Fidel Castro's Legacy

In Latin America there are two contrasting countries, both are islands: Haiti and Cuba. While Haiti is the poorest country in the region with a high degree of illiteracy, political violence, dictatorial regime and low level of health, Cuba is known for promoting various aspects of social and technological progress, high literacy, low rate of newborn deaths, universities and educational centers that train excellent professionals, renowned for their discipline and high-level knowledge, that exceed sufficiently in medicine and biotechnology the standards of many larger Latin American countries.

On the Cuban  website it is stated that in order to integrate the generation of scientific and technological knowledge to the economic and social use in the early nineties the Science and Technological Innovation System (SCIT) was established with special scientific-productive poles as organizational units working on programs with high added value production, especially in the biotechnology and medical-pharmaceutical field.

The Western Scientific Pole of Havana is a real exponent of the achievements of these scientific production centers. It specializes in promoting research in the field of biotechnology with the production of vaccines and medicines as well as the creation of the so-called Scientific Reserve with young people with skills for scientific research. One of the greatest achievements of this sector constitute the recombinant anti-hepatitis B and meningococcal vaccines (Cuba owns the patent and technology). The export income for the country has reached 400 million dollars.

This social and scientific progress in Cuba is due to the Cuban Revolution and its great leader Fidel Castro, who turned 90 on August 13, 2016.

The Communique of the Canary Platform of Solidarity with the Peoples gives very objective and concentrated analysis of the contribution of this great Latin American leader:

"Fidel is the great political figure of the last century. As best interpreter and continuer of the independent, anti-imperialist and revolutionary traditions of the Cuban people, he guided the Cuban Revolution, always paving the ways towards the successive victories of the people - gigantic in heroics though small in number - against the most powerful empire in history.

The union of exceptional political intelligence with socialist ideals, a capacity for hard leadership and willingness to unwavering struggle has been the essential combination that has made Fidel a necessary leader to ensure and sustain the great victory of January 1st, 1959.

The enlightened consciousness of Fidel about the problems of the peoples of the world and tenacious struggle to solve them, beginning from the international solidarity practiced by the Cuban Revolution, became the voice of the oppressed and exploited masses from all continents. Fidel as a world communist leader was deeply aware of the needs of his time, as Lenin was of his."

At the Rio Summit in 1992 Fidel said: "If we want to save humanity from this self-destruction, wealth and available technologies must be distributed better throughout the planet. Less luxury and less waste in a few countries would mean less poverty and hunger in much of the world. Stop transferring to the Third World lifestyles and consumer habits that ruin the environment. Make human life more rational. Adopt a just international economic order. Use science to achieve sustainable development without pollution. Pay the ecological debt. Eradicate hunger and not humanity".

In 2005 he created the Cuban-led International Henry Reeve Emergency Medical Contingent, which saved lives in Pakistan after devastating earthquake of that year. It helped West Africa during the recent and deadly Ebola epidemic which hit the populations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. He put his extraordinary moral authority to be the global voice for peace, disarmament, denouncing the aggressions of NATO to "take over more and more of the resources and fruits of people' labor".

The writer and journalist Nestor Martinez adds to this assessment that "the historical leader Fidel Castro has turned Cuba into benchmark for the international left; the commander faced the American interventionism in order to establish socialism whose foundations are education, health, sports, culture and technological development, areas in which Cuba has a worldwide recognition.

As Felipe de J. Perez Cruz wrote, thanks to Fidel Castro and his coreligionists, never before the people of the Third World occupied such a central place in the mass anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.