Viglinks

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Looking at Fidel Castro and Cuba * 71

Fidel Castro, a Legend by Himself * 



Castro came to power in 1959 when he landed in Cuba with a band of revolutionaries. These revolutionaries moved towards Havana and the small group swelled to thousands as people en masse joined them with a one point aim to overthrow the American puppet Batista. This man fled and Castro came to the helm of affairs in Cuba.


One man who has won the admiration of the third world is Dr Fidel Castro. This bearded cigar smoking Cuban revolutionary is like a brand name. He stood up to the might of Uncle Sam and carved a niche of his own in world history. For the record he is the longest serving President of any country in the world. He retired in 2006 and handed over the reins to his brother Raul Castro. As on date the Castro brothers have ruled Cuba for 53 years and that is a record that will be difficult to emulate.
Coming to Power and Bay of Pigs Invasion
Castro came to power in 1959 when he landed in Cuba with a band of revolutionaries. These revolutionaries moved towards Havana and the small group swelled to thousands as people en masse joined them with a one point aim to overthrow the American puppet Batista. This man fled and Castro came to the helm of affairs in Cuba.
The fledgling government now faced its first test in 1960 as the CIA launched an invasion with the help of Cuban exiles in the USA. Kennedy was the President at the time of the invasion, but the plans were drafted and approved earlier during the presidency of General Ike. The invasion known as the Bay of Pigs invasion failed and most US citizens were surprised. It showed that Castro had a groundswell of support among the masses.

In 1962 the Cuban missile crisis erupted when the Soviet government started erecting missiles in Cuba. Kennedy ordered a blockade of Cuba and Nikita Khrushchev, the realist that he was agreed to dismantle the missiles. But a secret protocol included a quid pro quo that was agreed to by Kennedy. In this the USA agreed not to destabilize the Cuba regime. The US has honored this commitment till date. The result is that Castro remained in power and became a bone in the US throat. Thus despite all the touting of a US victory, Kennedy had to pay a heavy price for it in the shape of a communist government in Cuba. For Castro had embraced Marxism and communism was the de facto economic policy in Cuba.The 1962 Missile Crisis and the Quid Pro Quo
Castro and Power
The US press and the so called free world regularly publicized ‘news’ of Castro’s atrocities. But independent observers were of the view that the people targeted were only the rich sugar barons who were in any case close to the US. Economically also the USA was hit as Castro nationalized all foreign companies. As the USA controlled 90% of Cuban economy, they were badly hit. But the agreement of Kennedy gave them no leeway to attack Castro.
Last Word
Castro ruled till 2006 till his health failed him and he handed over the reins of power to his brother Raul Castro. Raul has been at the helm of affairs since then and in the 2013 party Congress announced that he would retire in 2018 as he is already 81. This is a magnificent gesture and an appreciation of ground realities as a successor in the 52 year old Miguel Diaz- Cannel is appointed first Vice President. An orderly succession is thus on the line. When Raul retires in 2018, the Castro brothers would have made history by ruling for 59 years. A wonderful achievement.
American propaganda  failed to overthrow the Castro brothers, as even after the collapse of the Soviet Union Cuba has rolled ahead. But Presient Obama charted a fresh course and has recognised the reality and now Cuba is recognised by the USA and a thaw has taken place. This reinforces that the Castro brothers won the battle and Fidel himself is one of teh legends of all time