A true man does not seek the path where advantage lies, but rather the path where duty lies, and this is the only practical man, whose dream of today will be the law of tomorrow, because he who has looked back on the upheavals of history and has seen civilizations going up in flames, crying out in bloody struggle, throughout the centuries, knows that, without a single exception, the future lies on the side of dutyJose Marti, Cuban revolutionary and poet
I have recently read two works by Fidel Castro. The two works are History will absolve me[ spoken in 1953] & My life: A spoken autobiography [ a collaborative work with Ramonet].
In the two works, that are half a century apart, Fidel remains the same. Always the visionary and very self critical. He says from the onset, which I doubt anyone would disagree, that no one is born a revolutionary, circumstances shape the person and for him this happened at different points in his childhood.
In his book, he talks about the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US supported attempt at counter revolution in 61, 2 years after the revolution. The US support ouster of Chavez, and in many places in Latin America.
He has utmost admiration for Olaf Palme of Sweden, Trudeau Snr, for JF Kennedy, for Juan Carlos of Spain among other leaders through the decades he was the head of the revolutionary council.
He talks about the success of education in Cuba. And how they have managed to achieve that success.
I said at the beginning of this post, he was self critical, yes, he was. In 1952, he says he was a utopian communist. All they knew then was how to carry out a revolution but not how to run a government. In a way, he is glad they didn’t succeed then, arguing that the power arrangements between the USSR and USA at that time would have been disastrous for them and the US would have likely become an occupying force in support of Batista.
He makes no apology for the times they have had to use the death penalty.
He has a good memory. The autobiography was done when he was already advanced in age, but he remembers a lot of things from the past, books he read and so on.
He introduces us, the readers, to great fighters of Cuban independence thought such as Marti, who he has at a pedestal, a saint, if you may.
He talks greatly and fondly of Che.
He is a friend of the third world and of humanity. In a way, he is a great humanist and hoped for a world where we all lived in harmony.
The article and the book are great reading, regardless of how you see Fidel.