I have profound respect for Fidel Castro. Growing up I was made to believe that the Cuban revolutionary was the devil incarnate. Anything communist was frowned upon and the Western media played a pivotal role in demonizing a character who stood against the mighty superpower-USA.
Fidel Castro lent a helping hand to Cape Verde and Guinea, where instructors from Cuba where dispatched to train combatants to fight for their liberation from the Portuguese colonial power. Angola, Tanganyika (now Tanzania), Namibia and South Africa benefited from Cuba revolutionary ideals. Nelson Mandela, the great statesman, honored Fidel Castro with the South African Ubuntu award for his contributions to “humankind beyond boundaries.” and refused to dissociate himself from the great Cuban leader.
Many Cuban lost their lives in the armed struggle to liberate other countries from the yoke colonialism. Cuba intervention in these countries had no strings attached. In his own words: “ No other country in our era has exhibited such sincere and selfless solidarity”.
Although Cuba was slapped with embargoes by USA, Fidel Castro has steered his country to greatness. With the embargoes in place, Cuba has been able to eliminate/control or mitigate: Infectious and contagious diseases like polio, malaria, neonatal tetanus, diphtheria, measles, rubella, mumps, whooping cough tetanus, meningococcal meningitis, hepatitis B, leprosy, hemophilus meningitis and tuberculosis.
Cuba boasts of the highest number of doctors per capita in the world today. Home owners in Cuba constitute 85% of the populace and they are not subjected to paying of taxes. The remainder of the population only pays 10% of their salary as rent.
Under the tutelage of Fidel Castro, all the children in Cuba enjoy free education from Kindergarten to doctoral degree without spending a dime. For a poor country, Cuba enrolls all children with physical and mental challenges in special schools.
That does not make Fidel Castro a villain. Or does it?