Fidel shows the way the world moves, and the path to be trodden. In this January day, the first day of the year, lessons from Fidel are to be reiterated, are to be spread around with renewed vigor. Revolution unrolled its flag of victory over Havana in a similar January day in 1959, and a long, arduous journey began.
Historical significance of Fidel’s lessons and practices is to be identified in the period the world is passing through.
Fidel stands for humane causes, for humanity.
Any economic system based on exploitation dehumanizes human society. Capitalism appropriates all traces of humanity from all souls the system trammels. Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism, as Lenin finds, robs all lands it conquers. It’s a contradiction between humanity and capitalism and imperialism. Fidel stands against capitalism and imperialism, against all siblings of capitalism and imperialism: apartheid, neo-colonialism, invasion, imperialist war, arms race, proliferation of nuclear arms. These are alien to human existence.
The imperialist world system is the root of all wars in today’s world. It’s the single most important cause of all destabilization in the present day world. The system can’t survive without looting resources from all corners of the world.
Fidel opposes capitalism, imperialism, and its stooges. Fidel fights wars and invasions. Fidel fights for peace as peace is an essential condition for flourishing of human society, for pursuing of scientific knowledge, and scientific knowledge is essential for building up a humane society. Fidel fights to free human society from exploitation, to cease appropriation of labor. Fidel, thus, stands for humane causes, for humanity.
Fidel handles contradictions in the world stage correctly.
Fidel’s days of victorious survival, successes the society he was within, achievements the society made are the evidences of his correct handling of contradictions. Comparisons help perceive the claim asserted above. Revolutions in Russia and China unfurled their red flag of victory over the lands, vast in terms of land mass, and rich with resources. The Chinese revolution was led by a party with a long experience of struggle including surviving a big retreat. The USSR was standing by the revolutions in China, in the central and eastern Europe, and Mao, in one of his essays, identified this geographical condition: the USSR adjacent to China, enemy can’t make an offensive move from the rear.
Fidel’s Cuba had no such conditions. Cuba, on the opposite, was, in real terms, at a stone’s-throw-distance from the most powerful imperialist power. Actually, the imperialist power is the most powerful military power in human history.
The world knows the number of barrels of oil Saddam and Gaddafi were sitting on. Their oil power indicates their defense capability. How many days they sustained in the face of imperialist invasion? The number of days is known to all.
Where does Cuba stand in comparison to those oil powers in the Middle East and Africa? The answer is known to all.
None of these countries – Russia and China – faced the type and extent of exodus of human resources the type and extent Cuba experienced. And, there were conspiracies, assassination attempts, invasion organized against Cuba.
The UN General Assembly is witness to Cuba’s diplomatic victory. Voting result each year in the UNGA over Cuba issue mercilessly exposed imperialism’s exercise in futility and Cuba’s justified cause. How much money the imperialist camp spent? How much pressure the camp exerted over its allies and other countries to diplomatically isolate Cuba? Cuba had no such resource to squander. But, each year witnessed Cuba’s diplomatic victory on the UNGA.
There was a radio station, dubbed Radio Marti, to spread confusion, disinformation, subversive information, and to incite provocation. And, there are so-called democracy projects being run by imperialist organizations. How much money was spent to run these propaganda and “democracy” operations? Imperialist media (IM) within the mainstream media (MSM) was there. The IM’s number of negative treatment of news, negative editorial comments and reports on Cuba is an indicator of imperialist anger with Cuba and Fidel. How many positive news on Cuba has been carried by the IM? This is another indicator. The same IM carried baseless news, reports and editorial comments with positive tone about brute dictators, murderous rulers and tyrants the IM considered friends. The IM’s use of photographs, formulating of headlines, making of sentences and use of words are evidences. Cuba had no resource to influence the IM or launch a news outlet equal to the IM in terms of extent of operation.
But, Cuba continued to win friends around the world while the IM gathered its identity as propagandist without credibility.
How has that been possible? A correct handling of contradictions is the answer. It’s Fidel’s approach: a correct assessment of subjective and objective conditions, identifying of contradictions within the reality, and handling of those contradictions properly.
Fidel symbolizes moral standing and dignity.
Otherwise, Fidel would have failed to mobilize the people in Cuba, which would have made Cuba succumb to imperialist encirclement and to plots to strangle the country. Following examples help perceive the assertion made in the preceding sentence:
(1) The imperialist financial institutions imposed structural programs on countries; bankers imposed austerity measures in countries in Europe; regimes were changed/unelected regimes were imposed in countries in Europe following financial/banking crises; imposition of uneven trade regime and anti-people projects on countries is a much discussed incident in the world system.
(2) India’s resources – natural, technical, intellectual – were far more in the mid-August of 1947 than of Cuba’s in January of 1959. Indonesia, Iran or the Philippines can also be compared. Industrial and agricultural bases of mid-August-’47-India were stronger and wider than of January-’59-Cuba. India faced no economic blockade while Cuba bears an opposite “fortune”: a stifling blockade. India is a nuclear power. But, isn’t Cuba’s achievement in the areas of health, education and medical research far better, appropriate for a society? Is it possible to achieve this without a collective effort by a people? And, is it possible to coerce a people to make collective effort to scale summits in the face of overpowering imperialist economic blockade?
A people can be mobilized only by a leadership the people trust, and people trust a leadership with high moral standing and credibility. A people can withstand imperialist offensive – military, economic and propaganda – when the people is imbued with the sense of dignity, and only a leadership with tested sense of dignity can imbue people it leads. Is it now difficult to perceive Fidel? How many imperialist state-persons and their lackeys had to exit disgracefully in respective countries during the years Fidel was leading his country? Was Fidel’s resource and political manipulation power more than those gentlemen? One can recollect the stat. on or percentage of killing, murder and torture by Suharto and his brothers in Indonesia, Portugal, Spain, Iran, Chile, El Salvador, apartheid-ruled South Africa, the Philippines, Thailand, and …, and … One can recollect the names: Nixon, Clinton, boozer Boris of Moscow, and similar many others. One is free to recollect the fall of regimes from tiny Albania to the vast land of the USSR. Does Cuba’s economy provide the capacity to have more powerful state machine than the state machines of East Germany or Bulgaria or Hungary or the USSR? Then, how Fidel survives? So, the answer lies “somewhere else”, but not on repression by Fidel. With repression, one can’t attain moral standing, can’t imbue a people with the sense of dignity.
Fidel teaches the essential task to educate people politically.
The people in Cuba bear that sign of political education. It’s a continuous process. Yesterday’s success doesn’t ensure tomorrow’s victory. Today’s political struggle ensures tomorrow’s victory.
Fidel’s revolutionary spirit and courage, stubbornness, his uncompromising stand on the issue of imperialism, and his flexibility on questions of tact are other aspects to learn. Cuba’s period of hard time – the special period – is the evidence.
Fidel’s struggles were part of human society’s quest for a dignified, peaceful, prosperous life, which began centuries ago, and which spanned lands across the globe. How human history evaluates the struggles of the slaves in slave-owning societies? How their contributions in humanity’s forward journey are evaluated? Struggles of Fidel and of the people he inspired, educated and organized shall be evaluated in the same way: a revolutionary march towards a new dawn to bring a new life for the entire human society in the face of an imperialist world order armed to the teeth and always active with political ploys and military campaigns; and the march defying all masters made exemplary achievements to make human life beautiful, to make human life less painful, to make human life dignified.
Farooque Chowdhury is from Dhaka