19 November, 2018

Blog

Fidel’s Way: The Third Way Of Being

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Fidel Castro at 90 [August 13th 2016]

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Are we supposed to get down on our knees and have diplomatic discussions…? Those who don’t respond, those who don’t fight, those who don’t combat, those people are lost from the beginning, and in us, you’ll never find that kind of person.” – Fidel Castro, My Life pp.437-8

Fidel’s 90th birthday is scheduled to be celebrated in 90 countries, with events scheduled from Perth to Vancouver, La Paz to San Francisco, and Quito to Baltimore.

We are lucky to have been alive in the time of Fidel. We are lucky to have been aware of and influenced by its ethos. We are luckier than those who have come after us. Most leaders must be situated in their times, but in the case of Fidel it was also a time he helped create. This time is best described by his biographer Ignacio Ramonet, former editor of Le Monde Diplomatique:

Mandela and Castro | File photo

Mandela and Castro | File photo

“…He is the last ‘sacred giant’ of international politics. He belongs to the generation of mythical insurgents—Mandela, Ho Chi Minh, Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral, Che Guevara, Carlos Marighela, Camilo Torres, Mehdi ben Barka—who pursuing an ideal of justice, threw themselves into political action…Like thousands of progressives and intellectuals around the world, among them the most brilliant of men and women, that generation honestly thought that Communism promised a bright and shining future, and that injustice, racism and poverty could be wiped off the face of the earth in a matter of decades. At that time—in Vietnam, Algeria, Guinea-Bissau, over half the planet—the oppressed people of the earth rose up”. (‘My Life’, p3)

These were the prophets, saints and martyrs of that “church”, the secular religion of our generation– and Che Guevara was, in the words of Alma Guillermoprieto, “the harsh angel”.

Today, humanity is in crisis. In an important sense, the crisis of humanity is a crisis of alternatives. The present model of capitalism is in crisis. Imperialism has generated by its very actions, disintegration and terrorist anarchy. On the other hand while there are alternative forms of capitalism, there does not seem to be an alternative to capitalism as a system.

While at the level of systems, humanity faces a crisis of alternatives, this is not so in terms of human conduct and ways of being—and this is where Fidel Castro comes in. In terms of human response rather than system or structure, there are at least three major, alternate ways of being: (I) that of imperialism, capitalism and its lackeys (II) that of terrorism and rejection of Western civilization, modern culture, and universal values and (III) that of synthesizing the three traditions of Romanticism, Rationality and Realism, of fusing patriotism and internationalism in a modern, universalist stance of resistance and rebellion: the way of Fidel.

The way of Fidel is the way of the Hero. But what kind of hero? The way of Fidel is the way of the Left. But what kind of Left? Fidel is a model of how to stand up to interventionism, oppression and injustice. But stand up, how? To my mind the three most important aspects of his way of being – and these are themselves interconnected—are as follows:

A. The way to fight: Fidel (and Che, and the Nicaraguan Sandinistas) showed how to fight against imperialism and its local puppets, including by the most radical of methods, that of warfare, while consciously eschewing the targeting of non-combatants, avoiding physical torture, treating prisoners in a humane manner and always occupying the moral-ethical high ground.
B. The way to combat external intervention and hegemonism: Fidel stood up to the USA and regarded national sovereignty as sacred, while at the same time reaching out to the US public through the US media, in an unceasing dialogue through which he persuaded generations of American citizens of the irrationality and injustice of US policy towards Cuba.
C. The paramount importance of “the battle of ideas”: the phrase originated with Jose Marti, but Fidel has been perhaps the world’s longest living and most successful practitioner since his pre-revolutionary days as a regular columnist. Fidel believes that “it is ideas that transform the world, the way that tools transform matter”. At 90, he still regards himself as a soldier in a trench, at the frontline, fighting in the “war of ideas”.

What then is the future of Fidel’s perspective and paradigm? Is he only an icon of the 20th century? That would depend upon the direction the world takes. Students of Fidel’s recent writings would note that he sets considerable store by the advances made by China and the resoluteness shown by Russia. His 90th birthday comes the year before the centenary of the October Revolution and the month after the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, on which occasion President Xi Jinping made a speech of cardinal importance, containing an international perspective of the most radical and consequential sort.

On July 1st 2016 President Xi JinPing said: “The world is on the brink of radical changes. We see how the EU is gradually crumbling and the US economy is collapsing. This will end in a new world order. So, in 10 years we will have a new world order unlike anything before in which the key will be the Union of Russia and China…We are now witnessing the aggressive actions by the United States against Russia and China. I believe that Russia and China may form an alliance before which NATO will be powerless and it will put the end to the imperialist aspirations of the West.” (http://thesaker.is/chinas-president-xi-jinping-speech-on-the-95th-anniversary-of-the-communist-party-of-china/)

If President Xi is right, then the alliance of Russia and China will not only be shield against Western aggression, but in a context of Western crisis, may be the motor force propelling a new and more balanced world order and even “put an end to the imperialist aspirations of the West”. This perspective hopes not only to reverse the effects of the Sino-Soviet schism of the 1960s-‘80s, but also partially countervail the collapse of the USSR– which President Putin designated “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century”. Furthermore it provides a hopeful perspective, broadens the space and enhances the options for those countries of the South which are fighting against threats to national sovereignty from Western interference and attempts at hegemony.

A renewed “alliance” or “union” of Russia and China is something that Fidel, Che and Ho Chi Minh fought for valiantly but unsuccessfully in the 1960s. At 90, Fidel must be satisfied by the new direction. If these ‘grand strategic’ changes in the global balance of forces that have been outlined by the Chinese leader unfold, they would be a global backdrop for the struggles against a world order that Fidel sent most of his life resisting and countering, and constitute the canvas for the renewal of a progressive project for change in this 21st century.

In the final analysis it is only the adoption of Fidelist ethics and example, that can morally and intellectually re-arm the leading forces for global change which will be objectively backstopped by and benefit from the burgeoning Sino-Russo bloc, while conversely, it is this Eurasian alliance that can shift the global balance and provide the evolutionary context and condition for forces of progressive change inspired by Fidel’s example and ethics, to transform the world.

I am a second generation Fidelista. The 90th birth anniversary of Fidel coincides with the year of the 60th anniversary of the Granma landing (and, to strike a trivial personal note, the 60th year of my birth). As a boy I was taken in the early 1960s by my father (an elitist cosmopolitan liberal and internationally reputed journalist), to lunch at the Harbor Room of the Hotel Taprobane with Armando Bayo, the son of the iconic General Alberto Bayo, the veteran of the Spanish Civil War who trained Fidel and Che Guevara in guerilla warfare before they embarked for Cuba on the Granma (which landed around the time I was born.) The ginger-blonde bearded Armando Bayo was Cuba’s first ambassador to Sri Lanka, at the time Ceylon, and was based in New Delhi.

When my father died I discovered among his most important papers in his briefcase the invitation which took my parents to the 6th Nonaligned Summit in Havana, bearing the embossed signature of Fidel Castro Ruz.

Therefore it was most gratifying when I was interviewed lengthily last Sunday by a young Jewish American woman for a program on the 90th birthday of Fidel for TELESUR, the TV station launched in Caracas, Venezuela during the tenure of Hugo Chavez (and headquartered there), sponsored by the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia.

Fidel is a touchstone, a litmus test, a living line of demarcation. Those who remember and respect Fidel, including in Sri Lanka, may come from across the political and ideological spectrum and may even be rivals, but they hold certain values in common. High on the list are independence, national sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, social justice and people’s welfare. As Ramonet says, Fidel gave leadership to “a small country which has for almost fifty years refused to relinquish its national sovereignty to the greatest superpower on the planet”.

Jose Ramon Balaguer, head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party comprehensively declares in a definitive message on Fidel’s 90th birthday: “…We reiterate our commitment to stay faithful to the ideas he’s fought for throughout his life and to keep the spirit of resistance, struggle and dialectic thought alive… He has reminded us today as always that we will continue fighting as long as imperialism exists”. Meanwhile on August 13th, Cuba will be transformed “into one giant concert”, reports the Havana Times.

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Latest comments

  • 1
    3

    Even long ago, when USSR was there, USSR asked for an alliance with CHINA to face NATO. At that time, china was poor and could not agree to that. Now, China wants that.

    • 9
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      Dayan (De Silva) Jayatilleka

      Have you decided put your Mahinda mission to rest for a while to write about Fidel Castro.[Edited out]

      • 0
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        [Edited out]

      • 6
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        As you know we did not hear anyting from the guy over the past few weeks. That may be his struggle to come back and be good books for Mr Sirisena.

        These loose cannons will never learn it right.

      • 6
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        Just compare his association with Mahinda, Gotapaya, BBS and writing about Fedal Castro! What a cheat!

        • 3
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          Ajith

          What a cheap!

        • 0
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          Ajith – Well said ! He was like one of Emperor’s strong men who did not dare criticise when the Emperor was walking the streets with nothing on. Only hope he’d not get around MS to put his two cents in.

      • 0
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        Or has he got something up on his sleeve to trick MS now, he was not to be seen at MR’s Pada Yatra.

    • 0
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      DJ is [Edited out]

  • 9
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    The sad fact is despite all the efforts of Fidel, who I admire, the descendants of Spanish conquistadores are still in charge after 500 years. This they achieve with the help of the Catholic church, careful intermarriages and the USA.

    The Catholic church which assisted the Spanish genocides (note plural genocides) of the indigenous or First Nation peoples of the Americas ie Aztec, Maya, Inca and Bolivians)having forcibly converted these peoples to Christianity wont allow them to practise birth control. So they have lots of children, which forms a very large cheap pool of labour, which is exploited left, right and centre. eg to work in coffee farms, sugar cane farms, banana farms, clean toilets in tourist hotels, do the dirty laundry and above all send down dangerous mines. The catholic church built hundreds of beautiful churches and lived it up with the money. It is now a UNESCO site in Potosi. So did the Spanish back home in Spain.

    For example 9 million (yes nine million, it kept me awake) indigenous people of what is now called Bolivia were worked to death by the Spanish Catholics in the silver mines of Potosi, worlds largest silver mine.

    The black slaves and the indigenous people who built the Panama canal (thousands died of disease and exhaustion)100 years ago do not receive any benefit from the revenue of the Panama canal. They live in abject poverty in Panama whilst the Spanish and the evil catholic church live the high life.

    When Hugo Chavez did something thing for the poor of Venezuela, now uncle Sam is destroying that country through economic warfare. (like destroying Iraq, Syria, Ukrain, Libiya)

    So Fidel’s revolution is incomplete. Human existence is terrible. Best not be born.

    • 1
      1

      May you attain Nibbana.

      Soma

      • 2
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        no bana dana money to begging bowl soma– old rouge clique.
        learn to do thew cock a doodle do shuuu shuu shu.

  • 9
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    Dayan J’s hero Castro is revered by many BUT his history of Human Rights abuses will fill many tomes.

    Checking Wikipedia one will find details concerning the following:

    History
    1.1 Political executions
    1.2 Refugees
    1.3 Forced labor camps and abuse of prisoners
    1.4 Political abuse of psychiatry
    2 Contemporary Cuba
    2.1 Political repression
    2.2 Censorship
    2.3 Restrictions of assembly
    2.4 Society
    2.5 Capital punishment
    2.6 Acts of repudiation
    2.7 Notable prisoners of conscience
    2.8 Travel and immigration
    2.9 Education
    2.10 Healthcare
    2.11 Religious freedom
    2.12 Rights of women
    2.13 Torture of prisoners
    3 Race relations
    4 Black Spring
    5 Campaigns against homosexual behavior
    5.1 Recent changes
    6 United Nations Human Rights Commission
    7 Cuban human rights groups
    8 See also
    9 References
    10

    • 8
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      May be Dayan Respects Castro but from what I know about DJ, I have the feeling he is the most abusive man in lanken spot light who would do anything and everyting betraying all the educated people in this country. Nugegoda wedikawa was one of the his most controversal persence in the recent past. And again, just becasue he considers his selfishness above the timeworthy reactions, he is now an unemployed person who has still been waiting an Invitation sent by incumbent president. Anyone who heard the word DJ become allergic calling him most abusive self proclaimed man of the era….. creeping nature and selfishness are entwined in his typical behaviour, now is become a laughig stock. He made every effort to be buddies of Premadasa junior, now with all the efforts becoming effortless – making every effort to make a come back and to reach Mr Sirisena for his next post.

  • 9
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    It is indeed great that DJ is appearing on tv shows sponsored by the governments of “Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia” all of whom (to which I have travelled and) are symbolic of some of the the worst excesses of human repression and servility. Brought about by the same mindset the man tries to espouse in Sri Lanka-that any one individual is worth more or is more superior than others and therefore deserves to be worshipped.

    Dayan, the third world revolutionary, became the cosmopolitan apologist for a right-wing regime, and now Dayan is the English face of a primordial chauvinist. But despite such blatant opportunism, Dayan today still roams the political wilderness mis-quoting philosophers he hasn’t read and concepts he doesn’t understand, while pleading for posting, position or simply recognition.

    • 7
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      I know german and european senior diplomats. Many of them having collected their years long experience in the external affairs – later become university dons …. of course if they have gone through doctorates or post doctoral research. This man DJ, I find his articles are filled with a large number of references, to recognize him as as good writer, but has failed to become a prof to this date – is a greater question to me. I have not heard anyone praised him, but he himself…. those who call him for dialogues or discussions are the few within lanken soils – but few TV senders put him on Altar – calling him most veteran person to add valuable thoughts in the areas of lanken diplomatic ties with the western world. All thesse doubt me by now, since I have failed to see any european counterparts refering his.

      Lankens are being fooled by this idiosyncratic creature. That is the truth.

  • 5
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    Here I have a question applicable to the small countries. Often the saviour or the liberators later become oppressors. The shields they build to protect destroys the freedoms within. Deterioration begins almost immediately. If we were to welcome a Cino-Russian alliance, that must only act as a balancing force. Not something that fills the vacuum created by the failed west. Otherwise the small and the poor shall endup seeking shelter under yet another imperialist duo. This doesn’t support Fidels third way at all. So how do we know?
    To me the best way ahead is countries making dynamic alliances on the basis of issues. This is an idea of non alliance which can really work for the benefit of the small. While the proposed is difficult, with best people at the top it is pretty possible. Key quality of such being is the leadership that can decisively stand up for what’s right and reject what is wrong. Hard to find, but not impossible.

    • 2
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      Nuwan, you are one sensible guy among this mad racist donkeys.

      Soma

  • 5
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    DJ quite rightly excluded MR his, demi-God from the list of “Mythical Insurgents” as he did not pursue an” ideal of justice” and due to karma is seen making his rounds from court houses to remad prisons.For MR and DJ the arch of history has bent towards justice.

  • 7
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    I did not read your article but I can say you are worthless person to write about fidel. You are scumbag megalomaniac person.

  • 1
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    Crunch time for the West will be if Clinton comes in. If Trump comes in, it will be a bonding of forces, and a consensus of financial ideologies, that will give and take from each other. But I wonder how capitalist China will fit into the equation? Russia and Cuba stayed true to their communist roots, but China went out of its way to copy-cat the USA.

  • 8
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    Not having contributory remarks on the grave issues being discussed currently, the nation s most known camelian creature adds his thoughts on Fidel s 90th Birthday. All the past few weeks, this man hs been bee put in a mental asylum, I questioned myself where he had been at the time, Padada Yathra was in active with his alike colleagues.

    Fidel s legacy is known to many – but the kind of leaders were not successful. We perfectly know how the cuban suffered and suffer yet today. From ones I met with – having studied by visiting the country confirm, there are also parts in cuba that only work with american dollars. Meaning Fidel has failed to inject his theories to entire his nation. Never ever the kind of idealogies will be accepted by the people, since people s nature is against the kind of theories. I perfectly know how former USSR states react today.

  • 7
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    Dayan, the bottom line is where did Castro’s long resistance take Cuba?It ended up isolated and today its people go about in near rags.Is this what you want our Sri Lanka to go through? Have you got a conscience? Your NRFC account is full of Euros after postings to Geneva and Paris.So you could afford to utter all this jumbo jumbo from your high horse.The significant amount of our people who earn less than 200 rupees a day after all those years of failed government and welfare economy days do not want to follow Fidel your hero and his failed Cuba.This is why a new strategy in Geneva was necessary and our Foreign Minister is leading the way.

    • 1
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      I idont know about Fidel has taken his country to this date,[Edited out]

  • 5
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    Dr D writes another opportunistic paean to the nearly forgotten leader now mostly remembered and revered by isolated pockets of ‘intellectuals’ still clinging to an elusive dream that they failed to live in their lifetimes.

    Castro will go down in history as the man who overthrew the corrupt, evil, philandering dictator Batista, then divide the people he liberated. Some feat that! (Reminds you of anyone local? Just asking.)

    Few will remember his overtures to Washington, many will chose to recall the rebuff. Disillusioned Castro turned to the East and found temporary solace in the embrace of another tottering idea whose short-lived days ended with the simple act of perestroika and glasnost.

    For me it will be the haunted vision, the stifled spirit of generations of proud Cuban people; the sight of working people travelling to and from work up and down Cuba on the back of east-European cattle trucks; the vision of a toilet attendant doling out small squares of toilet tissue to tourists in the shadow of the monument to El Commandante, the half-empty shelves of the ‘supermercado’s’; the furtive attempts to earn little extras from the tourists. Unbecoming for a proud and talented people.

    Happily, the entrenched positions of Castro, and the Americans, are about to disintegrate – better late than never. There will be a NEW Cuba where the spirit of the people will soar to new heights. Both Fidel and his once-proud dream will recede into the mists of time. Happier, prosperous days will come again to the decent, talented Cuban people. Pablo Milanes, the Buena Vista Social Club, and myriad others will sing their songs with extra heart in the verandas of that sweet isle, and the lovely senoritas will samba the night away on Calle 64 just as they did through the dark days of La revolución.

    So, as our shrinking world looks for new ways in which we can screw each other, old misty-eyed intellectuals will gather in smoke-filled rooms to keep alive a dead dream and rue the what-might-have-been.

    And on our island of dead dreams, DJ will treasure the faded invitation to the Harbour Room (so what was wrong with Pilawoos, ah?)

  • 3
    0

    FROM THE INTERNET ~ TODAY
    “The Cuban government has taken a low-key approach to Castro’s birthday. There are no big rallies or parades planned, no publicly announced visits by foreign dignitaries. Government ministries have held small musical performances and photo exhibitions that pay tribute to Fidel. An island-wide performance by children’s choruses is the biggest event announced for Saturday.”

  • 0
    0

    Thank you Dayan!

    I agree that we are living a time of crisis of alternatives, but as the Cubans say, “problems don’t exist, only solutions”.

    It is very rare in our time to find people of action, with a vision inspired by the philosophers of the 18th and 19th centuries, people who care about humanity and the future of humankind, people who, like Fidel, believe that you can negotiate many things, but not principles. For this reason, Fidel will remain a source of inspiration, and more, a milestone, not only for his people, but for peoples all over the world. Many understand that, and that is probably why, in so many countries, people have decided to wish ‘Happy Birthday’ to Fidel, as though it is something evident. In today’s world, which leader can pretend to such homage?

    When you live in Cuba, as we did, you can see how it is obvious. In Cuba, you will find people critical of the regime, of the government, of the party, but no one who doesn’t respect Fidel, his action and his ideas, his genuine dedication to the people, his internationalism, his dreams. If Cuba, a small Third World country, is so respected today, worldwide, it is because the revolution gave the people the right and the weapons to say “NO” to the arrogance of imperialism, and it gave the right to each Cuban to defend the dignity, the sovereignty and the independence of his country, because these values belong to each one of them. They also belong to us.

    The cause of many of our problems is that we forget to fight for these fundamental principles. Fidel, Che and Revolution are synonymous, and we are living a time of revolutions, in other words, the moment of rupture, what other people call “the crisis”. Fidel is among those who understood that, not only for Cuba, but also for others, and more, he succeeded in giving concrete sense to utopia. Mandela once said that the defeat of apartheid would never have been possible without Cuba, and that is why his first visit abroad as President of South Africa was to Fidel.

    Capitalism has no values. It has not only produced disorder, war and destruction, it is totally incapable of responding to the massive challenges facing humanity today. Fidel didn’t begin his political travel as a Marxist or a communist, he became one by confronting practice and theory, bringing them together in a historical and ethical perspective. Thinking of Fidel with his so important culture reminds me of one of those encyclopedic men. Fidel’s close friend, Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez used to speak of Fidel as a brilliant intellectual with a formidable culture. Garcia Marquez would send his manuscripts to Fidel for correction before publication and was always impressed by the pertinence of his comments. Lula is known to have asked “who would we be without Fidel?”.Men of Fidel’s stature are unique.

    For me, it was privilege to have met and spoken to him on several occasions.

    Fidel believed that it is important to dream! I believe he is right!

    Happy Birthday Fidel! Venceremos!

    Un abrazo fuerte,

  • 0
    6

    Whiskey Madam’s Mom was an avowed fan of Fidel.

    But not the Madam.. Madam loves Intervention. Capitalism and loves to bend over to the West big time.

    National Sovereignty is anathema to Whisky Madam..

    The Madam gave an assurance as late as a couple of days ago that Federal Eelaam is a sure thing, when Cousin Btalanada ‘s new Constitution kicks in.

    Wonder what happened to the avowed Fidel philosophy student , Prince Anura?.

    Did he sell Fidels “Three Things” to Batalanda Ranil for 25 Lakhs, I mean in Lankan Ruppiahs..

    • 6
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      What kind of stupid man you should be – CBK was the first person to bring all the proposals on Federalism. But the country is filled with the kind of idiots like you more than the understandabble educated people. Federalism works tip top in Germany, Switzerland or any other countries where the majority of the nation are knowledgeble on the topics.
      In a country medical doctor titles and doctorates are being mixed not having proper knowledge about them, so how could they know abou tthe federal way of goverment. If Germanys Bavaria can govern by their own why not our countrys provices do the job in that line. Only for few areas they have to work with central govt. Police powers are also given to states in Germany. In Switzerland it is even more… not just provinces but also Bezirks (smaller than lanken electrorates in comparision) work so independently in the line of adminstration. All thse have been so successful. Why lankens feel that could partition th ecountry is just without their proper knowledge.

  • 6
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    Fidel’s way is (i) replace a dictator, promising a better form of government; (ii) rule for 50 years never having an election; (iii) be a dictator until you are too old to remember whether you woke up in the morning; (iv) when you are 85 years old, hand over the power to your 80 year old brother.

    Is there any other way to describe Fidel’s rule, Dayan?

  • 4
    1

    Fidel Castro’s legacy will remain etched in the hearts of the deprived, the poor and the oppressed as long as such segments exist under the existing world order. His life was beautiful and ideas were brave. In the Sierra Maestra Mountains he was ahead of his time. In the age of the microchip he was frozen in time. He will be remembered either in the principal chapters of the history books on the twentieth history or in their foot notes. It depends on the books one chooses to read.

    • 0
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      “Fidel Castro’s legacy will remain etched in the hearts of the deprived, the poor and the oppressed as long as such segments exist under the existing world order.”

      So Sarath, after more than 50 years of Castro rule, we still have the ‘deprived, the poor and the oppressed in Cuba’?

      “It depends on the books one chooses to read.”
      Very true. Do they have a Solzhenitsyn in Cuba?

  • 6
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    Don’t give that crap Dayan. While he (Fidel) enjoyed his fruits with as many wives, he reduced the people of Cuba to paupers. He was a misfit, twisted egomaniac just like you. Otherwise, how would one explain the droves of people of his land who sailed away to the shores of other countries to escape the “bondage” and gutter life. And here you are justifying that maniac who had the “magic” to make people vanish in thin air.

  • 0
    0

    Fidel was not perfect:-

    [Edited out]

  • 2
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    Hugo Chavez and his socialism left Venezuela broke. Their national wealth is solely based on price of Oil. He cannot drink oil. There are food shortages, food queues similar to the SLFP days. So we cannot really say Hugo was a success. He was a one man egotistical man.

    Nicaraguas Ortega has become quite the corrupt enterprising capitalist. Ask about their wealth. How did they make it? This is not to defend US inteference and screwing up of nations wholesale but socialism is defunct and has no credibility. In Cuba, even in the post Cold war era, Russia has to still support them. Cuba is eager for trade but not the kind of absurd capitalism that swallowed Russia and Sri Lanka. Cuba wants to trade and partner with the USA but it is the stupid dumb Republicans who court the Cuban emigres who want to still punish Cuba. Cubans are allowed a bit of capitalism now but not enough. But they realized without the Soviets bankrolling them and subsidizing them they have nowhere to go. National pride is important but oppressing own people in the guise of anti imperialism has failed. Food queues and even shortage of Toilet Paper in Venezuela should tell this story. It once had a blossoming upper and middle class. Now it is one of the most crime driven societies. People cannot even walk safe in Caracas. My neighbor’s family went back to Venezuela to Maracaibo. They spit at the name of Hugo because he created a class division and used the poor people envious of the rich to make all these absurd socialist money wasting projects. Oil prices collapsed and they are shit out of luck now.

    You should go there and talk to people without writing from your theoretical absurdities just because you got a fucking dissertation. Where are your peer reviewed A and B level journal articles? Have you helped anyone in your life get a job or get ahead in life? All you do is venting your anger that stems from your days of resentment of your classy gentleman father who had one too many between his writings. Perhaps he neglected you or was abusive. You need to see a therapist. Show us your peer reviewed journal articles.

    Cubans prefer Yanqui Dollars to their own useless pesos now. Prostitution is thriving in the tourist zones. Blacks are still second class. NOT A single black Cuban is a senior official in the Cuban regime. Wake up and get your head out of your defunct socialist orifice.

  • 1
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    Yanqui bad imperialist oh please oh please we have a crisis help us help us. We have a Tsunami help us help us, we have an earthquake help us help us. We have floods help us help us. USA is ALWAYS the first nation to respond to crises. Where is China? Where is oil rich Russia? Yanqui is still numero uno. Will always be so. China will be dumb to start even a coastal war against superior American weapons. Russia also will be dumb because their Airforce will be shot out from the skies in 48 hours.Yanqui Yanqui

  • 0
    3

    Thank you Dayan!

    I agree that we are living a time of crisis of alternatives, but as the Cubans say, “problems don’t exist, only solutions”.

    It is very rare in our time to find people of action, with a vision inspired by the philosophers of the 18th and 19th centuries, people who care about humanity and the future of humankind, people who, like Fidel, believe that you can negotiate many things, but not principles. For this reason, Fidel will remain a source of inspiration, and more, a milestone, not only for his people, but for peoples all over the world. Many understand that, and that is probably why, in so many countries, people have decided to wish ‘Happy Birthday’ to Fidel, as though it is something evident. In today’s world, which leader can pretend to such homage?

    When you live in Cuba, as we did, you can see how it is obvious. In Cuba, you will find people critical of the regime, of the government, of the party, but no one who doesn’t respect Fidel, his action and his ideas, his genuine dedication to the people, his internationalism, his dreams. If Cuba, a small Third World country, is so respected today, worldwide, it is because the revolution gave the people the right and the weapons to say “NO” to the arrogance of imperialism, and it gave the right to each Cuban to defend the dignity, the sovereignty and the independence of his country, because these values belong to each one of them. They also belong to us.

    The cause of many of our problems is that we forget to fight for these fundamental principles. Fidel, Che and Revolution are synonymous, and we are living a time of revolutions, in other words, the moment of rupture, what other people call “the crisis”. Fidel is among those who understood that, not only for Cuba, but also for others, and more, he succeeded in giving concrete sense to utopia. Mandela once said that the defeat of apartheid would never have been possible without Cuba, and that is why his first visit abroad as President of South Africa was to Fidel.

    Capitalism has no values. It has not only produced disorder, war and destruction, it is totally incapable of responding to the massive challenges facing humanity today. Fidel didn’t begin his political travel as a Marxist or a communist, he became one by confronting practice and theory, bringing them together in a historical and ethical perspective. Thinking of Fidel with his so important culture reminds me of one of those encyclopedic men. Fidel’s close friend, Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez used to speak of Fidel as a brilliant intellectual with a formidable culture. Garcia Marquez would send his manuscripts to Fidel for correction before publication and was always impressed by the pertinence of his comments. Lula is known to have asked “who would we be without Fidel?”.Men of Fidel’s stature are unique.

    For me, it was privilege to have met and spoken to him on several occasions.

    Fidel believed that it is important to dream! I believe he is right!

    Happy Birthday Fidel! Venceremos!

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      I think a commentator above put it best:

      “Fidel’s way is (i) replace a dictator, promising a better form of government; (ii) rule for 50 years never having an election; (iii) be a dictator until you are too old to remember whether you woke up in the morning; (iv) when you are 85 years old, hand over the power to your 80 year old brother. “

      Another said:

      “Cubans prefer Yanqui Dollars to their own useless pesos now. Prostitution is thriving in the tourist zones. Blacks are still second class. NOT A single black Cuban is a senior official in the Cuban regime. Wake up and get your head out of your defunct socialist orifice.”

      What the hell were you smoking when you were in Cuba?

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      “Before Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, Cuba was one of the most advanced and successful countries in Latin America.[181] Cuba’s capital, Havana, was a “glittering and dynamic city”. The country’s economy in the early part of the century, fuelled by the sale of sugar to the United States, had grown wealthy. Cuba ranked 5th in the hemisphere in per capita income, 3rd in life expectancy, 2nd in per capita ownership of automobiles and telephones, and 1st in the number of television sets per inhabitant. Cuba’s literacy rate, 76%, was the fourth highest in Latin America. Cuba also ranked 11th in the world in the number of doctors per capita. Several private clinics and hospitals provided services for the poor. Cuba’s income distribution compared favorably with that of other Latin American societies. However, income inequality was a profound issue between city and countryside, especially between whites and blacks. CUBANS LIVED IN ABYSMAL POVERTY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE.

      If Castro’s Cuba is what Dayan has in mind for Sri Lanka. god bless this forsaken land. When the old fox realised his age was catching-up, he appointed his brother to the “throne”. Orwell’s Napoleon had not shied away from the deceit and class distinction between the whites and blacks Cuba.

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        ” he appointed his brother to the “throne”. “.

        It happened because of Russia refused to shoulder Uncle Castro any longer. When Yelston removed the Russian government’s pays to its citizen, they went days with one or two times meals a day. Uncle Castro was stunned by this sudden abandoning of Russia and the down turn the Communist was having. He realized at his senile time the conditions were ripening for counter revolution in Havana. That thought alone put him on bed. America was ready to negotiate Castro hand over the power to somebody else even if it is his brother. Brother agreed to most of the conditions Obama put. (Obama is lenient) A lot of money to Brother Castro will be paid in the name of America confiscated money from Cuban’s properties. (America seems to be has not demanded for compensation for the nationalized American Companies).I would guess that this money is to fix the government and put things in order so the Cuba will once more will be a Capitalist Country. Uncle Castro said “Thali Thappinathu Thampiran Punniyam”(It is God’s grace my head is saved) , took the back seat and shut up his mouth.

        Dupe master and UNHRC Zero casualty fame, preacher Thero de Silva is just bragging as a woman has interview him. In America everything and anything goes, other than Communism. Thero had advertised to the woman him as one of the out dated preacher. So she interviewed. (Probably she may recommend for a coffin next to Castro for Thero De Silva’s convoluted ideologies). Nobody would see the interview. So, Thero de Silva had no other way but to come to the Mountain (CT).”

        “Meanwhile on August 13th, Cuba will be transformed “into one giant concert”, reports the Havana Times.” Everybody knows what Thero trying to tell. Whatever it is no Spanish TV Channels are celebrating this. So forget about the American English TV Channels. That is why Thero putting the blame on the Havana times. He not ready to believe or to relay that sense.

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    I give Fidel the benefit of the doubt. Probably his intentions were good.
    But Socialism (or Communism) assumes that human nature can be changed. Fidel has lived long enough to see how difficult that is.
    I don’t believe even Dayan is willing to live in a country with shortages, primitive (but cheap) transport, next to no Internet, newspapers full of stirring prose about tractors, no private housing, empty supermarkets,etc.
    I am not decrying his fierce independence and opposition to US hegemony. But he should have done a Lee Kuan Yew long ago. Now there was a man who started off with more or less the same ideals but saw the (capitalist) light a long time ago, and ended up quite differently.

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      Lee Kuan Yew was a dictator extrodinaire. People dont want to mention this.
      A benevolent dictator no less? And his son is now P.M. Some would call this famili rule I regardless of the fact that he is the most qualified.

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    Ever since the upheaval in his own intestines that eventually forced him to cede power to his not-much-younger brother, Raúl, Fidel Castro has been seeking (and easily enough finding) an audience for his views in the Cuban press. Indeed, now that he can no longer mount the podium and deliver an off-the-cuff and uninterruptable six-hour speech, there are two state-run newspapers that don’t have to compete for the right to carry his regular column. Pick up a copy of the Communist Party’s daily Granma (once described by radical Argentine journalist Jacobo Timerman as “a degradation of the act of reading”) or of the Communist youth paper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth), and in either organ you can read the moribund musings of the maximum leader.
    These pieces normally consist of standard diatribes about this and that, but occasionally something is said that sparks interest among a resigned readership. Such an instance occurred on my visit to the island last month. Castro decided to publish a paean to Russian Orthodoxy, to devote a state subsidy to it, and to receive one of its envoys. I quote from the column, headed “Reflections by Comrade Fidel” and titled “The Russian Orthodox Church,” which was “syndicated,” if that’s the word, on Oct. 21. This church, wrote Castro:

    “[i]s a spiritual force. It played a major role at critical times in the history of Russia. At the onset of the Great Russian War, after the treacherous Nazi attack, Stalin turned to her for support to the workers and peasants that the October Revolution had changed into the owners of factories and the land.”

    These sentences contain some points of real interest. It is certainly true, for example, that the Orthodox Church “played a major role at critical times in the history of Russia.” It provided the clerical guarantee of serfdom and czarism, for example, and its demented anti-Semitism gave rise to the fabrication of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which had a ghastly effect well beyond the frontiers of Russia itself. That’s partly why the Bolsheviks sought to break the church’s power and why the church replied in kind by supporting the bloodthirsty White Russian counterrevolution. But Castro openly prefers Stalin to Lenin, which may be why he refers to the Nazi assault on the USSR as “treacherous.” He is quite right to do so, of course, but it does involve the awkward admission that Stalin and Hitler were linked by a formal military alliance against democracy until 1941 and that Stalin was more loyal to the pact than the “treacherous” Hitler was. And, yes, of course the Orthodox Church backed Stalin, just as he always subsidized the Orthodox Church. But these are chapters of shame in the history of Russia and even in the history of communism and Christianity. Why would Castro single out the darkest moments for his praise?

    It gets worse. As Castro writes in the same column, concerning the visit of a Russian Orthodox archbishop named Vladimir Gundjaev to Cuba, “I suggested building a Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in the capital of Cuba as a monument to Cuban-Russian friendship. … During the construction, earth was brought from the place where the remains were laid to rest of the Soviet soldiers who perished in our country during the tens of years they rendered services here.” How extraordinary! He writes as if the Soviet (or, interchangeably, Russian) soldiers had fallen in combat in Cuba, and as if the Soviet Communist regime had sanctified their deaths—of old age or venereal disease or suicide, since there never was any war—as a sort of Christian martyrdom.

    I have been in Cuba many times in the past decades, but this was the first visit where I heard party members say openly that they couldn’t even guess what the old buzzard was thinking. At one lunch involving figures from the ministry of culture, I heard a woman say: “What kind of way is this to waste money? We build a cathedral for a religion to which no Cuban belongs?” As if to prove that she was not being sectarian, she added without looking over her shoulder: “A friend of mine asked me this morning: ‘What next? A subsidy for the Amish?’ “

    All these are good questions, but I believe they have an easy answer. Fidel Castro has devoted the last 50 years to two causes: first, his own enshrinement as an immortal icon, and second, the unbending allegiance of Cuba to the Moscow line. Now, black-cowled Orthodox “metropolitans” line up to shake his hand, and the Putin-Medvedev regime brandishes its missile threats against the young Obama as Nikita Khrushchev once did against the young Kennedy. The ideology of Moscow doesn’t much matter as long as it is anti-American, and the Russian Orthodox Church has been Putin’s most devoted and reliable ally in his re-creation of an old-style Russian imperialism. If you want to see how far things have gone, take a look at the photograph of President Dmitry Medvedev’s inauguration, as he kisses the holy icon held by the clerical chief.

    Putin and Medvedev have made it clear that they want to reinstate Cuba’s role in the hemisphere, if only as a bore and nuisance for as long as its military dictatorship can be made to last. Castro’s apparent deathbed conversion to a religion with no Cuban adherents is the seal on this gruesome pact.

    How very appropriate.

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      Bagehot,
      You say “I heard a woman say: “What kind of way is this to waste money? We build a cathedral for a religion to which no Cuban belongs?”
      Well, that explains why Dayan J, the Fidel fan is also such a fan of Mahinda. He builds airports where no airline goes.

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    I wish Com Fidel Castro for good heath and long-life.
    The Fidel was the bastion of Latin American revolution, his political line has proven cause for Socialism is long way to go.

    This ground reality did not realized by anarchist and Terrorist of many parts of world that including JVP in Sri Lankan ,since 1965.

    Such organization like JVP that last turn into right-wing politics of the that against Socialism.

    That is what happen to JVP line of politics in Island, which that shifted into Neo-con politics of Neo-colonial outfit.

    That not even JVP share with democracy of current people has been challenge by MS, UNP-Ranil W.. and CBK Tamil decedent neo-Liberal politics of SLFP.

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    Hello Dr. DJ,
    Using your Fidel’s scale could you give the CT readers, your assesment of US citizens Gothapaya and Milinda Moragoda preferrably with a short analysis. Are Gotha & Milinda are imperialists or smart patriot like you.

    This is urgent because of the WIKIELEAKS news. If Gotha is honest can he give the details of the diciplinary actions armed forces heirarchies took against their own men. After all Gotha was the defence secretary then under former President Rajapakse his brother.

    I’m sure these documents/records too will be missing soon.
    Gotha’s men are every where in all the government departments. What can new truth commisions do ? There will be no credible outcome without the help of international judiciary.

    By the way Dr. DJ are you a triple citizen of Cuba,Sri Lanka & China ? May triple Gem bless you DJ. Budhu Saranai.I hope Kusal Perera will not be offended by my greetings to you DJ.

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    [Edited out]

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    My Dear Dayan J.

    I am no admirer of Castro, since I am against violent armed rebelliion (not the kind of peaceful rebelliion that the Joint Opposition is engaging in) .

    However the choice between Capitalism and Communism is beginning to look like a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea respectively.

    The Socialist left claims to steer a middle path, hopefully the JVP and the Socialist camp of the SLFP will take this country forward if they are allowed to do so by the powers that be.

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    can this dayan speak Spanish? or is he just bragging about Fidel from what he reads in English?

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