November 21, 2021

Fifth Death Anniversary of Fidel Castro: Solidarity with Cuba

From our correspondent

THE fifth death anniversary of Fidel Castro was observed by the National Committee for Solidarity with Cuba and All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation, on November 16 at HKS Surjeet Bhavan, in New Delhi. CPI(M) general secretary,  Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary, D Raja, All India Forward Bloc secretary, Devarajan, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, MA Baby, participated.

Convenor of the National Committee for Solidarity with Cuba, Nilotpal Basu, highlighted the relevance of the observance in the present context, where imperialism is trying to impose its hegemony over the entire world. He talked about the recent attempts by the US to instigate riots against the socialist government and said that the failure of their plans make it amply clear that counter-revolutionaries do not enjoy popular support in Cuba. Basu proposed a presidium to conduct the proceedings.

The presidium consisted of Pallab Sengupta, Arun Kumar, general secretaries of the AIPSO and Devarajan.

Sitaram Yechury spoke about the altruistic nature of the Cuban revolution and how Fidel Castro guided it through some of its difficult periods, resisting US imperialist attacks. He recalled the Special Period in the 1990s, when Cuba faced more or less a similar situation as today and stated that it could overcome those hardships successfully because of the leadership of Fidel Castro and the Communist Party. Fidel was a man of details and was always interested in learning new things every day, Yechury stated. It is this interest in detail and particularities that enabled Fidel to apply Marxism to the Cuban conditions and lead socialist construction in that country.

Yechury expressed confidence that strongly supported by the people of Cuba, the country would successfully thwart US imperialist efforts to destabilise the country. Right from the Monroe doctrine, to various presidents of the US, till the present president Biden, many had failed in their attempts to subjugate Cuba. People of Cuba love their freedom and sovereignty and would resist all attacks, he stated. It is because of the immense confidence that people had on Fidel and socialism, Cuba is a beacon in the fight against imperialism.

Raja spoke about his interaction with Fidel Castro and his revolutionary character. He narrated how he personally witnessed people's affection towards Fidel and their love towards him. He said that he was honoured to have personally interacted with Fidel and that it would have a lasting impact on him.

Raja recounted his days as a member of parliament, where he participated in the UN debates against US blockade of Cuba and voted against it. The entire world is with Cuba, while the US is getting increasingly isolated, he noted.

Both Yechury and Raja reiterated solidarity with Cuba on behalf of the people of India and pledged to continue the struggle against imperialism and expose its nefarious designs.

Juan Carlos Marcof, Charge de Affairs of the Cuban embassy, explained the situation in Cuba and the latest US attempts to destabilise the country. On behalf  of Cuba, he thanked the Indian solidarity movement for the support it had extended to their country in the hour of need. He fondly recalled the shipload of wheat that was sent from India to Cuba, which was personally received by Fidel Castro. He remembered the role played by Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet, former general secretary of the CPI(M) in organising that shipment.

Carlos highlighted the resumption of economic activities, especially tourism, and of the schools, a year after more than 80 per cent of the Cuban population were fully vaccinated, including children over two years. It is because of the vision of Fidel Castro that the country could develop its biotechnology industry and succeed in producing its own vaccines, overcoming the US imposed blockade.

Talking about the recent destabilising attempts and unconventional war waged on Cuba, he narrated various facts to conclusively prove the US imperialist hand. Carlos stated that more than six million dollars are granted by various agencies to the counter-revolutionaries in Florida to carry out their destabilising activities. Internet and various social media platforms are put to use, full length feature films are made to create unrest in the country, by spreading false rumours, he stated. The people of Cuba could see through the imperialist designs and stand united in defence of the revolution, Carlos affirmed. Patria ya muerte, fatherland or death, as Fidel Castro has called for, will always be the slogan of the people of Cuba, he vouched.

Prof Sonya Gupta, AIPSO general secretary, spoke explaining the meaning of Cuban revolution to the youth. She said that the youth of Cuba had called all the people who are for socialism in Cuba to tie a red scarf and come on to the streets demonstrating their support. Therefore, she explained that the National Committee for Solidarity with Cuba, also gave red ribbons to all the participants, as an expression of their solidarity. She also recalled how the youth of Cuba are continuing in the footsteps of Fidel, though many of them had not personally interacted with him or even seen him in person. Fidel is an idea, associated with the benefits of free education and health care that Cuban people are enjoying as fruits of the revolution, she stated. It is for this reason, the memory of Fidel will forever remain in their hearts and so does their commitment towards socialism.

Dastak, the cultural wing of SFI sang revolutionary songs. A documentary, ‘Fidel is Fidel’ by Cuban film director Roberto Chile, on the life of Fidel Castro was also screened.