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Tribute to Comandante Fidel Castro, the Great Revolutionary Leader of Cuba and the World. (Mensahe ng Pagdakila mula sa Philippine-Cuban Friendship Society, o PCFS)

Not only the Cuban people, but also all progressive peoples throughout the world, have been struck with sadness and pain at the demise on November 25, 2016, at the age of 90, of Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz. This is because Fidel is a great revolutionary leader not only of the Cuban people, but of all peoples throughout the world who are struggling against imperialism and reaction, and for national freedom, democracy and socialism.

            The rise to prominence of Fidel started when he was a student leader at the University of Havana where he took up law. He led the struggle against the Cuban feudal lords and comprador capitalists who were the local caretakers for US imperialism.

            Fidel headed the assault by 153 armed revolutionaries on the Moncada garrison on July 26, 1953. Unfortunately, the assault on that garrison failed. Fidel, Raul and the others who luckily escaped summary execution were tried, and in presenting the defense position, Fidel summed up with the immortal words : “History will absolve me”. While in a maximum-security prison, Fidel, Raul and the other revolutionary leaders continued to write agitational articles which were smuggled out of prison to keep the country’s revolutionary flame burning.

            Six weeks after their release in 1955,  Fidel and Raul went to Mexico, and from there made a tour of Cuban-American communities in the USA, where they successfully solicited support for their “July 26 Movement” aimed at toppling the bloody pro-imperialist dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba. Within a year, Fidel was able to organize and train a revolutionary Cuban armed group in Mexico, and this group was joined by a revolutionary Argentinian doctor, Ernesto “Che” Guevara. The victory of the Cuban Revolution came after 25 months of fierce battles since the landing of Fidel and his armed group from Mexico aboard the motorboat “Granma”.

            The triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959, ended 60 years of US neocolonial domination over Cuba since the infamous Treaty of Paris of 1898. The triumph of the Cuban Revolution also ended the string of corrupt puppet governments imposed against the will of the Cuban people. The Cuban Revolution dignified the Cuban people by ensuring all basic human rights such as the right to food and housing, free access to health and educational services, and the opening of doors to all advancements in science, culture and sports.

            The victory of the Cuban Revolution over the US-Batista-mafia dictatorship, and the construction of socialism in Cuba, are of great historical significance, and are important examples for all the peoples who are struggling to free themselves from imperialist bondage.

            Under Fidel’s leadership, internationalism became the hallmark of Cuba.  Despite its own limitations, Cuba always extended assistance to other peoples in need, stood in solidarity with national liberation and anti-imperialist movements, became part of the then socialist community of nations, and maintained close fraternal relations with the newly-emergent progressive governments in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Despite its small territory and population, Cuba looms large in the international arena as the conscience and voice of protest of Latin America and of the world.

            All forms of pressures have been exerted to try to weaken and strangle the Cuban revolution, especially when Cuba stood alone in the Latin-American  hemisphere in the defense of socialism after the tragic demise of the former USSR. All those pressures and reactionary actions were appropriately rebuffed by the Cuban people, and the numerous plots against the life of Comrade Fidel were nipped in the bud. Under the leadership of Fidel, Cuba stood firm against the mighty US empire –- against the US blockade and the US presence at Guatanamo Bay –- and served as the beacon of the international struggle for national freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

            Throughout the world, capitalism spells exploitation and repression of working peoples ; capitalism breeds wars and environmental destruction. Only the humane system of socialism envisioned by the founders of the communist ideology, and espoused by Fidel at their behest, can ensure the future for the whole of humanity and of our planet. Even in death, Fidel will continue to inspire peoples throughout the world, with his example of firm devotion to the cause of socialism.

                                                                                               

(Ang mensaheng ito ng Philippine-Cuban Friendship Society [PCFS], bilang pagdakila  kay yumaong Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz ng Cuba, ay binasa ni Ka. Salvacion Corpuz sa “People's Tribute to Comandante Fidel” na ginanap sa Virata Hall ng UP-ISSI sa Diliman, Lungsod Quezon, nitong Ika-19 ng Enero, 2017.)