Many anti-establishment activists were deeply saddened by the news that Cuban freedom fighter and former president, Fidel Castro, had joined the ancestors Friday at 90 years of age. His transitioning marks an end to an era of a select few world leaders from the revolutionary era of the 1950s and ’60s who dared stand up against the exploitive forces of the United States, and still prospered.
“Fidel Castro and Che Guevara truly committed their lives to the worldwide revolutionary struggle to liberate oppressed people from the yoke of imperialism, colonialism and capitalism all over the world,” said elected-activist Charles Barron.
Some contend that the mass media tends to ignore the uncompromising Castro’s positive social influences in Cuba and abroad, while focusing more on spreading propaganda.
“He was bringing change out of an evil system and encouraged others to sacrifice to do the same,” stated African scholar warrior, Dr. Leonard Jeffries. “He was willing to make sacrifices to bring about change and destroy inequality, injustice and this system of white supremacy.”
Castro’s 26th of July Movement led the Cuban Revolution, which culminated with the ouster of then president Fulgencio Baptista New Year’s Day 1959. Once in power, Castro implemented a socialist system that did not exploit the island country’s 11 million citizens.
“Although the U.S. had an economic embargo [against Cuba], he was still committed to providing free education and free health care for the people of Cuba,” Barron noted.
Cuba’s educational and medical institutions are world renowned, often providing free or low-cost training, with the primary criteria being that upon graduating, students service the poor communities.
“Fidel knew, like all true revolutionaries, a human being is the most valuable entity in the world,” stated Tarik, Black Panther. “In addition to mourning the loss of Fidel, we will also be celebrating that Fidel loved us and sacrificed for us for 90 years.”
Castro was no stranger to Harlem, having been a guest of Malcolm X at the Hotel Teresa when he visited in 1960.
Jeffries also recalled the two men meeting in 1995 at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, and again five years later at the Riverside Church. “Castro was helping Africans build for eternity, particularly in the education and medical fields,” said Jeffries. “He ran a well training and teaching process which involved nation building. A luta continua!”
Barron concluded, “Castro was a true friend of Africa. We are eternally grateful to him for Cuba’s continued commitment to keep safe and secure our beloved freedom-fighter, Sister Assata Shakur. In the end, the U.S. could not defeat him, and he won because he died on his own terms, not by no CIA plot. Long live the spirit of Fidel Castro! Long live revolution!”