Thursday 1 December 2016

"Farewell Fidel?"

..Many in Latin American may say this is what they fear.
 A totalitarian system is a totalitarian system but if granting that Fidel was a dictator one must compare and contrast both he and his regime with their major political opponent in World affairs (and those who claim most loudly that dictator was what he was), if as result of this one is left with a rather nasty taste in one's mouth who's to say it isn't deserved? The cult of personality however does not admit to stability or continuity and this may be the problem for all the other independent and emerging economies of the Southern Americas. Will Cuba without Castro be the lynch-pin it has been in the past (a "Caribbean aircraft carrier" for ideas and aspirations which attempt to throw Unclo Samo's dogmatic and mechanistic reduction-ism into sharp relief)? This will be a difficult time in Cuba especially with the ubiquitous State Dept. breathing down their necks, yet Castro was certainly no fool as his interest in subjects such as climate change and what appeared to be a better and better understanding of international statecraft in his later years indicate (his friendship with Mandela for instance shows that this was a man who mellowed with age and experience -as did his regime-). The dispossessed of Miami have every right to complain revolution is not the rule of law, however many remind themselves what the rule of law was in Cuba before the revolution..perhaps Raul could offer some olive branches.

Re: Go well, good brother Fidel! NOM

Posted by Mary in reply to "Go well, good brother Fidel! NOM"

You should hear the obits on the BBC and Sky. Through gritted teeth they report his success against the corruption and decay of the US stooge Batista but they emphasize the Bay of Pigs episode and the Khrushchev association. I haven't heard much about the Cuban education and health systems he instigated which knock the American versions into a cocked hat.
Despised by his critics as much as he was revered by his followers, he outlasted 10 US presidents and defied scores of attempts on his life by the CIA.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Castro "one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century" saying his country mourned his loss. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Castro was a "great friend" of Mexico.

Re: It's remarkable he survived so many attempts to murder him by America,

Great Tweet by Galloway;

"Who knew so many sickos were out there waiting for Fidel's death?
Dogs can dance on the lion's grave. But they can never be a lion."

"Long live the Republic!"

Posted by Gerard in reply to "A sad day but a true inspiration for all fighting imperialism today. nm"

I..he.he... complicated man, "interesting times", farewell Fidel.. many will mourn today the loss of the great force of personality ("ties" of course if you include Che), that (which), stood against the imperialist beast....end of an era? Almost of an epoch..let's hope that the good things he achieved do remain.....It seemed to me that he became a finer and finer statesman as he got older..obviously a highly intelligent man..quite a life..."Long live the Republic!"

People should take more care with the elderly...

Posted by Gerard in reply to ""Long live the Republic!""

Isn't it interesting..

Posted by Gerard in reply to "People should take more care with the elderly..."

.."The Old Man" caught us by surprise.....just after giving thanks for the recent election in the U.S. A reminder perhaps...this is what it takes to be a great leader you lot! 


Some balance from Al Jaz..
Posted by Gerard in reply to "The other side of the story..."

"As administrators, Castro and Guevara bungled Cuba's important banking and sugarcane industries, and, by the late 1960s, the island had fully relapsed into dependency on foreign countries. This time, exports of raw commodities abroad were framed as cooperation with fellow socialist countries, rather than mafia-style capitalism.

"As a leader, [Castro] often let demagoguery or ideology get in the way of making proper decisions," DePalma said. "He didn't know much about agriculture, mining or the production of sugar or electricity, but he had his fingers in everything."

Fidel and his brother Raul imprisoned poets, stifled journalists with archaic party-line news mantras, repressed independent civil society organisations and jailed dissidents. Senior communist party officials also profited from corruption, according to critics.

Alina Fernandez, Fidel's daughter, fled the island for Miami with hundreds of thousands of other Cubans. Fidel considered

father to be an exploitative member of the bourgeoisie. Fernandez has referred to her father as a "despot"." ... but ...
"He outlasted 10 US presidents, brought free medical care to a small island nation, suppressed dissidents and infuriated his opponents at home and abroad after overthrowing a dictatorship in 1959."...

"Having passed on the leadership of Cuba's single-party state to Raul in 2008, Fidel played a ceremonial role during his twilight years, showing up to meet foreign leaders in a track suit, rather than his trademark military fatigues, and writing treatises on global warming and economic inequality.

Friends and foes agree he was one of the most iconic and shrewd politicians of the 20th century; a consummate survivor and wily tactician.

"He was reasonable, not domineering, as one might expect," Wayne Smith, a former US ambassador to Cuba who knew Fidel, told Al Jazeera.

"He would listen to you."" Go to:

for full article.

Re: Fidel Castro dies at age 90 - the grand revolutionary outlived all the CIA assassination attempts

The other side of the story...
Posted by Gerard in reply to "Love that quote (nm)"

Up to a point Lord Copper

I lost interest in him after he murdered a Cuban general in the 1980s, showing himself (like every stateholder) to be willing to stand on a pile of corpses rather than cede power. His crime was to be his own boss rather than an American under-boss. It's better than nothing, like Gadhafi and Nkrumah but we shouldn't fall for the canard that someone must be good because the Washington Barbarians want him/her dead.

Re: Up to a point Lord Copper
Posted by MadeNotBorn in reply to "Up to a point Lord Copper"
Accusations of murder require evidence. In general though you should be happy your fellow Trots and anarchists have succeeded in stemming, to some extent, the current left wing, popular tide in Latin America, and the prostitutes, asset strippers, rapists and true murderers are in the ascendant once more.

Re: Up to a point Lord Copper
Posted by Keith-264 in reply to "Re: Up to a point Lord Copper"

Name calling? I'm an anarchist because I don't believe in the state and Castro controlled one. He was as bad as he needed to be to keep it and has founded a dynasty. Like Attlee he also did a lot of good but that's not good enough.

Re: Up to a point Lord Copper
Posted by MadeNotBorn in reply to "Re: Up to a point Lord Copper"
Nothing like Attlee in any sense whatsoever.

Without the Cuban state, de facto created in 1959, Cuba would continue to be the slave of Anglo Euro imperialists - de facto what your arguments lead to. Sitting on high fence not safe for you, and a betrayal of all who actually struggle. 

Posted by Gerard in reply to "Re: Up to a point Lord Copper"

I agree but not because I'm an anarchist but because I'm a democrat..nevertheless Castro's place as a representative in world history of a notion of human freedom that does not partake of the Social Darwinism of Capitalism (sometimes apparently one of the sole representatives -with any power-), capable of articulating that conception will remain unchallenged..farewell to the old certainties and farewell Fidel..any debts you owed will be cashed in now (how many current world leaders would like to "face their maker" just now I wonder?), ..

All posts to "The Lifeboat News" message board subject to edit (redaction and spelling), at Ed's discretion..with thanks.

A Fine Havana

Quote; “"No contact with Manila," Ernesto "Che" Guevara wrote several times in his diary as he marched to his death in Bolivia and, behind the phrase, is Cuban leader Fidel Castro's betrayal and abandonment of the legendary guerrilla fighter, Cuban journalist Alberto Müller said.
"Manila" was the codeword for Cuba, Müller told Efe in an interview ahead of the presentation at the Buenos Aires International Book Fair of his book "Che Guevara. Valgo más vivo que muerto."
The title comes from a phrase attributed to Che when he was found in the Bolivian village of La Higuera and contrasts the guerrilla's desire to live with Castro's order to avoid being captured alive, highlighting the "great differences" existing in 1967 between the two revolutionaries.
There was a guerrilla unit in Havana ready to deploy and rescue Guevara, but "Fidel never authorized the mission," abandoning the guerrilla leader to his fate.
Che was shot dead on Oct. 9, 1967, in La Higuera.
"He died in a pitiful manner. Without medications for his asthma, without boots and only rags wrapped around his feet, without water, without food and without allies,".
To understand why Castro withdrew his support from Guevara, the author takes the reader back to what he considers a turning point in the relationship between them, the 1965 Afro-Asian Conference in Algiers.
Guevara's address to the assembly meant "a break up with the Soviet Union that harmed Che's relationship with Fidel," the author said.
Guevara criticized Moscow, accusing the USSR, without mentioning it by name, of being "accomplices of U.S. imperialist exploitation," just when the Cuban leader was about to conclude agreements on military cooperation with the Kremlin*.
The estrangement between Guevara and Castro increased over time, and deepened when the Cuban leader, without consulting the Argentine-born guerrilla, decided to withdraw Cuban fighters from the Congo, leading to the mission in Bolivia that Müller describes as an "induced suicide."" Go to:
For full article.

*Italics mine.

Mandela and Castro: Friends, Comrades and Allies

Quote; “The man who former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher branded a “terrorist” was a close personal friend and political ally of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro.
Mandela was inspired by Fidel and the Cuban Revolution in 1959 when he began a South African resistance militia to end racial oppression.
“Any and every source was of interest to me,” Mandela wrote in his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom.” “I read the report of Blas Roca, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, about their years as an illegal organization during the Batista regime. In Commando, by Deneys Reitz, I read of the unconventional guerrilla tactics of the Boer generals during the Anglo-Boer War. I read works by and about Che Guevara, Mao Tse-tung, Fidel Castro.”
Furthermore, after his release from prison in 1990, Mandela traveled to Cuba to meet his friend in person and to thank him for sending soldiers to Angola during the 1970s and 1980s to fight apartheid regimes, widely believed to be a significant catalyst to the eventual ending of apartheid." Go to: For full article.

Why Nelson Mandela Loved Fidel Castro
Quote; "Mandela embraced the former Cuban dictator because he opposed apartheid and represented the aspirations of Third World nationalists that the United States undermined across the globe during the Cold War.
As it did for many leftists in the Global South, the Cuban Revolution’s triumph in 1959 inspired Mandela. Charged with the task of starting a guerrilla army in 1961, he looked to the writings of Cuban Communists for guidance"..
"Given this history, it shouldn’t be surprising that Mandela remained sharply critical of the United States into his later life. When the George W. Bush administration announced plans to invade Iraq in 2003, Mandela said: “If there’s a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care.”" Go to:
For full article.

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