As Americans are cheering in the streets that the evil dictator is finally dead, millions of Cubans are in tears in sorrowful mourning because their beloved leader is finally dead. Why the contrast? Although separated by some water, Cubans are very different from Americans and we all lead very different lives and we can all credit that to the now deceased dictator of his socialist country Cuba. I already wrote a post on the death of Fidel Castro from n American’s prospective but it is time to realize what he meant to the people of his country. He was their only leader to many and they although poor, felt safe under his rule.
He was able to rule his tiny country for 50 years since 1959 until 2008 when he handed his country over to his brother to rule. How did he manage to have so many years of isolation while the rest of the world was at war with someplace somewhere? He was always skeptical and indifferent, defiant towards the giant and mighty powerful United States. He was only in his thirties when he became a leader himself. He was born in 1926 out of wedlock to a wealthy landowner and his maid. He was educated in catholic schools and then studied law. He loved baseball and politics. He became an activist for the poor and working class. In 1956 after being expelled by Cuban-Americans and their leader Batista, he returned with his brother and Argentina rebels and hid in the Sierra Mountains and declared a gorilla war.
Fidel took over Cuba and promised a democracy but squashed all jails and executions. He nationalized all businesses. In 1961 President Kennedy approved the import of Cuban exiles. Castro stopped people from leaving the country. He had America worried about nuclear war with his alliance with Russia and their weapons. He made sure every citizen had an education. But with the demise of the Soviet Union, he was dry of imports and the country became poor. He fought back by promoting tourism with Europeans. He was considered the George Washington and protector of his people.
Because of his nationalism he will remain a very important figure to his hard working and faithful people. He fulfilled his promise to his people that they would never be dominated by the United States. He liberated Cuba from the United States. Before his reign in 1958 Cuba had gambling and lots of hotels run by the American mafia. He cleaned that all out and he removed the class system. The peasant class didn’t know how to read or write before he took charge in 1960 and there wasn’t any formalized medical care. Now all Cubans are educated and have health care. They didn’t have electricity out side of Havana till he took charge and provided electricity for all his people.
Do the people of Cuba have all the freedoms of the American people? No they do not. They know what they have and have felt safe for 50 years. So, now they cry.