Confederation (CTC) in Santiago de Cuba, mentioned, among other motivations for the mass parade, the 60th and 50th anniversaries of the assassinations of clandestine fighter Frank Pais and Guerrilla Commander Ernesto Guevara, respectively.

The union leader also referred to the need for unity as a strength for Cuban society to build socialism and in Latin America to face the attacks by the right wing in its efforts to frustrate revolutionary and progressive processes.

Workers in Santiago de Cuba and their families started the parades in the country as a new demonstration of support for the Revolution and the will to continue the transformations under way as part of the nation's new economic model.

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Tribute to Fidel Castro Concludes in Acapulco

The 1st International Seminar in Honor of Fidel Castro concluded here on Sunday after deepening and expanding the teachings of the philosophical thinking of the leader of the Cuban Revolution.

An exhibition of ten photos of the Cuban leader, taken by one of his sons, Alex Castro, was also held here, as well as an exhibition of books that opened on Friday, among other artistic and cultural events on Cuba.

During the closing session of the seminar, Mexican and Venezuelan representatives who admire Fidel and Hugo Chavez took the floor, as well as revolutionaries from Bolivia, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Vietnam, among other countries.

The paper 'Fidel and Proletarian Internationalism', presented by Evertz Cárcamo, a member of Nicaragua's Sandinista National Liberation Front, was one of the most highly acclaimed studies at the seminar.

Cárcamo lauded Fidel's loyalty for his people, Latin America, the world revolutionary movement, his friends, comrades and family, and assured that the Nicaraguan Revolution is the daughter of the Cuban Revolution.

Guatemalan Guerrilla Commander César Montes recalled that thanks to Fidel, Cuba's statistics are not like Guatemala's.

As an example, he said that more than 12 million people, perhaps 17 million, live in poverty in Guatemala, every 60 seconds a minor migrates to the United States through the Mexican border and there is 100 percent of impunity, among other evils eradicated by Fidel in Cuba.

The great friend of Fidel's and the main Mexican facilitator of the Granma expedition, Antonio del Conde, 'El Cuate', noted that he decided to accompany Fidel always due to his faith, security and confidence to overcome adversities, his discipline and his loyalty to his men.

Fidel is a man of all times who we must never forget, said Rafael Arestegui, one of the organizers of the seminar.

He lauded Venezuela's decision to leave the Organization of American States (OAS) and noted that Fidel was wise when he pointed out that the continental body was a big colonial ministry at the service of Yankee imperialism.

Mexico was always and is at present a country close to Fidel Castro and the great Cuban revolutionaries Jose Marti, Julio Antonio Mella, Raúl Castro and many other Cubans, Arestegui stressed.

In another moment of the program, the secretary of culture of the state of Guerrero, Mauricio Leiva, said that the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution is still alive in Guerrero.

  • Published in Cuba
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