Fidel was one of the greatest iconic figures who lived within the 21st century, the son of a Spanish soldier who fought in the Spanish American war in 1898 who subsequently achieved great wealth from his father. A man of great tenacity and impeccable courage who awoke not just the South and Central American region, but also the world with his Marxist Leninist ideology he was heavily influenced into by the civil rights movement.
Fidel was a young man who entered university during the 2nd World War in Havana, one who was observed by many to have exceptional leadership qualities and influence among his compatriots, compounding his strong desire to make a difference in the class exploitation in the region especially after encountering the great Che Guevara together with his own brother, Raul Castro.
Inspired by the great South American liberator Simon Bolivar and the major powers, the Soviet Union and the United States, which were known later as the West and the East – creating two major military blocks known as NATO (North Atlantic Organisation) and the WARSAW pact forces thus creating two major systems of the world known as communism and imperialism.
As an aspiring young Revolutionary who shared the same ideals as Che, they started to plan to improve the lives of the poor and to make a difference in the lives of the exploited and the disenchanted people of Central and South America aided by the disturbing bicycle tour which Che took, which fueled the desire for change to put power into the hands of the working class people.
After making two failed attack from Mexico, eighty three guerillas died in the first attack but he and his brother survived and it was not too long after that Fidel, Raul, Che and Camillo took to the Sierra Nevada mountain where they began to train in harsh conditions.
The next assault on the Moncada barracks took place in 1959 overthrowing the dictatorship of Batista who was a staunch ally of the United States who used to call Cuba Paradise with casinos, beautiful women and brothels. Cuba was the perfect destination for those wealthy Americans.
With the successful attack on the Moncada barracks the objective and subjective conditions were right as they attracted massive support from the Cuban masses.
Let us not forget that it was the Americans who created Fidel and his communists trend because after the Cuban Revolution the first place Fidel went was to the United States to ask for help in machinery, industries, and economic assistance to take the process forward but he was refused by the Americans.
Fidel therefore went to the Soviets who gladly embraced him. However when the American saw his trend and when he declared Cuba as a communist revolution, the Americans became very angry and immediately placed an embargo on Cuba in 1961 which would have haunted them for sixty years.
Fidel Castro now had the backings of the Soviet Union and went along and nationalised all American asserts in Cuba which breed bad blood from thereon. This was very timely for the Soviet Union when they were trying to enhance both their ideological influence and military powers within the Gulf of Mexico so close to the United States.
The Soviets wasted no time with the total agreement of Cuba to place two nuclear missiles secretly on Cuban soil, which angered the Americans thus bringing the world close to a nuclear war between Russia and the United States.
The situation got worse because the Soviets had shot down the American U2 spy plane over the Soviet air space at 70 thousand feet.
The Soviet went on to shoot down another spy plane over Cuba (the Black Bird) much to the dismay of the Americans – a cold war virtually started.
For the next sixty years the Soviet Union became the main trading partner with Cuba and at the same time helping to consolidate the Cuban Revolution.
Let us not forget that prior to the Cuban revolution, Cuba was seen as a place of opportunity for Caribbean man going to cut sugar cane.
Cuba then embarked on seriously educating its people to ensure the success of the revolution.
Cuba became very instrumental in aiding other countries of the world in achieving socialism, as well as started to give African students free university. Cuba has achieved a 100% literacy rate as one of the most educated nation in the world.
Fidel Castro was the same one who helped to defeat white South Africa in Angola. Cuba lost twenty two thousand soldiers in defending black Angola and helping to win that war against apartheid in South Africa.
Under the leadership of Fidel, Cuba became one of if not the country with the most educated people within the Caribbean and also having the most doctors per sq mile than any other country in the world.
With universities becoming affordable to most of its allies including Namibia, Angola, South Africa and so many other non-aligned countries around the world.
Fidel was a man who has made his educational institutions available to lots of Caribbean countries. He was a man who trained so many Grenadian doctors free of charge. A man who changed people’s lives in so many ways, a man who has given Grenada its greatest economic take-off – the Maurice Bishop International Airport. Cuba also helped with our General Hospital.
The CIA made six hundred and thirty six assassination attempts on Fidel’s life and failed. Fidel Castro – he may be gone but not forgotten.