Celebrating 90 Victories: Fidel, the Light that has Always Guided Us

By Carlos Aznárez on August 9, 2016

Photo: Roberto Chile

Photo: Roberto Chile

Precisely now, when the international context seems most unfavorable for the peoples and there are doubts about the future of Humanity, it’s useful to seek answers in this revolutionary leader who keeps on teaching us lessons of wisdom and humbleness.

Fidel, the reddest star in the Latin American and Caribbean map, that huge man that made the Revolution an attainable utopia and also inspired others in every corner of the world to raise against injustice. His huge and sensitive heart has homed the sadness of the most dispossessed and also the joys for the big and small victories achieved. With his way of creating consciousness, courage and audacity to take over power and not take advantage of it, he channels the aspirations of those who never give up in the fight for a better world. A communist world, plain and clearly, is what Castro aspires to.

How many facets are there to Fidel Castro, this man who saw 90 years of an incredibly lively existence? There are so many that memory strains to evoke him in all of his aspects. There’s a Fidel who, as a very young man, began an intense political life as a Law student, which led him to political activism a few years later against Dominican dictator Leónidas Trujillo —honoring the internationalism he would later passionately embrace.

There’s another Fidel who immediately noticed that all the theories in the world are not enough if they aren’t practiced with audacity and intelligence and aimed against oppression, and so he, together with a group of brave men, took over the Moncada barracks, thus beginning a process that didn’t stop until they took over the entire country and freed its people, an indispensable step if you want to do the Revolution with a capital R.

And there’s a Fidel who, with Che Guevara, his brother Raúl Castro and other patriots, disembarked from the Granma Ship and, as everything seemed to crumble, among the cadavers of his best friends and the bullets of the enemy, counted the rifles and repeated to to himself that he and the dozen men that were still standing would win the battle.

There are many things to say about the Fidel of Sierra Maestra. He said it himself, in his articulate and vivid way of narrating, in two essential books to understand that epic struggle: “The Strategic Counteroffensive” and “The Strategic Victory”.

There, in those mountains, Fidel displayed his full ability as a combatant, as a military strategist capable of turning a crushing defeat into a great victory. A true comrade to his comrades, but severe when it was time to follow commands, knowing that having doubts during combat could disarm the revolutionary project.

In those few years of direct confrontation against Batista’s army, we also got to know a Fidel who forgave the lives of the enemies he had captured. More than once he caused mass desertions among the government’s troops, and created the foundations for a few thousand rebels to defeat a regular and well-equipped army of 100,000 soldiers, who had tanks, bomber aircrafts, and international aid from the Yankee and English empires.

And after those bearded men triumphantly marched into Havana, in the memorable days of 1959, a new period began, with Fidel as a different kind of leader that amazed the world. A revolutionary to the bone, he freed his people from the oppression and the yankee culture that kept them down, expropriated and nationalized everything that used to belong to tycoons allied with the North American mafia and exercised internationalism with the same strength he had used before to crush the tyrant.

Elbow to elbow with the Che, he didn’t hesitate in beginning a long march to conquer the still elusive Second Independence of Latin America. He helped defeat South African apartheid and free Angola, he supported Salvador Allende and afterwards said goodbye to his friend Che Guevara when he fell in combat in Bolivia.

Rebel groups throughout the continent feel enormously grateful for what Cuba did for them. Many feats never would have been accomplished without the solidarious commitment of Fidel and his comrades.

In his years as head of the Cuban state, Fidel had to work intensely to keep the island afloat after the fall of the USSR. He intervened in foreign debt issues with great foresight, and was the first to denounce that it was illegitimate and impossible to pay. He also proposed solutions to protect and defend the environment, and made huge and profound reforms in the educative and health system for his people, which were later shared in a solidarious way with the rest of the world.


Source: The Dawn