Fidel Castro Ruz: 1926 - 2016
Fidel Castro, father of the 1959 Cuban revolution has died after 90 years of a life of rebellion and resistance. That this bold, revolutionary figure lived as long as he did is itself a victory, for he outlived at least 11 assassination attempts forged by the CIA against him. Eleven times that the U.S. government has admitted.
As a young man, he earned a law degree, but never practiced in that role. He took to the revolutionary path, and began a struggle against the U.S.-supported dictator, Fulgencio Batista. That struggle, which led to the fall of Batista, inspired people all around the world.
One of those inspired was the late Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, who, in a 1967 jail interview, noted, “When Fidel Castro started the revolution along with Che Guevara, with 12 of them altogether, they realized that they wouldn’t be able to topple oppressive regime in Cuba. What they were essential was an educational body. They engaged with the army; they fought with the army and they showed the people that the army was that bulletproof, that the police were not bulletproof. And that Batista’s regime was not a regime that was impossible to topple, so the people began to feel their strength,” [said] Dr. Huey P. Newton.
Fidel was a friend of Malcolm X, and a lifelong friend of Africa. The racist regime of apartheid South Africa got whipped in Angola, with tens of thousands of Cuban troops in the field. The notorious Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, Angola was where South Africa saw the bloody writing on the wall.
Castro once said, “African blood flows in our veins. Many of our ancestors came as slaves from Africa to this land. As slaves, they struggled quite a great deal. They fought as members of the Liberating Army of Cuba. We’re brothers and sisters of the people of Africa, and we’re ready to fight on their behalf.”
Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution never bowed to the U.S. empire, not once in over half a century. The Cuban revolution produced the finest educational system in the Caribbean and much of the world. They sent their doctors all around the earth.
The world mourns the passing of a giant. Fidel Castro Ruiz, comandante de la revolución, presente.
From Imprisoned Nation, this is Mumia Abu Jamal.
*Transcript of audio recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio
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