Tributes to Fidel Castro

Living Legacy of Comrade Fidel Castro Commemorated by the Peoples of the World

November 25 marked the third anniversary of the death of Comrade Fidel Castro, historic leader of the Cuban Revolution and hero to the oppressed peoples of the world for spearheading Cuba's outstanding internationalism. His living legacy was commemorated by the Cuban people, joined by all the peace and justice-loving peoples of the world, with whom Cuba shares weal and woe.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel remarked via social media, "How does one remember Fidel? By assuming his legacy as one's own, confronting imperialism with courage and firmness, working and thinking for the people, fighting because a better world is possible."

Gerardo Hernández, Vice Rector at Cuba's Advanced Institute of International Relations and Hero of the Republic of Cuba, reiterated the call for global action through social media as part of the tributes to the revolutionary leader using the hashtags #YoSoyFidel, #PorSiempreFidel, #HastaSiempreComandante.

The Cuban Federation of University Students and the Union of Young Communists (UJC) hosted a political-cultural evening at the grand staircase of the University of Havana to remember their Commander-in-Chief, calling the event "Fidel Antimperialista." Thousands were in attendance, including President Díaz-Canel, Commander of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés, Vice President of the Council of Ministers Roberto Morales, President of the Central Organization of Cuban Trade Unions Ulises Guilarte, leaders of mass organizations and students, as well as Brazilian intellectual Frei Betto. The choice of venue was fitting, as the university holds a prominent place in Fidel's revolutionary life. These are also the steps where in 2016, after Fidel's death was announced, the youth maintained an honour guard until his burial at Santa Ifigenia cemetery.

Susely Morfa, First Secretary of the UJC's National Committee, addressed the gathering and spoke to the important role Cuban youth are playing as defenders of the nation-building project led by Fidel. She remarked on Fidel's influence on the current generations, his capacity as a military strategist, his conception of politics and the validity of his analysis of the conditions of the contemporary world. She affirmed that the younger generations are consciously taking up their role to defend Cuba's sovereignty under today's conditions.

Commemorations in Canada

In Canada, events to remember Fidel were held at the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa and the Cuban Consulate in Toronto. At both events, the documentary Fidel in the Memory of the People was screened, in which Cuban personalities recount their experiences with the leader of the Revolution.

The Ottawa event opened with remarks from Ambassador Josefina Vidal. She recalled the legacy of the Commander in Chief and spoke of his ties with Canada. She noted how Fidel specifically invited a CBC reporter to interview him while the rebels fought in the Sierra Maestra, and how he visited Canada the day after the victory of the Revolution. She said that 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Canada. This is an important relationship, and despite whatever difficulties have arisen, relations have never been broken, she said.

Educator Marcia Krawll spoke about how she, her husband Rongo Wetere and a group of Cuban pedagogues introduced the Cuban literacy method "Yes I Can" to New Zealand. The event also featured a photographic exhibit entitled "Comandante" featuring the work of Roberto Chile.

Present at the event were ambassadors and representatives from Vietnam, Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Canada, as well as friends from the solidarity movement, Cuban residents and the embassy staff.

At the event held at the Cuban Consulate in Toronto, Consul General Tania López Larroque welcomed everyone and thanked them for joining "a modest tribute to the memory of a great man, from Cuba and the world."

She noted: "It would be impossible to summarize [Fidel's] life and legacy in a few words. Instead, we can just mention that the Revolution led by him fostered pride and dignity in the Cuban people. At the same time, his leadership grew beyond our island and became a beacon in favour of independence and progressive ideas. His anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist, anti-racist and internationalist spirit were standards in the movements and among progressive forces all over the world. Faithful defender of world solidarity, he dedicated important moments to share and thank friends like you, who have made the Cuban cause a battle of your own."

The Consul General added: "Three years ago, many people wondered what Cuba would be like without Fidel and we, the Cuban people have shown that Cuba is Fidel. Time goes on and as a good father, he left us everywhere signs of how to move forward on that path we did not imagine without him. We find at every step and before every obstacle, his teachings -- the days of more than 24 hours and his perennial development. With the humility of the greatest heroes, he told us that he did not want streets or monuments named after him. Therefore, we have to honour his life with our daily actions."

After her remarks, an excerpt was read from the poem "Canto a Fidel," which was written by Cuban poet Carilda Oliver in 1957. This was followed with the showing of the documentary.

Following the video, the Consul General and her staff invited those gathered to a reception where people had a chance to express their thoughts about the life and legacy of Fidel Castro.

(With files from TML correspondent, Prensa Latina, Cubadebate, Minrex. Photos: TML, Minrex, I. Francisco/Cubadebate)

This article was published in

Volume 49 Number 29 - November 30, 2019

Article Link:
Tributes to Fidel Castro: Living Legacy of Comrade Fidel Castro Commemorated by the Peoples of the World


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