(Written for Global South Solidarity Society)
In 1956 Fidel Castro, his brother Raul, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and 79 other men landed in Cuba, their mission was to start a movement to liberate Cuba from the American Imperialists and their puppet dictator Fulgencio Batista.
This was not the first time that the young lawyer had attempted to overthrow Batista. In 1953, along with around 123 others, he tried. However, many got lost on the way and the young Fidel was arrested. He had been released under pressure from the Cuban people and was sent into exile afterwards. Whilst in exile he met the young doctor Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Cuba had become known as “America’s Playground”, where corporations and gangsters could go to escape any business laws and basically had no restrictions on what they wanted to do.
Fidel landed in Cuba and set up a guerilla movement in the Sierra Maestra, a range of mountains covered with forests. He organised a guerilla radio station and many fighters ran off to the mountains to join him.
By 1958 he had liberated Cuba and began to setup a new government. He created one of the best healthcare systems in the World and one of the finest education systems as well. They sent doctors across the World to many different countries. This all despite having a brutal trade embargo enforced on them by the United States of America.
He has helped and funded many liberation movements in Africa and was defended by his close friend Nelson Mandela after he had funded the African National Congress. In 1975, after the South African apartheid invaded Angola, Cuba sent an estimated 40,000 troops (all of whom had volunteered) to Angola to help the country to defend itself. He has also inspired the South and Central American struggles against imperialism ever since the revolution and has survived over 600 assassination attempts by the CIA.
This is only a short introduction to the life and acheivements of Fidel Castro and it is worth researching his life for yourself as there is so much left out.
Fidel will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, head of a state in the 20th Century and there is no serious anti-Imperialist movement today that has not been inspired by him