Dr. Fidel Castro - Council and Commander in Chief stepped down as Cuba’s president after 49 years - 1959-2008 - I have such a conflicted love for Fidel. As a black man born in America, but of Haitian Parents and a strong connection to my Haitian roots, you can't help but respect if not love the man who stood up to the super power and said "NO! I will not back down. Come try to take me out." The man stood strong for 49years in the name of COO-BAH - The longest leader in history. Please allow me to say that again Dr. Fidel Castro now stands as the longest sitting leader of any country.
The man has done so much for Haiti and its people. When the floods happened in Haiti a couple of years ago(The magnitude of the flooding due in large part to all the trees being cut down and used for the production of coal by America and France), he was one of the first to send aide. When our Bicentennial came around, he was one of a small few of world leaders to show his pride and respect for our accomplishment of being the first black republic to TAKE our independence 200 years earlier from the hands of our French oppressors. The same couldn't be said for many other leaders and nations that I thought should and would stand with us. When the Typhoon that hit Thailand also hit Haiti and other unmentioned black islands in the Caribbean and caused disastrous flooding, tens of thousands of deaths and many many more left with nothing- Castro was there. The doctors exchange program, which educates some of Haiti and Cuba’s best and brighest young minds and has them spend time in each other’s countryside’s providing free healthcare for the poorest of both our fellow citizens. The list could go on for pages…
I say proudly - God bless his good, while acknowledging what some may call his “Bad”. Remember many a black person believed in the basic tenants of communism during the 60s. Marxism isn't just a trendy intellectual dinner party conversation point. It stood as a beacon of hope and change for many a downtrodden, disillusioned, marginalized person back then, and still stands for many until this day as an inspiration of a different view. We understood in the 60s that the world in which we existed as black and Latino people did not see us as equals.
Communism stood as a path to equality for a people disillusioned with the pace of progress and saw change in a different way of government. The problem with communism has always been the same - it looks good on paper, but doesn’t account for peoples need to be tops and bottoms. People’s selfish nature to want to have more than their neighbor and take the power away from those who can’t stand up for themselves. This then directly contradicts the basic principals of communism: a socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of a classless, stateless society based on common ownership of the means of production.
A good friend told me of something his father once said to him as a child about Fidel Castro that I think really speaks to the sum of Fidel's parts.
“Fidel was a great man who possessed great ideas, but made some great mistakes. Eh...He is human” – said in his best Panamanian accent.
I’m not here to argue the pros and cons of communism, just to acknowledge a man I will not hide my pride for on this day as he stepped down from power on his own two feet and wasn’t pushed out by America’s.
VIVE LA REVOLUCION!
~VIVE LA REVOLUCION~