Source: Cuba Network in Defense of Humanity
by Carlos Aznárez
Fidel is gone all of a sudden, and we already miss him, because it won’t be the same without him. Many times we thought of him, as we were sitting in a rotten corner in a cell, or in the black hole of torture, in the darkest days of our struggles, and we felt he was with us—and his revolutionary and socialist convictions, his exemplary accomplishments as a fighter and a strategy, his unmatched wisdom in the hardest battles. Fidel was always present, with his olive green uniform, his rifle held firmly and ready to keep going.
Fidel, the reddest star in the Latin American and Caribbean map, was a giant that made the revolution a reality instead of a distant possibility and gave the world hope to raise against injustice.
His heart had a place for all the sorrows of the ones in need and also for all the victories, the big ones and the small ones.
Fidel, had a way of creating consciousness, teaching and instilling courage to conquer power—not for oneself, but for others. He was a beacon for all of those who struggle for a different world and will never give up. To say it clearly and concisely, in the style of Fidel: he was a true socialist.Precisely now that peoples around the world are going through difficult times and there are doubts about the future of Humanity, it is worth seeking answers in this leader of the revolution that teaches us about wisdom and humility.
He immediately learned that all the theories in the world won’t be enough if there’s not a determined and intelligent practice of it. And with a handful of brave men he took the Moncada headquarters, opening a road that lead the people to take over power in Cuba.
With his brother Raúl, Che Guevara and other patriots he disembarked from the Granma and, when everything seemed to be lost, among the corpses of his best comrades and the bullets of the enemy, he counted the rifles that he had and repeated to himself many times that with that handful of men that were still standing he would win the battle.
In Sierra Maestra
In Sierra Maestra, he led his comrades to achieve amazing feats. In the mountains he proved his abilities as a strategist, capable of turning the tables and achieve victory against all odds. As a leader, he was strict when it came to his orders being fulfilled, because he knew that any shadow of a doubt, in a combat with such imbalance of forces, could lead to the failure of the whole revolutionary plan.
In those few years of armed battle against Batista’s army, we also learned that Fidel spared the life of his enemies when they were captured in combat, and his integrity convinced many of Batista’s soldiers of deserting and joining his fight. And so, a few thousand rebels defeated a regular army of a hundred thousand soldiers, well-equipped with tanks, bomber planes, and the international help of the US and British army.
He amazed the world
Afterwards, when the bearded rebels finally marched victoriously into Havana, in those memorable days of 1959, Fidel entered a new stage as a leader of a country, and he amazed the world.
A revolutionary to the bone, he freed his people from oppression and from US oppression, he expropriated and nationalized everything that used to belong to four tycoons subordinated to the US mafia, and exercised internationalist solidarity with the same strength he had used to defeat the tyrant.
With El Che
Elbow to elbow with the Che, he didn’t hesitate to begin a bigger fight, for the independence of Latin America. He helped defeat South African apartheid and to free Angola. He embraced Salvador Allende and endured the death of Che Guevara in Bolivia.
Uncountable rebels in the continent feel thankful for what Cuba did for them.
Uncountable fighters for freedom were able to make history in their countries thanks to the enormous solidarity of Fidel’s Cuba. That tiny island influenced the entire world.
He had to endure the fall of the Socialist bloc, struggling for the island to survive while instilling determination in his people. He was the first to denounce the illegitimacy of foreign debt. He also took measures to protect and defend environment, he prioritized education and health for the people and helped other countries to follow his lead in social development.
The main struggle was always against imperialism. And the empire punished Cuba by fencing it in with an iron-solid blockade.
Half a century of US-imposed shortages were endured with dignity and with the conviction that no revolution is ever easy. In order to prevent people from surrendering to that aggression, Fidel always said that the antidote is having a revolutionary consciousness, the conviction that we’re waging a fair battle, unity of the grassroots and will to sacrifice.
“After God, Fidel”, said a moved and thankful citizen of Haiti, when speaking about the missions of doctors and alphabetization that the Cuban government had sent to the forgotten corners of the world. That’s what we should all remember when we name Fidel. He never, ever failed us.
Another world is possible
This is especially valuable when we think of the kind of world we live in. Felony, corruption, deception and claudication are common currency. But Fidel and the Cuban people have always proven there’s another possible world. And that, with political will and a revolutionary consciousness, there’s no enemy that can’t be defeated.
Although he’s gone, his ideas will remain intact and will keep encouraging us. And now that the enemy seeks to come closer, and “flexibilize relations” to tighten the rope as much as it can, we won’t forget his values. Now that the empire is advancing to take hold of what it consider to be rightfully theirs, its “backyard”, Cuba and its proud and unbreakable resistance shines bright, and Fidel’s reflections on life against death are more necessary than ever. WE must stop for a moment, and acknowledge all of the merits of this exceptional man.
His audacity, his courage
So, when difficulties seem to much, and we believe we’re running out of strength, when we lack answers and when confusion makes us doubt about who the enemy is, when times are dark and without hope, let’s go back to Fidel, to his ideas, to his ethic, to his audacity, to his courage, to his revolutionary power, and let’s rise again to continue this wonderful adventure to take the skies.
A little heartbroken but never defeated, we salute you, dear Commander. We will turn back to you every now and then and ask you: “Are we doing well, Fidel?”