Fidel’s Indomitable Spirit
by Stephen Lendman
The flesh is gone. His spirit remains. He accomplished what he set out to do in saying “I am Fidel Castro and we have come to liberate Cuba.”
In 1961, Malcolm X and other civil rights figures arranged for him and his delegation to stay at Harlem’s Hotel Theresa after State Department officials pressured New York hotels to deny them accommodations. He came to address the UN General Assembly.
In his autobiography, Malcolm said Fidel “achieved a psychological coup over the US State Department when it confined him to Manhattan, never dreaming that he’d stay uptown in Harlem and make such an impression among the Negroes.”
Malcolm later said he was the “only white person he ever liked.” Barred from staying at other Manhattan hotels, Fidel met with “the poor and humble people of Harlem” in the Theresa coffee shop.
Nikita Khrushchev, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru came to the Theresa to meet him. Midtown Manhattan spurned him. Harlem embraced him, thousands cheering when he and Krushchev emerged together.
Commenting in the local Amsterdam News at the time, James Hicks said “(t)hough many Harlemites are far too smart to admit it publicly, Castro’s move to the Theresa and Khrushchev’s decision to visit him gave the Negroes of Harlem one of the biggest ‘lifts’ they have had in the cold racial war with the white man.”
Days after Martin Luther King denounced the failed Bay of Pigs invasion as “a disservice…to the whole of humanity,” he urged Washington to “join the revolution (against) colonialism, reactionary dictatorship, and systems of exploitation” worldwide.
Instead, Washington waged war on humanity throughout the post-WW II era, notably in Korea, Southeast Asia and since the Clintons raped Yugoslavia and killed 5,000 Iraqi children under age five monthly by genocidal sanctions.
In 1961, MLK’s warning during a period of civil unrest and hostility toward Cuba went unheeded – saying failure to embrace the “revolutionary spirit that characterized the birth of our nation (would leave America) with no real moral voice to speak to the conscience of humanity.”
Democracy is pure fantasy – from inception to now. Elections when held are farcical. Endless imperial wars rage in multiple theaters. US inner city streets and communities are battlegrounds. Wealth disparity is unprecedented. Growing tyranny threatens everyone.
56 years after imposing it, illegal embargo on Cuba remains, despicable ruthlessness by any standard, Obama’s so-called outreach a cruel hoax, Trump likely to worsen relations, not improve them.
Nations unwilling to observe Washington rules are punished for “disobedience.” Fidel remarkably resisted imperial dominance for over half a century, passing at age 90.
Hundreds of attempts to eliminate him and the revolution failed. Cuba under his leadership stood as a beacon of hope for all the world’s oppressed peoples.
Hopefully its emerging generation of leaders intend keeping it this way – Hasta La Victoria Siempre (Ever Onward to Victory)!”
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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