On 26th November 2016, Fidel Castro, leader and inspiration of the Cuban revolutionary movement, people and nation, breathed his last.
We send our heart-felt condolences to the government and people of Cuba, who are one in mourning his passing. This great loss is felt not only by the people of Cuba, but by workers and the oppressed world-wide. Yet even as we lament his passing, we celebrate his life, work, teaching and legacy.
Comrade Fidel has left the Cuban people in an incomparably better situation than he found them, and the example that the Cuban leadership, communist party and revolutionary people continue to set will inspire the world long after his passing. He has lived a good life, and died – against all the wishes of our implacable enemies, the international and particularly the US imperialist bourgeoisie – a good death.
For the revolution Fidel, Che and their comrades of the M-26-7 led, overthrew a puppet comprador regime (of US imperialism), in which the masses languished without employment, education, healthcare, control over their own destiny or in many cases basic human dignity. In its place they forged a revolutionary state that has truly served the people.
Even bourgeois papers that through their ‘obituaries’ can barely conceal their glee, are forced to admit that in Cuba, where life expectancy is now greater than in the US, they have built a standard of life, health and education systems that are the envy of the world – and not just the ‘less developed’, economically enslaved, neo-colonial ‘third world’, but by workers living in imperialist ‘first world’ nations as well.
While health systems, education systems and social housing are being torn down in Britain and across Europe as a consequence of the deep crisis and economic recession of the bankrupt global capitalist system, the Cuban people are progressing steadily, despite the best efforts of the US Oligarchs to strangle their shining example by economic blockade, and hostile diplomatic and military manoeuvres.
The Cuban socialist system, that survived the counter-revolution that caused the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist republics to implode, reminds workers of all countries that the only way to escape capitalist crisis and capitalist war, is to overthrow this rotten, parasitic and moribund system, and embrace the struggle to build an inclusive, egalitarian, and morally just Socialist way of life and a rationally planned economic system, that will guarantee all human beings a decent and secure, peaceful and dignified future.
Since the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959, 10 US presidents have come and gone, all disgraced in the dock of public opinion; all servants of the parasitic elite, of reaction and oppression.
Meanwhile the Cuban people have withstood every insult, economic and military assault thrown at them by US imperialism, and built a sane and just society, using their limited resources to improve the education and health of their people and given truly heroic support and aid to their brothers and sisters, peoples and nations among the most poor, oppressed and downtrodden, throughout the world.
Fidel, the Cuban communist party, and the revolutionary people of Cuba have shown that it is possible for any people – no matter how small – to destroy the unjust imperialist order, assert their independence, freedom, and dignity, and build a better world.
We mourn Fidel’s passing, but we celebrate his life and legacy. He reminded us always, that through our own struggle against imperialism, despite all the capitalists’ savagery and destruction, a better world is in birth.
To honour Comrade Fidel, we reproduce this short but powerful speech given by the Cuban ambassador to the UK, comrade Teresita, just days before his sad parting. She quotes Fidel’s words and teaching on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of the Great Socialist October Revolution, at a CPGB-ML meeting held in Saklatvala Hall, Southall, on 5th November 2016.
The meeting, and comrade Teresita’s speech was reported in the Cuban media.
She opened her remarks by saying “Thank you, comrades, for your powerful opening message – with the short film of comrade Stalin addressing the troops [speaking to the Red army at the battle of Moscow on the 24th anniversary of the October Revolution in 1941]”
“We all owe our freedom from fascism to the Soviet Union – not just in the Europe, but in the New World also!”
She went on to discuss the direct impact that the October Revolution had on the founders of the Cuban communist party – such as Julio Antonio Mella – and to underscore the importance of the October Revolution for all working people, and therefore humanity as a whole, and drawing out the significance of the Communist International’s role in developing the democratic, national liberation and communist movements in Latin America, and Cuba in particular.
“The October Revolution changed the course of history and made it possible for small colonial countries like Cuba to defy imperialism. Without the Soviet Union, the Cuban revolution would not have been possible. The imperialists would have crushed the revolution without even the force of arms. The economic blockade failed because of the Soviet Union.”
“Without the Soviet Union, there would have been no revolution in Cuba… We feel a deep and eternal gratitude to the Soviet Union”
But after the demise of the once glorious USSR, due to the sabotage and wrecking of Khrushchevite revisionism, Cubans, says comrade Teresita, have no intention of giving up their hard-won socialist freedoms!
“The Imperialists anticipated that Cuba could not survive the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Cuba is Socialist and so we shall remain!”
“Because Cuban Socialism was built by the Cuban People themselves, after a hard fought and heroic struggle!“
The meeting was chaired by Comrade Harpal Brar, and messages of solidarity were also delivered by comrade Sayakane Sisouvong, Laos’ Ambassador to the UK, comrade Kim Song Gi, Minister of the Korean Embassy, comrade Marcus Garcia of the Venezuelan Embassy, and comrade Dr Indunil Wijenayake, a prominent member of Sri-Lanka’s JVP.
Comrade Gerry MacLochlainn, prominent Irish Republican soldier and politician, addressed the meeting in a personal capacity, focusing on the relationship between the October Revolution, the international workers’ liberation movement, and the Easter Uprising of 1916, which was to herald the coming of an independent Ireland.
Comrade Ranjeet spoke for the CPGB-ML, and the meeting closed with a rousing rendition of the internationale!
Look out for the rest of the speeches, and read the report of the meeting.
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