Fidel Castro will be remem- bered by many persons for many reasons for many years, but if one is to single out his one message that has very high relevance today then it is this—fighting imperialism is difficult but possible; it is a challenge so important that it needs to be taken up against all odds.
For nearly five decades Castro guided a small country in the immediate neighborhood of a very big and powerful country which happened to be the biggest imperialist power of these times and which was extremely hostile to the socialist revolution led by Castro in Cuba. The USA under a succession of Democratic and Republican Presidents remained steadfast in the objective of somehow harming the Castro led government in Cuba and toppling it if possible.
Just try to remember all that was attempted by the big imperialist power and its collaborators who pretend often to be the biggest saviours of democracy. There was a USA supported invasion of Cuba. There were terrorist attacks against Cuba. There were attempts to assassinate Castro and also humiliate him in various ways. There was an embargo against Cuba and attempts to create shortages of essential commodities in Cuba. Efforts were made to isolate Cuba internationally. All this well documented. But every attempt to destroy Cuba's revolution failed and America lost face on every occasion.
Despite tremendous hardships Cuba under Castro was not only able to achieve very significant progress in important areas like health and education, in addition the tiny country was able to provide humanitarian assistance in many parts of the world, particularly in the form of the highly valued services of its doctors. Cuba under Castro was not only able to defend its own revolution, it was even able to send its soldiers to many other parts of the world to fight on the side of the forces of justice and equality.
Of course this was not an easy task. There were several crisis periods. There were several times when difficulties and adversities seemed to be too much. Mistakes were also made, including serious ones. The problems came not just from the side of the imperialists and their collaborators. Even the revolutionary government was not always sure of the right development path, the correct priorities and so serious mistakes were made.
Despite all this the revolution survived not just in the tiny country but also served as a continuing, living inspiration for revolutionary movements in many other countries. This is why the enduring message of Castro is—resisting and defeating imperialism is difficult but it is possible.
Vol. 49, No.23, Dec 11 - 17, 2016