Adieu to the revolutionary

Saturday, February 23, 2008

On February 19, 2008, five days before his mandate expired, Fidel Castro announced he would neither seek nor accept a new term as either president or commander-in-chief. No one in the history of politics has ever said, "neither seek nor accept presidency", before. Castro was a communist visionary and one of the greatest heroes in the Cuban history. He deserves a special adieu from India for his role in Non-Aligned Movement.

During the 1983 NAM summit in New Delhi (Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's period), Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was most upset for being asked to address the opening plenary session after the address of the leader of Jordanian delegation and was rejecting to attend subsequent (afternoon) session. Mr. Castro came to know about this and asked Mr. Yasser Arafat if he was a friend of Indira Gandhi. Mr. Arafat Said, "Friend, friend, she is my elder sister and I will do anything for her." Mr. Castro said, "Then behave like a younger brother and attend the afternoon session." Yasser Arafat drama was over in two minutes. Mr. Arafat did as he was told![The Hindu, 22nd Feb, 2008]. Such was the charisma and character of Fidel Castro.

The world will remember Mr. Castro, not only for his Communist legacy, Cuban Revolution, Cuban Missile Crisis and changing the lives of millions in Cuba, but also for surviving 638 (yeah, six hundred and thirty eight) assassination attempts by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Still, CIA says, "We only have to be successful once!" They have tried all possible methods to kill the impeccable revolutionary, Fidel Castro, 'from exploding cigars to femmes fatales; a radio station rigged with noxious gas to a poison syringe posing as an innocuous ballpoint pen'. He is still the worst nightmare of America and the CIA. He once said, "If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal." Here is the list.

Presidency No of Attempts to kill Fidel Castro
Eisenhower 38
John F. Kennedy 42
Lyndon B. Johnson 72
Richard Nixon's 172
Jimmy Carter 74
Ronald Reagan 197
George H. W. Bush 16
Bill Clinton 21
George W. Bush 6

Some of these assassination plots are depicted in a documentary entitled 638 Ways to Kill Castro. The documentary even suggests that John F. Kennedy asked the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, for his advice on how to oust Castro. Take a look at the trailer.

In 1952, at the age of 26, he planned to run for a parliamentary seat. However, Gen. Fulgencio Batista overthrew the Cuban government and canceled the election. Castro first challenged the Batista regime in court, but in 1953 organized an unsuccessful rebel force. Castro was arrested, tried and put in jail until 1955. He next went to Mexico to organize a new force, one that became known as the 26 of July Movement. In 1956 this group launched its attack, again meeting a bloody defeat. Castro and his followers next began a guerrilla war against the corrupt and by now very unpopular Batista regime. They quickly built a large following, also thanks to an effective propaganda campaign. On January 1, 1959, at the age of just 32, Castro triumphantly took power[source] and ruled Cuba for 49 (forty nine) years. He is the longest serving president of any state in the world.

Though he was criticized for his Human Rights record (thousands of political opponents to the Castro regime have been killed, primarily during the first decade of his leadership), Castro portrays opposition to the Cuban government as illegitimate, and the result of an ongoing conspiracy fostered by Cuban exiles with ties to the United States or the CIA. Several political pundits accused Castro for Cuban Missile Crisis and his subsequent allegedly dictatorial character of his rule. Nevertheless, Cubans love Castro for his bravery in Cuban revolution and his role in transforming the lives of millions of Cubans.

Castro once said, "....I know that there will be a conspiracy to bury me in oblivion. But my voice will not be stifled – it will rise from my breast even when I feel most alone, and my heart will give it all the fire that callous cowards deny it... Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me..."

I am sure, history has absolved him. He has retired from the active politics, but not away from the world. Hopefully CIA will stop plotting Castro's assassination attempts. May he live many more years in peace. Good bye, Mr. Castro, and thanks for teaching the world a great lesson of revolution!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A very well written article about a drastic, radical and a pragmatic revolutionary like Fidel Castro. He has been a very charismatic and a dynamic leader who has the ability to influence, and to lead the people. No wonder he succesfully led cuba for decades where even education at university level was made free. He has shown the world that socialist ountries like Cuba are not dependent on anyone.I still remember that young Castro standing with che guevara and lighting his fag and how he successfully overcame by the Bay of Pigs invasion. This day I salute to Fdel Castro and wish him very happy years ahead.

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