Kenya: Homage to Comrade Fidel Castro, Lessons for Humanity

by Benedict Wachira, Social Democratic Party of Kenya
December 4 2016

fidel laid to rest 1.jpgAs Comandante Fidel Castro’s ashes are interred today (4th December 2016) in Santiago de Cuba, the place where the July 26th rebel movement began its journey to overthrow dictatorship and capitalism, there are many lessons that Kenyans and the whole of humanity can learn from the life of this great legend.

A great inspiration

He remains a great inspiration to the young people of this country who are disturbed by the ever rising levels of poverty, greed and corruption. In his twenties, Fidel’s conviction for a just society led him into organising two attempts to overthrow the then military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, and he was eventually successful at the young age of thirty-two.

Fidel disembarked from the Granma boat with a rebel army of 87 men and got to the Sierra Maestra mountains with less than twenty guerrillas. Through such actions, he continues to inspire those working for a better society but are few in numbers. He was never discouraged by the loss of combatants or the greater fire-power of Batista’s army, he understood that what he needed on his side was the support of the masses and not bigger guns.

To be prepared

fidel during the bay of pigs invasion.pngFidel teaches us to always be prepared. It was through preparation and working with the masses that Fidel Castro was able to defeat the U.S trained soldiers who invaded Cuba from the U.S in 1961 at the Bay of Pigs. It is this preparedness that has deterred the U.S from militarily invading Cuba since then.

Unlike the primitive accumulation tendencies that we see with our African leaders, Fidel Castro and his leadership never sought material riches for themselves. They worked hard to ensure that every Cuban had equal and unlimited opportunities to achieve what they humanly could. That is how Cuba was able to achieve unparalleled successes in the fields of education, preventive and curative health, sciences, gender and racial equality, housing and employment among other aspects of human development. All this was achieved in spite of the existence of the most brutal economic, commercial and financial blockade from the U.S that has been in place for over 50 years.


Through Fidel, a lesson on resilience and being true to self is learnt. Not many countries can survive a blockade such as the one that has been imposed on Cuba. through resilience, Cuba has not only survived that blockade, but has managed to mobilize the whole world into condemning this U.S aggression on Cuba. Every year at the UN General Assembly, virtually all countries except the U.S and Israel vote against the blockade. Fifty-four years into the blockade, the U.S President Barack Obama admitted that its policy had failed and he began the process of normalization of relationships between the two countries. However, the blockade still remains in force.

After the fall of the USSR, Cuba lost its closest trading partner and the Cuban economy was brought to its knees. Many countries abandoned Socialism, many Socialist Political Parties across the world dropped Marxism-Leninism as their ideology, and many Marxists intellectuals and politicians no longer wished to be identified with Socialism.


However, Cuba’s Socialism did not fall with the fall of the wall. The country instead diversified and realigned its Socialist economy by moving towards green energy, popular organic farming, pharmaceutical and biomedical technology and other niches that are today the envy of many. Out of this resilience and inspiration, Socialist countries began to rise a decade later in Latin America, from Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua to Ecuador. Leftist governments also came into power in Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries. Throughout Africa, the old ‘Marxist’ intellectuals were replaced by young Marxist revolutionaries who’s understanding was/is not pegged on mother Russia but on the principles of equality and prosperity of humanity, just like Fidel Castro did.


Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, Cuba taught the world the most important lessons on giving and solidarity. Cuban Universities have awarded thousands of full scholarships to youth from developing countries who are now serving their countries as doctors and other professionals. Cuba does not award these scholarships because it is a rich country. In fact, Cuba’s GDP is smaller than that of many developing countries, including Kenya. Cuba gives because sharing is a human responsibility. This poses a challenge to countries like Kenya that are surrounded by worse off countries. How many scholarships does Kenya give to young people from Somalia, South Sudan or the DR Congo?

Colonialism and imperialism

Cuban combatants have fought alongside their African compatriots in their struggles against colonialism and imperialism. Cubans assisted Algeria, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Ethiopia and South Africa either in their struggle for independence, or in their wars against external aggression, and as Raul Castro once said while in Angola, Cuba fought alongside Africans and left not with coffee or minerals, but with the body bags of their heroic soldiers. Cuba’s internationalist policy is unlike the U.S globalization policy; Cuba did not sacrifice its children so that they could exploit and dominate others, but it did so to fulfil its internationalist duty to humanity.

Western Sahara, Africa’s last colony continues to be up to this day. Are African countries waiting for Cubans to come and fight for the decolonization of the Saharawi? Do we think petitions and African Union commission reports will convince Morocco to leave Western Sahara? Haven’t we learnt anything from the sacrifices of the Cuban people?

Internationalist practice

Today, Cuba continues with this internationalist practice, but now by sending humanitarian ‘combatants’ wherever humanity needs them. From hurricane crises in Asia and the Americas, to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, Cuban doctors have always been on the frontlines of fighting and containing these disasters. While commenting on the Haitian earthquake, one Haitian expressed his gratitude to the Cuban doctors by stating that “After God, Fidel.”

The Cuban Five

cuban five are free.pngFidel gave us lessons on how to fight today’s emerging crimes like terrorism. In the 80s and the 90’s, terrorists from Miami (supported by the CIA) tried to destroy Cuba’s tourism industry by bombing hotels, Cuban airplanes and other economic interests, even going to the extent of using bio-terrorism on innocent civilians. Rather than terrorise and alienate innocent civilians like the Kenyan government is doing today, Fidel sent his security personnel to infiltrate the enemy and unearth terror plans before they happened. That is how the world famous Cuban anti-terrorism heroes, popularly known as the Cuban 5 came to be (They were arrested in the U.S and given harsh/life sentences for espionage, but were freed by President Obama in December 2014).

Do what is right, ignore the liars

Throughout his life, Fidel has survived assassination attempts on his life and worst still on his character, but this never dampened his resolve. They lied about his wealth but he continued living a simple life. They lied about human rights violations but he continued to provide the highest attainable human rights for his people. Even at his death, reactionary media continues to desecrate his name by publishing lies about this great revolutionary. Fidel has taught us to ignore the liars and detractors and instead soldier on and do what is right.

I therefore reiterate the homage that Carlos Aznárez paid to Fidel Castro where he wrote;

A communist

“So, when difficulties seem too 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?”

An avid reader, a sportsman, an arts enthusiast, a teacher, a great leader, a prolific writer, an environmentalist, an orator, a thinker, a fighter, and above all, a Communist.

Hasta Siempre Comandante,
Long Live Fidel Castro!
Long Live Socialism!
We shall be Victorious!
Benedict WACHIRA
Secretary General
Social Democratic Party of Kenya

December 4th 2016

Gema is born, Gerardo and Adriana’s daughter

At 8:30 am on January 6, Gema Hernández Pérez, the daughter of Gerardo Hernández Nordelo and Adriana Pérez O’Connor was born in Havana, the product of the love shared by the couple, which has for 16 years survived a great distance and Gerardo’s unjust imprisonment in the United States.  Adriana was prevented from visiting Gerardo while he was imprisoned in the US.

gema 1Gema was delivered via Cesarean section and weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, Gerardo told Alicia Jrapko and Bill Hackwell, faithful friends resident in the United States who over the long years of incarceration have become family to the couple.

The baby is beautiful and Gerardo himself took the first photos of Gema with her mother.

gema 2Solidarity and love made this possible

As Gerardo has said, since his return to Cuba on December 17, the solidarity and love of many made the pregnancy possible, and the dream of having his daughter Gema is a testament to the long-lasting love he and Adriana share. In a telephone conversation with journalist Arleen Rodríguez, Gerardo said he was “very happy, super excited …

I never imagined such a happiness.” All Cubans, who for 16 years demanded the freedom of their heroes, feel the couple’s happiness as their own.

Messages of joy and congratulations from every corner of the globe

And arriving at Granma’s website were messages of joy and congratulations from every corner of the globe. Finally released by the U.S. government, Gerardo Hernández returned to Cuba December 17, with Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino.

The three, along with René González and Fernando González – who had already completed their sentences in full and returned home – were unjustly convicted and given long prison terms for their efforts to monitor terrorist groups based in South Florida which were organizing attacks on Cuba.

gema 5

Source:   Gema is born, Gerardo and Adriana’s daughter  Granma

Ellis: An engagement with virtuous Cuba is clearly beneficial for the US

by Keith Ellis

The return home of the final, and most imperiled, three of the Five Cuban heroes from their egregiously unjust treatment by the U.S. judicial and penal systems is cause for rejoicing.
ramon antonio y gerardo 201 4 2This is all the more so because this clear and definitive though tardy compliance with what is just was announced along with other positive measures.  But there are others that will be fruitful only if the U.S. abandons entrenched patterns of imperialist behaviour.  In this latter regard there is hope that comes, not from a willing benevolence on the part of the U.S., but from the well-demonstrated resistance and dignity of the Cuban people in defence of their sovereignty and independence.

CELAC 11The example set by Cuba has steadily eroded the U.S.A.’s assumed authority to dictate to the governments of this hemisphere.  In 1962 the Organization of American States succeeded in having all states in the hemisphere except for Mexico and Canada break relations with Cuba.  The revolutionary island then stood alone, seeing the OAS as what it called the U.S.A.’s “Ministry of colonies.”  By 2011 the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), one of the integrative organizations spearheaded by Venezuela and Cuba, had come to virtually supplant the OAS, with the membership of all the countries in the hemisphere except for the U.S. and Canada, which were excluded.

Cuba’s image as a country that contributes to the wellbeing of humanity

This reversal was reinforced by Cuba’s universally inerasable image as a country that readily contributes in a positive way to the wellbeing of humanity. raul bids farewell tomedical brigade heading for sierra leone If Cuba is wont to do this without trumpeting its virtue, its response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa—a scourge that has so alarmed people everywhere that the revolutionary island’s commitment to fighting it won plaudits even from the corporate press in North America—made attempts at continuing the demonization of Cuba unprofitable.

The image of the United States – bludgeoned by the exposure of misdeeds

On the other hand, the image of the United States was continuing to be bludgeoned by the exposure of misdeeds and crimes against humanity—torture, brutal applications of the law—perpetrated with impunity for all to see.  In these circumstances an engagement with virtuous Cuba was clearly beneficial for the United States.  The nerve it took to so misplace Cuba as to keep it on a list of terrorist-supporting countries had to give way; the absurdly punitive measures taken by the United States to limit severely the contacts between Cubans at home and those living as immigrants in North America had to become more rational; and the maniacally cruel economic, financial and commercial embargo placed on Cuba in 1962 and that has acquired increasingly odious characteristics with the passage of time had to be acknowledged as being rampantly evil.

For twenty-three successive years the UN General assembly has condemned the US embargo against Cuba

UN votes on US embargo against Cuba 2014This is especially so because it has been condemned in the UN General Assembly for twenty-three successive years by what is truly the international community.  Last October (2014), 188 countries on this planet voted to condemn it, while two, the U.S. and Israel, voted to sustain it.  We do not know with what zeal President Obama will work to free Cuba and the world of the embargo.  His will to do good has to be questioned as long as he acts to bring about the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Venezuela, employing sometimes the most reprehensible racist means.  For Cuba and Venezuela are, to adapt a phrase once used regarding Cuba and Puerto Rico, two wings of the same bird.

As with the struggle for the freedom of the Five, the struggle must continue for the end of the embargo.  It is likely that those in that struggle will be joined by the Cuban Five, for on their return to Cuba they have pledged to take on any task assigned to them by the Revolution.  Let us also notice that the announcements of December 17th were made on the Day of San Lázaro, a revered saint in the Afro-Cuban religion, Santería, a saint hailed throughout Cuba with masterful celebratory drumming, recalling the victory over slavery and the triumph of the Revolution.

keith-TorontoMoncadaDay-04Keith Ellis C.D. Professor Emeritus, at the University of Toronto, author or editor of eighteen books and some one hundred articles published in all the top journals in his field of Spanish-American literature and culture.   Professor Ellis is a Jamaican and a long-standing, active defender of the Cuban revolution.  Last September (2014) he was awarded the Friendship Medal by the State Council of the Republic of Cuba in recognition of his trust, dedication and solidarity with the nation.  He is a Coordinator of the Canadian Network on Cuba, CNC, Sandy Relief Fund


ICAP: Our deepest appreciation and gratitude … the Five are back with their families

foto 8The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) joins the deep joy of all the Cuban people and the Solidarity Movement for the return of our heroes Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio.

Since yesterday we have received thousands of messages and expressions of support, by different routes, addressed to the Five, their families and the Cuban people. We share and celebrate with you this victory for justice, dignity and resistance for 16 long years.

foto 7Your contribution has been decisive and your commitment has been fulfilled. The Five are back with their families, with their people, in their homeland.

To all, our deepest appreciation and gratitude.

foto 5This great happiness should also contribute to keeping us all united and mobilized. The unjust blockade against our people must cease. And there are numerous pending causes from peoples who demand the continuation of our joint efforts.

We firmly believe that you all will continue with us in the struggle for a better world.

Havana, December 18, 2014.

Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples

Kenya Cuba Friendship Society Congratulates the Cuban Five

Kenya Cuba Friendship Society 3Congratulations to the Cuban Five:
Statement by Kenya Cuba Friendship Society and the Pro-liberation Committee

The Kenya Cuba Friendship Society (KCFS) and the Pro-liberation Committee for the Five, Congratulates the Cuban Five (René González, Fernando González, and now Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino) on the completion of their release from the United States prisons, where they were unjustly jailed in a process that took political, rather than legal path.

It is difficult to put into words the jubilant feelings that KCFS members felt (and are still feeling) when the announcement of their release was made known by the international media.

We also congratulate the families of the Five, the Government and people of Cuba, and ICAP for sustaining the campaign for the freedom of the Five, even when the chances of their release seemed impossible.

A victory against global terrorism

We congratulate the other Governments, the Solidarity/Friendship Associations, the Nobel laureates, celebrities, artists, lawyers & law associations, media houses & journalists, and all the organisations and individuals who tirelessly campaigned for the release of the Five.

This victory is not just a victory of the Five, but it is a victory for world justice, and a victory against global Terrorism.

We welcome the resumption of the diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S, and we continue to demand for the ending of the U.S blockade on Cuba, which has on one hand led to financial, economic and commercial sabotage of Cuba, and on the other hand led to the isolation of the United States on the international scene, as seen in the annual vote at the United Nations General Assembly in support of Cuba, and the ending of the Blockade.

Long Live Cuba!
Long live Internationalism!
Long live Socialism!

Benedict WACHIRA Secretary KCFS
Mwandawiro MGHANGA President KCFS
Booker NGESA  Pres. Pro-liberation Comm.

Cuban Parliament Thanks International Solidarity with the Five

Havana, Dec 19 2014

The Cuban National Assembly of People’s Power, ANPP by its Spanish acronym, thanked today in plenary, all parliamentarians and legislators of the world for their support to the cause of the Cuban Five.cuban parliament 2

In the presence of Raul Castro, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, the 546 deputies present unanimously approved the statement from the International Relations Committee of the Parliament of the Caribbean nation,  read by the legislator Yolanda Ferrer Gómez.

Joy of Cubans at the news of the return of the Five

Yolanda Ferrer GómezWe fully support the recent speech of President Raul Castro said Ferrer Gomez (photo) at the Havana Conventions Palace, while stressing the joy of Cubans at the news of the return to the Homeland of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramon Labañino, after a long battle for justice.

She also noted that they had fulfilled the words of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro when in June 2001 said, “They will return”, a term that guided so many years of struggle.

The declaration adopted also thanked the governments and solidarity groups who have taken as their own the cause of The Five, who are a symbol of the dignity of the Cuban people.

This battle has been won by dint of principles, steadfastness, perseverance and international solidarity, the deputy said.

Last December 14th the XIII ALBA-TCP was held in Havana, in which the tenth anniversary of the integration mechanism was commemorated.

In that context the ANPP, welcomed the important date and paid tribute to the twentieth anniversary of the historic meeting between leaders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.

The deputies also pledged to defend the founding principles of the Alliance, promoter of cooperation and integration of the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean in search of a prosperous and sustainable development of the region.

Source: Cuban Parliament Thanks International Solidarity with the Five   TeleSUR

GCSM: Restoration of diplomacy with Cuba, release of Cuban Five overdue

Posted by TrakkerNews

on December 17, 2014

haleem khan 3Georgetown: President of the Guyana Cuba Solidarity Movement (GCSM) Hakeem Khan has welcomed the move by the Obama administration to restore full diplomacy with Cuba while simultaneously releasing three members of the Cuban Five in exchange for U.S. contractor Alan Gross. The three Cuban anti-terrorists have been in prison in the USA for the past 16 years on trumped up spying charges.

Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero were released today, Wednesday 17, December, 2014 and flown back to their homeland — ending what their appeals lawyer called “an arduous experience.”  Amnesty International and a United Nations group have both said that the Cubans did not receive a fair trial.

Labanino, 51, and Guerrero, 56, have received visits from family while they have been jailed, but Hernandez, 49, has only seen his wife once because she was deported after his arrest, Khan noted. Two other members of the Cuban Five — Rene and Fernando Gonzalez — were released in 2012.

Arrested in 1998

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Raul: We must learn the art of living, in a civilized manner, with our differences

(Google translation of Raul’s address on the release of the Cuban Five))


Cuba's President Raul Castro addresses the audience during the closing ceremony of Cuban communist congress in HavanaSince my election as President of the Councils of State and Ministers, I have expressed on many occasions, our willingness to support respectful dialogue with the government of the United States, based on sovereign equality, to discuss different topics reciprocally without prejudice to national independence and self-determination of our people.

This is a position that was expressed to the Government of the United States, public and private, by comrade Fidel at different times in our long struggle, with the approach of discussing and resolving differences through negotiations without giving up any of our principles.

The heroic Cuban people

The heroic Cuban people have demonstrated against great dangers, attacks, hardships and sacrifices, that they are and will be true to our ideals of independence and social justice. Closely united in these 56 years of Revolution, we have kept deep loyalty to those who fell defending these principles since the beginning of our wars of independence in 1868.

Now, despite the difficulties, we are updating our economic model to build a prosperous and sustainable socialism.

As a result of a dialogue at the highest level, including a telephone conversation I had yesterday with President Barack Obama, progress has been made in addressing some issues of interest to both nations.

As Fidel promised

As Fidel promised, in June 2001, when he said, they will return!, Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio arrived in our country today, .

The sheer joy of their families and all our people, who mobilized tirelessly to that end, extends between the hundreds of committees and groups of solidarity; governments, parliaments, organizations, institutions and personalities that during these 16 years and made strenuous efforts demanded for their release.  All of them express our deepest gratitude and commitment.

 Obama deserves respect

This decision by President Obama deserves the respect and recognition of our people.

I want to thank and acknowledge the support of the Vatican, and especially, the Pope Francis, in the improvement of relations between Cuba and the United States. Similarly, I thank the Government of Canada for the facilities created for the realization of high-level dialogue between the two countries.

In turn, we decided to release and send to the United States  a Cuban spy who served in that nation.

Moreover, based on humanitarian grounds, today US citizen Alan Gross was also returned to his country

Unilaterally, as is our practice and with strict adherence to our legal system, criminal inmates have received benefits, including the release of persons for whom the Government of the United States had shown interest.

We agree to the restoration of diplomatic relations

Likewise, we agree to the restoration of diplomatic relations.

This does not mean that the main issue is resolved. The economic, commercial and financial blockade which has caused enormous human and economic damage to our country must cease.

Although sanctions have been converted into law, the President of the United States can modify its application using his executive powers.

We propose to the Government of the United States to take mutual steps to improve bilateral climate and to move towards normalization of ties between our countries, based on the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter.

Cuba’s willingness to cooperate

Cuba reiterates its willingness to sustain cooperation in multilateral bodies such as the United Nations.

Recognizing that we have deep differences, mainly on national sovereignty, democracy, human rights and foreign policy, I reaffirm our willingness to discuss all these issues.

I urge the Government of the United States to remove obstacles that prevent or restrict the links between our peoples, families and citizens of both countries, in particular those relating to travel, direct mail and telecommunications.

Progress in sustained exchanges show that it is possible to find solutions to many problems.

As we have said, we must learn the art of living, in a civilized manner, with our differences.

On these important issues we will speak later.

Thank you very much.

Source:  Raul’s speech