A 20th Century icon died today leaving an enduring image of the little warrior taking on and beating a massive giant.
Fidel Castro may have been a dictator and authoritarian leader but he not only took on the might of the most powerful nation the world have ever seen, he also led to the liberation of millions of people who suffered under the yoke of colonialism and its inherent racism.
Born into a wealthy family, Fidel Castro did not aim to be a hardline communist. He was looking to be an international socialist. Over throwing the corrupt government of Cuba he first tried to approach the US as a equal, but, because many investment were nationalised the US government did not want to deal with a usurper. In stepped the USSR who were more than happy to have an ally so close to the US coastline.
In return Castro was more than happy to be an arm of USSR disruptive behaviour, liberating millions of people in Africa and South America from US corporatism and racial subjugation.
His biggest problem was convincing his middle classes that Cuba could become a viable nation with a first class educational and medical institution. But with money pouring in to disrupt this idea, Castro had many critics at home and this pushed him to become even more authoritarian, suspending the rule of law on dissidents.
However, he did achieve what he had wanted. An independent state that was able to provide one of the best health service in the World and a first class education program. A bedrock for a forward looking society.
His many critics will state that having a first class health and education service is not good if the economy and free speech is suspended and stalled. The answer to this problem is to look at what anti-intellectualism and anti-national health strategy produced in the US 2016…Donald Trump with seig hailing no marks and climate change deniers.
Fidel Castro was a product of his time and subsequently had major flaws but at least he was an antidote to the relentless march to plutocracy and gangster politics as exhibited by Trump and Putin.