Political thought

A portrait of Fidel Castro and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara outside the embassy of Cuba in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Enrique Marcarian/ReutersA portrait of Fidel Castro and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara outside the embassy of Cuba in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

Dictatorship is dictatorship, whether it is meant to serve  capitalism and whether it is meant to serve the interests of the masses. In principle, both are detested. Agreed?

It is a notorious fact that, in 1959, when Fidel Castro overthrew the dictator Fulgencio Batista, democracy was not considered a value as we understand it today. Neither in the part of the world where Cuba is situated nor, I dare say, in Europe.

Those Europeans who still outrightly condemn the dictatorship in favour of the power exercised by the masses, as practised in Cuba, would do well if they remember that, in our times, Europe invented, Nazism  and Fascism, which lingered on for a decade or two in various countries after World War II.

Those who enjoyed internal democracy imposed ruthless colonialism in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. And this cannot be considered a political detail. One is justified to ask: how on earth in the geopolitics of the time did one expect something different from Castro?

I had the rare opportunity to accompany for three days Aleida Guevara, a doctor, daughter of Che, who was visiting Parana as a guest of the Landless Peasants Movement (MST). At one point, I proudly told her that I had just acquired her father’s biography. She promptly replied to me not to read what they write about her father but rather to read what Che himself wrote.

I saw a lot of wisdom in her suggestion, which I humbly wish to  relay to one and all when judging personalities who, as Castro in this case, withstood the empires of the world.


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