Fidel Castro Defies US Imperialism Even in Death

by Finian Cunningham at StrategicCulture.com

At age 90, Fidel Castro passed away after decades of heroic struggle for social justice, not just for his native Cuba but for all people around the world. Even in his final decade of illness, the iconic revolutionary was still actively fighting; writing articles on international politics and upholding the cause for socialism.
One measure of his historical significance is expressed in the fact that he outlasted 10 US presidents by the time of his official retirement from politics in 2008 due to declining health. Counting incumbent Barack Obama, Fidel’s political life spanned 11 US presidencies. All of them oversaw a barbarous policy to economically strangle Cuba with a trade blockade on the tiny Caribbean island nation. Several of these US leaders sanctioned criminal plots to assassinate Fidel and incite regime change. They all failed. Castro beat them all and died peacefully in his bed having lived his life to the full.
As news of his death reverberated around the world, even Western countries which had conspired to varying degrees to thwart the Cuban revolution were compelled to acknowledge Fidel’s towering legacy. News channels were interrupted with «breaking news» of his death. America’s CNN and Britain’s BBC immediately ran biographical portraits of the man and his revolutionary past. Among the predictable slights referring to an «authoritarian figure», even the Western propagandists had to admit that Fidel liberated his people from squalor and poverty, bequeathing Cuba with immense social development, and, probably more importantly, giving the world’s people monumental inspiration to continually strive in order to make this world a place of justice for everyone. To the end, he championed socialism, while denouncing capitalist exploitation, destruction and its imperialist warmongering.
Two early headlines about his passing stood out. The Washington Post couldn’t refrain from denigration with this: “Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has died”. The use of the word “dictator” was gratuitous and doubtless intended to slur the man’s greatness even at his moment of death.
The New York Times appeared to be a little more magnanimous with its headline: «Fidel Castro has died at 90. The Cuban revolutionary was a nemesis for 11 American presidents».
But its florid words of apparent tribute contained the poison of defamation. The NY Times went on to ascribe the “fiery apostle of revolution” as having «brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959… and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war [in 1962]”.
It wasn’t Castro who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere, nor was it he who nearly incited nuclear war. On both counts, it was US governments. Yet, insidiously, the US media impute Fidel with the evil of their own governments.
In 1960, months after Fidel overthrew the corrupt US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista, the leader of the revolution made an official visit to the US in a gesture of regional friendship. But he was snubbed by then President Eisenhower who refused to meet him.
Eisenhower then enacted diplomatic and trade embargoes on Cuba in revenge for Fidel’s economic policies aimed at lifting the majority of Cubans out of decades of US-induced poverty.
In April 1961, under the new presidency of John F Kennedy, the CIA and Pentagon launched the Bay of Pigs invasion with a private mercenary army made up of Batista loyalists. JFK backed down on a full-scale military assault and Fidel’s forces eventually routed the attackers. The CIA and Cuban exiles never forgave JFK for this «betrayal» and exacted retribution by blowing the president’s head off as his motorcade drove through Dallas on November 22, 1963.
Contrary to the above portrait in the NY Times, it was the US under Eisenhower and subsequently Kennedy that brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere. Not Fidel Castro.
If Castro responded to US aggression by embracing the Soviet Union and its nuclear missiles, it was evidently a policy of self-defense. The Cuban missile crisis during October 1962, when JFK and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev faced off in a dramatic nuclear showdown, was the outcome of the US having already embarked on a war policy against Cuba. The installation of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuban territory 90 miles from the US mainland was first of all a legitimate act of sovereignty by the Cuban government, and, secondly, a reasonable act of self-defense given the US criminal aggression the year before at the Bay of Pigs.
Again, it was not Fidel Castro who «brought the world to the brink of nuclear war». It was US aggressive policy towards a newly independent impoverished nation whose people exercised their right to self-determination by supporting a socialist government.
US official vanity likes to recount that JFK forced the Soviets to withdraw their nuclear missiles from Cuba. But an important overlooked fact is that the deal to avert nuclear war worked out by Kennedy and Khrushchev relied on a commitment from the US to abandon its covert war plans against Cuba.
The US never fully lived up to its promise to leave Cuba in peace. Assassination plots against Castro and other Cuban leaders continued during subsequent US administrations, as did other acts of state-sponsored sabotage and terrorism such as the downing of a Cuban civilian airliner in 1976. The US-imposed trade embargo on the island nation of 11 million people that began in 1961 continues to this day under Barack Obama, albeit with a slight – some would say “cosmetic” – loosening.
However, one small mercy that came out of the «brink of nuclear war» in 1962 was that the US desisted from repeating the kind of overt aggression that was seen in the Bay of Pigs.
Fidel Castro was a giant who strode across two centuries. He was a giant of intellect and humanity, whose compassion for the oppressed and their liberation from under man-made exploitation and hegemony was as luminous as in the days of his youth. Fidel was a light for the world, and even in death his light for social justice shines on. Not even formidable political enemies can diminish this radiant revolutionary.
The NY Times said he «bedeviled 11 US presidents». That’s another contemptible attempt to slander. Fidel didn’t bedevil them; he transcended all of them and their malfeasant schemes with a humanity that outshines their corruption.
Of his splendid legacy, perhaps one attribute is that Fidel’s life and struggle demonstrates with eloquent clarity the aggressive, destructive, warmongering nature of the US political system. In his lifetime, the world can clearly see that, despite the attempts to slander, it was the US governments that unleashed Cold War hostility and that were criminally reckless enough to push the world to nuclear war. This is an historical lesson bequeathed by Fidel that is as important now as it was then.
The aggression that the US inflicted on Cuba is extant today in its belligerence towards Russia, China or any other country that defies its hegemonic conduct. Understanding the history of Cuba and Fidel Castro’s defiant revolution empowers us to understand the real cause and culprits of aggression in the world today.
Even in death, Fidel’s revolutionary spirit lives, teaches, inspires.


newest oldest most voted
Notify of
chrisb
Reader
chrisb

There hasn’t been a blockade of Cuba for decades. Anyone who questions this should answer these questions? How come tourist planes flying to Cuba are not shot down by US military aircraft? Are they really too fast? How come Venezuelan oil tankers get to Cuba? Are they too fast for US military ships? There is a trade embargo on sales of most US goods to Cuba. This embargo is easily circumvented and there is also the ease of substituting products from other countries. I hear that German machinery and Japanese electronics are not too shabby. The removal of the blockade… Read more »

padre
Reader
padre

Well, this is so stupid, I can not find how to comment it, since it would be useless, because you know it all!

Norman Pilon
Reader

So then there really is an embargo against Cuba . . . Go figure. The only difference between the average Cubans narrative of what is going on and what you are saying is that the Cuban leadership is itself in on creating conditions of modern technological scarcity. But what if — and this is merely and sheer speculation on my part — the Cuban leadership wasn’t in on “it”? Would there then be the same level of technological scarcity, or would the geopolitical hegemon then give the green light to open and free international trade with the recalcitrant island? I… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

Please do forgive me, but some comments are so priceless that they must be shared. I’m stealing this from the The Burning Blogger of Bedlam’s website, something casually dropped by M. Semet: This isn’t exactly on the same subject, but I had to add this. I picked up this hilarious story from a comment board on the Saker blog, and I almost did a spitake after reading it: From “Terry” Of all the innumerable brilliant things Fidel did over the decades, perhaps my favourite was when then US President Jimmy Carter started mouthing off about all the prisoners in Cuba… Read more »

chrisb
Reader
chrisb

The ‘Castro was a CIA agent’ theory was based on his involvement in bankrupting the USSR.

Norman Pilon
Reader

Doubtless, you are correct, that some big players willfully dedicated themselves to, as you put, bankrupting the USSR. But then ‘bankrupting’ the USSR was only possible because that economy continued to operate, in structural terms. on capitalistic principles: supply and demand embedded in a currency framework. With or without conspirators to bring it down, the USSR’s economy had to flounder, in exactly the same way and for the same reasons that all economies around the world are currently floundering: wage/salary workers, who collectively earn the money which is the aggregate purchasing demand in the system, do not and cannot posses… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

You’ll love this: “How Castro survived 638 very cunning assassination attempts” http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/how-castro-survived-638-assassination-attempts/8064788 “From poisoned cigars to exploding seashells: How Fidel Castro survived ‘more than 600’ CIA assassination attempts before passing away at 90” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3973264/From-poisoned-cigars-exploding-seashells-Fidel-Castro-survived-half-century-crackpot-CIA-assassination-attempts-passing-away-90.html This assassination-attempt story is a classic. Hollywood couldn’t make this up. “… One of the most famous came when the CIA hired his ex-mistress Marita Lorenz to feed him poisoned capsules. Lorenz had lived in Cuba as Castro’s mistress until she became pregnant and suddenly fell ill. When she returned to the US, the CIA told her that Castro had secretly arranged for her to have… Read more »

StAug
Reader

“However, Castro found out about the attempt, and allegedly handed her a gun and told her to shoot him, which she said she could not. ‘I thought he was going to shoot me, but he gave me the gun and asked, ‘Did you come to kill me?’ ‘Then he took a puff on his cigar and closed his eyes. He made himself vulnerable because he knew I couldn’t do it. He still loved me and I still loved him.’ Lorenz ejected the bullets and fell into his arms …” Yes, we should all smile and swoon and totally believe the… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

Oh, it’s the talking Bunny. Them sures (sic) are a lot of buzzwords over essentially nothing. Who gives a fuck if Castro was CIA or not. If he was, he was better for Cuba than Batista; and if he wasn’t, he was better for Cuba than Batista. Do you see the difference? On the other hand, maybe he was a double agent, working for the Americans and the Cubans at the same time? Or maybe he was a triple agent, for the Americans, for the Cubans, for the Russians. Or maybe he was in it only for himself, for the… Read more »

StAug
Reader

“What matters is that the Cuban revolution kicked the American mafia bums out and actually improved the lives of millions of people.” Leaving only that 45-square mile American Naval Base called Guantanamo, right? Victory! And Fidel’s colleague LBJ improved the lives of millions of Black Americans, too… but how much, and why? Irrelevant questions? If you say so. I think most of us can agree on the pernicious effects of “American” (whatever that means, anymore) Empire. What we’re disagreeing on is the width, depth and extent of this Empire. I’m saying that, having been raised within this Empire, and born… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

“What we’re disagreeing on is the width, depth and extent of this Empire.” No, Mr. Bunny. You are saying the Teflon Commander Castro was CIA, and it that it really matters that he was. I’m saying it doesn’t fucking matter and, anyway, you don’t know that he was or wasn’t any more than I do. But more on the latter qualification in just a moment or two . . . ”I’m advocating here, among other things, a return to Common Sense.” Common sense is really over rated, Mr. Bunny. Common sense is just ‘consensus,’ and ‘consensus’ is often wrong. It’s… Read more »

StAug
Reader

“Common sense is really over rated, Mr. Bunny. Common sense is just ‘consensus,’ …”.
Ha ha! No: wrong. You can build consensus around common sense but they aren’t the same thing. Here’s some common sense: don’t lock up a bunch of horny priests in a school or church with a bunch of children.
“well, I’d have to call into question the ‘claim’ that 600 attempts were ever even seriously undertaken ”
As do I, clearly.
“killing the Teflon Commander wasn’t really all that high on the list of CIA priorities while he lived, eh”
Also my point.

Sorry, Not Buying It
Reader
Sorry, Not Buying It

“To quote a Somalian on the occasion of Fidel’s death” “A Somalian” is meaningless category, as though Somalians were a single homogeneous group without varying class interests, perspectives and positions. Would we simply credit “an American” on the upcoming inauguration of Trump or on the legacy of Obama? Or, indeed, “a Cuban” on the legacy of Castro? I have a Lebanese friend who assures me that “most” Lebanese people backed Israel’s bombing of that country a few years ago (in reality, he had spoken to a few of his cousins in northern Lebanon, which he took to somehow be representative… Read more »

StAug
Reader

“To the extent that they did facilitate the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and Somalians, Castro certainly holds responsibility and should be denounced for that, but what I’m saying is: let’s not be TOO hasty to adopt Reaganesque talking points.” A) Re: the first bit of this: in other words, we absolutely agree on all that, and B) re: the “talking points” riff: at least half of the anti-Hillary Clinton arguments I presented, last year, in a thousand threads in the (neo) Liberal Virtual Heartland…arguments about War Crimes and corruption… happened also to be “Right-wing talking points”. As… Read more »

StAug
Reader

Norman! Listen, this comment thread isn’t really set up to facilitate a conversation/debate with so many responses. It’s getting harder to find reply-buttons. I’ll respond this time and then I’m probably out, but it’s been good to chat with you… at least you engaged my arguments in good faith, without just tossing a hissy fit and calling me names and marching around the room with a banner! Laugh Your reading of my argument(s) still diverges from my intended points, in places. But let’s go beyond my entry-point for suspicions of Fidel being a Mole for the Capitalist Forces (eg his… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

Dear Mr. Bunny, I guess I misconstrued your argument. My sincere apologies. Let me pay closer attention. You write: We see what happens to prominent anti-Capitalists: they’re killed/ deposed/ discredited/ imprisoned by powerful techno-fascist “American” forces all over the Western Hemisphere. Yet the most famous “anti-Capitalist” of the century was allowed to run his little Kingdom for decades, right in Washington’s back yard, without being killed/ deposed/ discredited/ imprisoned… in fact (as I point out elsewhere) the propaganda arm of the Empire spread romantic legends about this famous “anti-Capitalist” to burnish his legend. Does this in any way make sense?… Read more »

StAug
Reader

“You see, just because the CIA doesn’t off you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are CIA or their friend.
I mean, the company hasn’t murdered me and a lot of other people — yet.
Does that mean that I and all those other people are all CIA assets, in one form or another?
Carrot, anyone?”
Sorry, Norm, I didn’t realize you were supposedly a thorn in Washington’s side, and the Hemisphere’s most high-profile anti-Capitalist, for half of the 20th century! Respect, Norm! Respect.

StAug
Reader

“No, Mr. Bunny. Your point is: a) there were 600 attempts on Castro’s life; b) all 600 attempts failed; c) therefore, Castro was a CIA agent.”
Nope. Please pay attention, Norm. I said the “638” was a random number; it’s bullshit; it’s part of the myth. I said if they wanted Castro dead, he’d be dead. I said that the Castro myth is so full of contradictions that it’s absurd, and that people who resist or at least question the legitimacy of Empire should, first of all, wean themselves from the stories that Empire tells them.
That’s all!
Thanks!

Norman Pilon
Reader

No, Mr. Bunny. Your point is: a) there were 600 attempts on Castro’s life; b) all 600 attempts failed; c) therefore, Castro was a CIA agent. My point is: a) if there had been more than a “few” serious and concerted attempts by the CIA to kill Castro, he probably would have died long ago; b) therefore what may have been a “few” attempts became — in the spirit of telling a good and entertaining story to amplify the large than life reputation of Fidel — 600 attempts; and c) none of this, regardless of the actual number of attempts… Read more »

StAug
Reader

“Who gives a fuck if Castro was CIA or not.”
QED

Norman Pilon
Reader

QED?

StAug
Reader

If you don’t care whether Castro was CIA or not, why are we arguing?

StAug
Reader

“Purely for the pleasure of it. Or do I need any other reason?”
Har! Good point. Argue on…

Norman Pilon
Reader

Purely for the pleasure of it. Or do I need any other reason?

Jen
Reader
Jen

Incidentally those poisoned pills that Lorenz hid in her face cream ended up dissolving.

Norman Pilon
Reader

That shouldn’t be funny, but it is!

levan2015
Reader

Fidel before his death: Donald Trump will do the rest of the job to destroy the USA.

James Carless
Reader
James Carless

And what is even more annoying for the cold war warriors is that Castro’s legacy will outlive and outshine that of the next 10 American Presidents .Compare him to the crook Nixon,the murderer LBJ,the adled Reagan,the corrupt Clintons, CIA chief Bush and his idiot son,and now Trump .
No contest.
Political pygmies with a massive military versus a giant of modern history that survived 603 assassination attempts and the longest quarantine of any nation.
Farewell Fidel your legacy will live on.

Arrby
Reader

“The CIA and Cuban exiles never forgave JFK for this «betrayal» and exacted retribution by blowing the president’s head off as his motorcade drove through Dallas on November 22, 1963.” The mystery’s been solved!? That’s news to me. Did the CIA have reason to dislike JFK. Everyone those bas tards dealt with had a reason to hate JFK. He was traitorous slime of the highest order.

StAug
Reader

“He was traitorous slime of the highest order.”
That’s a fine example of the good old kinder, gentler, Rightwing Christian attitude! So to your collection of Irrational Beliefs I can, presumably, add the idiot’s sin of Patriotism? Perfect.

Arrby
Reader

Huh?

StAug
Reader

“One measure of his historical significance is expressed in the fact that he outlasted 10 US presidents by the time of his official retirement from politics in 2008 due to declining health. Counting incumbent Barack Obama, Fidel’s political life spanned 11 US presidencies. ” Well, that’s one of the obvious advantages of declaring oneself Leader for Life, surely. Are we pretending Fidel was there, that long, because The People wouldn’t even think of trying out the vision of another, younger, Revolutionary Leader, at some point? Lefty Spin and Myth-making are generally lots less toxic than Righty Propaganda (and it’s better… Read more »

Arrby
Reader

Why would any ‘Lefty’ be against Jesus? Even if you choose to be not religious, What’s wrong with someone who preached love and fairness and honesty? Good grief! Who are you?

StAug
Reader

Who am I? The Easter Bunny… always in Jesus’ shadow, too. Ergo my jealous bitchiness towards Him. Sorry!

Arrby
Reader

Don’t be sorry. Just get lost.

StAug
Reader

Oh, believe me, the last thing I want to do is run afoul of your Imaginary, Bearded, Vaguely-Levantine, Anus-Free Sky Giant! He’s a Bronze-Age Creation Myth… He’s liable to do something rash! So, I am definitely going to “get lost”, because you told me to… you’re just that powerful… in fact, I’m not even leaving this comment! (shudder)! So, in the past two weeks I’ve managed to run afoul of those who Believe (in roughly this order): Hillary, Trump, Fidel and the J-Dawgg (aka the Son of Man): the theme is Believers.. and Belief as a cheap and convenient ersatz… Read more »

Anthony B
Reader

Yeah Mr. Easter Bunny, you got it wrong with the footsy-pajamas too: Castro was a fighter from day one, and he wasn’t afraid to get his footsies dirty. Whether it be helping them “poor” Africans fight the imperialists or getting medical aid to them “filthy” untermenschen in Haiti. Oh yes, he did even speak with those places where they adore that “Sky-giant” too, here he is in a Harlem church: https://youtu.be/RGLFfx88ZlY

StAug
Reader

“Yeah Mr. Easter Bunny, you got it wrong with the footsy-pajamas too: Castro was a fighter from day one, and he wasn’t afraid to get his footsies dirty. ” I wasn’t referring to Fidel’s pajamas, I was referring to yours. Of course Fidel was a “fighter”… but what you’re too brainwashed to see it what he was “fighting” for. “Your other “scathing” criticism of Fidel Castro is a typical reactionary rant: he was a “dictator”, why didn’t he let a “younger” leader take his place.” Since when is logic “reactionary”? It’s just glaringly obvious that if Fidel’s supposed mission had… Read more »

StAug
Reader

One of the True Believers writes:
“Hey Anthony B, DON’T feed the trolls… this guy StAug fits the description to the t(rolls)…”
To which I write: I’m happy to play the “troll” (aka Dissident) while you play the Herd. I was called a “troll” by Clintonites and Trumpers all last week and I consider it a badge of honor. Only adolescents need the chummy affirmation of consensus; grownups know that pointing out the Emperor’s naked ass is a tough gig. Enjoy your Herding!

Klimatova
Reader

Hey Anthony B, DON’T feed the trolls… this guy StAug fits the description to the t(rolls): has contempt for what he calls “all stupid humans” , he is self-proclaimed lefter-than-left, righter-than-right, and his green book is greener than Omar’s. You will never change his self-adoring party-line, no matter how honourable your comments tried! Fidel por siempre!

StAug
Reader

“They screamed “dictator” at Mr. Ghaddaffi too, before murdering him: he, who had ruled Libya to result in the highest standard of living in Africa, who had a vision of Africa with its own currency, free of the US-Dollar… ahhh, but he was a “dictator”. So it was alright to dispise and kill him, right?” Ha! Good old flame-war dirty tricks. Put words in my mouth, then actually attempt to co-opt my arguments as your own: I taught most of my acquaintances the statistics about Libya’s once-high standard of living, read Gaddafi’s Green Book, harried all my “liberal” friends about… Read more »

StAug
Reader

“Oh yes, he did even speak with those places where they adore that “Sky-giant” too, here he is in a Harlem church…”
Newsflash, Candide: that’s exactly the kind of Photo Op Politicians thrive on. And LBJ did lots of good during the Civil Rights Era (because: Cold War), btw. The good stuff was useful (that’s how we Serfs get good stuff, you know: only ever as means to various Oligarchic goals)… but LBJ remains LBJ, another power-hungry Daddy. Unless you have a passionate speech to make about Him, too…?

Anthony B
Reader

“Passionate speeches”… no, don’t have one about LBJ, maybe that is because whilst LBJ was helping slaughter ca. 3 million Vietnamese, Castro was busy developing the education and health systems in Cuba and other socialist allies to record levels. That has nothing to do with “beliefs”, the data is all there for anyone to see, facts that an Easter-Bunny super-thinker should appreciate. Your other “scathing” criticism of Fidel Castro is a typical reactionary rant: he was a “dictator”, why didn’t he let a “younger” leader take his place. If you had spent all of 2 minutes “thinking” of how the… Read more »

StAug
Reader

“The admiration for Castro is just another proof of how stupid we humans all are compared to a super-Bunny like yrself, hmmm?” Basically, yes. Some people are genuinely stupid and many are what I’d call Stupids of Convenience… the latter group comprised largely of very confused boy-men with no real sense of identity, looking for Father Figures to fill a void (if you’ll pardon the expression). Fidel, R Ron Hubbard, Reagan, Marx, Trotsky, Obama, Gandhi, Mandela, Kerouac, MLK, Mx, Zizek, Miles, Jesus, Kanye… it’s all the same. All are just holograms projected on the walls of the Imperial bubble. What… Read more »

StAug
Reader

erratum: L Ron Hubbard

Anthony B
Reader

So Mr. Super-Ego Special Alpha-Thinker Easter Bunny: what good have you done for the world in yr entire life that might compete with the good that Mr. Fidel Castro managed between breakfast and lunch on any given day in his life?
Your cynical crapping on the “belief/believers” in the internationalism and socialism that Castro embodied is rather easy, isn’t it? The admiration for Castro is just another proof of how stupid we humans all are compared to a super-Bunny like yrself, hmmm?

BigB
Reader
BigB

Not like the BBC to pass on an opportunity to propagandize either – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WApT5wYHSCg