Initially Deified in Cuba. Defied US.
Cuban Leader Mr Fidel Castro, who defied the US for many decades and escaped many attempts on life, is no more. Aged 90, Castro had for sometime now moved away from an active role in Cuban politics. Fidel handed over the reins of Cuba to brother Raul a few years back.
Castro is well remembered in India for his famous hug of ‘sister’ Indira Gandhi while handing over the leadership of the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) Summit in 1983 at New Delhi.
Along with Che Guevara, Fidel Castro came to symbolizearmed resistance against imperialism and capitalism. Che grew more iconic globally partly due to his death (martyrdom as his followers would have it).
Cool Chilli’s Views on News
The appeal of Che and Castro can be better understood if we can visualize the common man’s misery in the ‘banana republics‘, the term coined by writer O’Henry. Che as a young medical student travelled across Latin America. He saw first hand, the injustice wrecked by a handful of the corrupt elite. He helped Castro wrest power from US backed Batista regime which was seen as corrupt. While Castro stayed on as the leader of Cuba, his comrade moved on to other lands to help them in their struggle. Che was killed by the Bolivian soldiers in captivity.
Defied US. Defiled Cuba?
Cubans must have deified Castro in the initial years. Here was a person who had taken on the mighty, US backed regime. Against many odds he had wrested power on behalf of the common man. He also seemed to live a simple life, appearing in military fatigues always. Besides, he escaped multiple attempts on life (‘sponsored by the CIA’). This only increased his stature in the eyes on the naive follower. However his absolute control over the administration and the pursuit of Soviet/ Socialist policies ensured that the Cuban economy did not progress. Political freedom was very limited and lure of the nearby US with multiple avenues (economic and political) triggered many refugee migrations.
Insiders once close to Castro, and now since escaped from Cuba would give us, far from flattering views as in the link below. If these are true, it is an example of Power Corrupting and Absolute Power corrupting absolutely.
At NewsTikka, we wonder whether Che would ever have suspected Castro’s Fidelity to the cause?