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Sunday, August 14, 2011


Fidel Castro was born on 13 August 1926 in the south-eastern Oriente Province of Cuba. He was the son of a successful sugar planter. Castro studied law at the University of Havana. He intended to run in elections scheduled for 1952, but the government was overthrown by General Fulgencio Batista and the elections cancelled. Castro rejected democracy and declared himself in favour of armed revolution. In 1953, Castro and his brother Raúl led an unsuccessful rising against Batista and Castro was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released under an amnesty and fled to Mexico, where he was joined by an Argentinean Marxist Ernesto 'Che' Guevara.

In 1956, Castro and Guevara landed in Cuba with a small band of insurgents, known as the '26th of July Movement', and began a guerrilla war against the government. In December 1958, Castro launched a full-scale attack and Batista was forced to flee. In February 1959, Castro was sworn in as prime minister of Cuba and announced the introduction of a Marxist-Leninist programme adapted to local requirements. Thousands of Cubans went into exile, mostly to the United States.
Antagonism grew with the US and the Americans imposed economic sanctions on Cuba in 1960. Relations reached crisis point with the CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles in April 1961, which failed. Castro then secretly allowed the Soviets to build sites for nuclear missiles in Cuba, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when the US and the Soviet Union came very close to war. 

Despite his dictatorial style of government and ruthless suppression of opposition, Castro remained popular in Cuba. Many Cubans benefited from the free education and healthcare programmes he introduced. Cuba received considerable economic support from the Soviet Union. In 1976, Cuba's National Assembly elected Castro President.
Through the 1970s and 1980s Castro emerged as one of the leaders of the non-aligned nations, despite his obvious ties to the Soviet Union. However, the end of Soviet aid in 1991 led to a continued economic crisis in Cuba. Some foreign investment has been allowed, especially in tourism, and the money sent home by exiled Cubans is crucial. Castro stood down as President of Cuba in 2008 - passing the baton to his younger brother Raúl Castro.
 Castro has been leader of Cuba since 1959, when he created the first communist state in the western hemisphere. He is the world's longest-serving leader.
Fidel castro teach us the following: 
First, as Castro teaches us, revolution means a fundamental rupture with — or violence perpetrated on — a given mode of production in order to inaugurate a new one as well as inaugurate new epistemic-cultural modes of production and exchange in the interest of the total liberation of humankind. And revolution is not a product but a process that calls for continuously creative and critical interventions. As Castro puts it in his On Imperialist Globalization: ‘We, the revolutionaries, have discovered an even more powerful weapon: men think and feel.’

   Second, the unity and conviction and commitment of the masses can make a relatively small geographical territory powerful and invincible even vis-a-vis an antagonistic superpower. It is not for nothing that Castro could say with utmost confidence, ‘We have come here to stay. And we do not fear Yankee imperialism.’
   Third, as Castro teaches us, leadership is not a noun but a verb — one that continuously needs to derive its energy and inspiration from a thorough knowledge of and undiminished commitment to specific subjects and sites, dialectically capturing the specific within the general and the general within the specific.

   Fourth, US imperialism is simultaneously most aggressive, most naked, and most crisis-ridden at this conjuncture when the people of the world are way more vocal against US imperialism than ever before. And the fundamental sites of both imperialist aggression and opposition to that aggression are Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Thus the national-colonial question returns with a vengeance. And national liberation then comes to mean people’s liberation from both the exploitative or plundering national ruling classes as well as from imperialism itself, organically tied as they are. And, in this instance, of course, the primary and secondary contradictions as well as their various shifting aspects would depend on a given calculus of historical-material contradictions operating and obtaining within a given society.
   Fifth, there is then no alternative to building a national liberation movement as well as a tricontinentalist movement against capitalism and imperialism (Che and Castro learned from one another regarding what Che called ‘tricontinentalism’).
   Sixth, Castro himself teaches us that a leader — no matter how powerful and knowledgeable s/he is — is not a superhuman but an imperfect, vulnerable, mortal being, as certainly Castro is. Our struggle, therefore, is to be directed against, among other things, all imperfections and against romanticising or fetishising a few individuals as the only protagonists of history as opposed to the masses who themselves change and create history.
   Seventh, Marxism-Leninism is not to be fixed and frozen in time and space, but to be reinvented at every turn in response to the specific pressures and rhythms of specific conjunctures, moments, histories, and spaces.

from STEVEN MRUMA with help of other media eg B.B.C etc
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