Over the weekend all major International News networks had to abruptly alter their programmes to digest the sudden news of the passing on of Cuban Revolutionary Leader, Fidel Castro Ruz at age 90. Death at such an age is normally not mourned, but celebrated. A giant of 20th century politics, Fidel's passing really captured the centre stage of every discussions across the world in politics, economics, commerce and global planning and strategies. The emblematic revolutionary was known for his love of life and was a figure recognised by both friends and fees as a legend thrust on world politics and history by circumstances of his time.
Born, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz on August 13th 1926 to Spanish Immigrants of affluent background, the former Cuban leader abandoned his pursuit in law practice and embraced the Missionary cause of Jose Marti, the Cuban Independence, Liberator of the 18th Century, to be with the down trodden and exploited. Spurred on by the examples of radical like Simon Bolivar, Tupac Amaru, Toussaint L"Ouverture, Augustino Sandino, Jose de San Martin and Bartolome de Casas, and many more, Fidel overthrew the Philistine regime of Batista in 1959. Fidel and his revolutionary embraced socialism in Cuba to the eerie of the US, the great power and hemispheric hegemon of all time, just 90 miles from shore. From the 1960's to the 1980's, Fidel’s Cuba actively struggled against colonialism and Western Imperialism played and played an instrumental role in the formation of the Non Aligned Movement.
In the 1990's contrary to the expectation of many, Fidel's Cuba not only survived the collapse of the Soviet Union - its benefactor and financier - but lived on and preserved its independence. The free and Independent Cuba that he built has become an influential member of the International Community and has served as an inspiration for many countries and people. One towering and incontrovertible character of this giant of our time was his conviction and resolve in the rightness of his cause and history has rightly absolved him. He chose the path of egalitarianism under which basic rights and opportunities were and are equally available to all irrespective of ones background in the Cuban Society. In the words of President Putin, Fidel Castro "was a strong and wise human being who always looked with confidence to the future. He embodied the highest ideals of politics, citizenship and patriotism, and was sincerely convinced in the rightness of the goal to which he devoted his whole life. As an example to this current generation Fidel proved that idealism can be translated into reality. He proved the superiority of scientific socialism over capitalism which subsists on exploitation and naked subjugation. As a man of his time, he devoted his life to the working masses in the struggle for justice and dignity and survived more than 600 attempts on his life. Not only did he survive the assassination attempts, he lived to see to demise of all the leaders who plotted to kill him. He survived because the people were on his side and bought into his conviction and the superiority of the ideals he espoused. Again, as an example his ideals in socialist internationalism invigorated humanity's consciousness. Cuba became an example not only for the Latin America but for our entire world. Life expectancy in Cuba is much higher than it is in many affluent countries, Against all odds and five decades of crippling embargo and blockade of people, Cuba not only survived but came out victorious.
Africa as a continent, and Ghana in particular is indebted to the selflessness and generosity of this icon of history when all came to sum up the imprint that, this man stamped on history, it would be recalled that, "he inherited a poor backward country in 1959, with a largely illiterate population, the backyard of the USA, whose high and mighty used Havana as a private whore house and the island as a playground. He closed down the casinos, started to implement a progressive socialist government which began to provide high quality public service and to open opportunities to all. Commandante Fidel Castro Ruz has departed to eternity leaving behind "terra firma" to enter the annals of history as a hero of humanity.
In our hearts shall live the battle cry of the revolution, "Patrio Muerte, Venceremos - Independence or death - victory shall reign.
BY WILLIAM SOWAH HAYEH, JOURNALIST, GBC.