“Soon I will be 90 years old. Soon I will be like all the rest. Everybody’s turn comes... The time will come for all of us. But the ideas of Cuban communists will remain as proof on this planet that if they are worked at with fervour and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need and we need to fight without a truce to obtain them,” proclaimed Fidel Castro, during his last address to the Cuban masses.
True! Fidel’s turn came and he left this world but he left behind him 90 years of his historic life as a living testament for the future generations to follow. Again the Sun would rise and time would come but Castro would be remembered and respected till the end of human race. In each and every breath, he stood for humanity and fought for the survival of Cuba. In all sense, he was an anti-imperialist. History reveals that innumerable time, America had made attempts to silence his words. Each failed attempt exemplified his glory. It is learnt that more than 10 US Presidents had lost their sleep due to the enduring impression of this icon on anti-imperialistic stance. This despair of the Americans seems evident in the response of Trump on the demise of the noble legend.
Today, the word ‘Cuba’ signifies not just the name of a landscape and ‘Fidel’ the name of a mortal... The small island and its tall leader have become symbols of survival and struggle against imperialist regimes. Fidel as a leader of Communist party made Cuba an unlimited inspiring source of energy for revolution which the rest of the world can ape and adapt against brutish imperialistic tendencies. Thus he changed this little landscape called ‘Cuba’ into an ideological symbol which revitalises faith in fight against imperialism.
Fidel, an accomplished orator, never missed any opportunity to make speeches to the people. His four-hour-long self-defense in the court and his conclusive remark, “History will absolve me” continues to give relentless courage and inspiring energy to revolutionaries all around the world.
Personal experiences during visits to Cuba gave an impression of the charismatic stature of the personality of this great leader and his influence on the life of the ordinary Cuban masses. At the time of the world youth festival in 1995, which was a period when there was a temporary setback for socialism, Fidel gave enthusiasm to the youth who were coming from different parts of the world, of which I was a part. We experienced the advancement of Cuba in education, health care and sports.
And had an opportunity to visit a sanatorium where the victims of Chernobyl Nuclear disaster were treated. This visit made us aware of Cuba‘s advancement in health care systems and testified how idealistic words and expressions can turn into concrete actions. Even his absence due to ill health at Havana in the NAM Summit in 2006 of which I was a member of the Prime Minister’s delegation, we could feel the presence of Fidel Castro in the debates and deliberations on anti-imperialistic tendencies. Thus his words and deeds would continue to illuminate the whole world in all future struggles again and again.