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February 11,2017

Fidel’s legacy

Arnold August

On December 27, 2016, the Cuban National Assembly of People’s Power held a debate on how to legislate the will of Fidel to reject any tendency toward the ‘cult of personality’. The law expressly bans the use of Fidel’s name ‘to denominate institutions, plazas, parks, streets, avenues and other public places, as well as any type of decoration, recognition or honorary title.’

There were a variety of opinions expressed in the Parliament on how to honour Fidel’s desire as expressed to his brother Raúl Castro; at the same time, deputies stressed the need to maintain, study and propagate Fidel’s legacy for the benefit of present and future generations not familiar with Cuba when the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution was still alive. However, the debate was largely censored by the US corporate media.

What is it in Fidel that attracts so much animosity from the US, while he has enjoyed so much devotion from the Cuban people and millions of people around the world, who consider him a hero? What is this imperialism that he, along with the Cuban people, defied from 1953 to his last breath?

Let us take only the period toward the end of World War II, at a time when Fidel initiated his political development and action. Aside from the US neocolonial domination of Cuba, including periods of dictatorship, the US is responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A recent vivid French television documentary based on interviews with survivors shows how, during WWII, the US armed forces arriving in Cherbourg, France, supposedly as liberators, used their firearms to rape and aggress French women and their families.

This was symptomatic of a larger problem in that country and elsewhere in Europe. This is not to deny the crucial and courageous role of the US and its armed forces to defeat fascism, nor to pretend that other powers did not carry out the same type of activities or worse, such as the Japanese fascists against the Chinese people.

However, viewing this documentary from the perspective of 2017, one has to keep in mind that the US presents itself as the most civilized country on the planet with the burden of bringing ‘democracy’ and ‘American values’ to the world.

The documentary brings home the fact that this negative feature from WWII proved to be a hint of how US atrocities would play out after WWII.

The fabricated excuse is very familiar to us today: De Gaulle, the allies claimed, was a military person and therefore a ‘dictator’.

After WWII, the US carried out aggressions against Korea and Vietnam. A recent visit to Vietnam reinforced the common knowledge that some American armed forces carried out atrocities similar to Nazi Germany. Such was the horror that many US soldiers courageously resisted this barbarism by revolting against their officers and by other means.

From 1948 to date, Israel, with the assistance of the US, has been carrying out genocide without let-up against the Palestinian people. Cubans knows about genocide, as the US blockade against Cuba consists of genocide in that the US has explicitly declared since 1961 that its goal is to starve Cubans into submission.

Cuba and Fidel not only challenged the US-backed racial segregation of apartheid in Africa, but went there to help Africa to liberate itself.

Fidel was an outspoken opponent of current American aggression through drones and other means in seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia. Washington has dropped many bombs in that area of the world, including on civilian populations.

All of this barely veiled bullying of the world’s peoples did not make Cuba and Fidel bend. Nor did US aggression against Russia on Ukraine and other issues succeed in undermining Cuba’s solidarity with Russia.

Fidel Castro challenged all this and more. Yet, instead of desiring recognition for the longest-lasting resistance to the biggest military and economic power in the world, he rejected such remembrance.

This article has been excerpted from: ‘Marti in Fidel: All the Glory in the World Fits in a
Kernel of Corn’.

Courtesy: Counterpunch.org


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