Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome Back Fidel Castro!


Welcome back, Fidel!

Published Aug 18, 2010 2:47 PM

This August saw a happy birthday anniversary for Cuba, for Latin America and for the world’s working and oppressed peoples. Fidel Castro is back. He is back with vigor, as one can see from his return to the television screen with appearances before the Cuban National Assembly.

This is also great news for the many in the United States who were and are inspired by the Cuban Revolution, its successes, its contributions to international solidarity and to the liberation of peoples all over the world. Fidel has long been its leader and symbol.

In his youth, Fidel was the consummate revolutionary, the bearded guerrilla fighter who with other selfless revolutionaries led his people to free themselves from Yankee domination. For more than 40 years he served as head of state of embattled socialist Cuba, surviving the period after the disappearance of the Soviet Union when all his imperialist enemies — the CIA had tried many times to murder him — expected him to be pushed off the stage of world history.

Four years ago he fell ill with an intestinal disease that was obviously life threatening and debilitating. His contributions during the next four years were limited to occasional published “reflections” regarding world events and meetings with political leaders like Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. His writings focused the world’s attention on the dangers of global warming and other attacks on the environment, something Fidel had been warning about since the 1990s.

Now he is back and in a new role. He has stepped aside from the day-to-day running of the country — now in the hands of Raúl Castro — and is commenting on world events from a position unmatched in experience, prestige and consistency by any of the so-called political leaders of world imperialism.

He is warning the world of the possibility that the U.S. will unleash a nuclear war if it carries out or supports a military attack on Iran. And he is keeping up his warnings about the dangers from environmental degradation, which at root are dangers of unchecked capitalism.

For the Cubans, Castro’s return is a joy and a testament to the resilience and endurance of their political leader. His return is a symbol, too, of the resilience of the Cuban Revolution in a world that U.S. imperialism makes perilous for the nearby island.

It is also a tribute to Cuba’s socialist medical system. While Cuba’s high-quality public and primary health care has made it the model for the non-imperialist world, it also provides the high-tech, specialized medical care that extends the lives of those facing severe challenges. In this, too, Fidel’s return to health is a symbol of the successes of the Cuban Revolution.

Congratulations, Fidel! Welcome back.
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