Fidel Castro: Revolutionary at 80

From Havana, Ariel Perez Pereda, a 19-year-old member of the Union of Young Communists and one of Cuba’s new generation of revolutionaries, writes:

‘On 13 August we will be celebrating the birthday of one of the most loved and popular of revolutionary leaders, that of our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, unrivalled leader of the first proletarian revolution in Latin America. We will be celebrating yet another year of achievements, of completed tasks, of plans for the future and, without doubt, yet another year in which we can count on his wisdom, his teachings and his unshakeable conviction that our people are advancing towards an ever brighter future.

‘We, the communist youth, promise that he can count on us in the frontline of battle, that each of us will defend our Revolution to our last breath and that we are ready to take on any task.
‘On a day like today, 80 years ago, a new hope was born for Cuba and for the world: someone whose vision would inspire so many people, open up a path of salvation for our people and change the course of history in favour of the dispossessed.

‘By one of history’s happy coincidences, we celebrate the birthday of another great man at the same time, that of our hero Rene Gonzalez [of the Cuban 5] – in the midst of a historic battle against imperialism and war, for peace and for solidarity.

‘Never underestimate what it means to us, the communist youth, to be able to count on a leader and a comrade who has such faith in the young people of Cuba, the heirs of his political legacy who will continue the work he started and who today, more than ever, are surging forwards to become the most educated, informed and well-prepared population in the world.’

Message from Mumia Abu Jamal
‘Fidel, with his determination, his profound humanism, has become a legend of the 20th and now the 21st century.
‘I’m sure people around the world, in the US, in Brazil, in Venezuela, in South Africa and beyond join with me in wishing millions of birthday greetings to this revolutionary: Feliz cumpleaños, Fidel!
‘Cuba represents the power of resistance and survival against tremendous odds. It also represents the power of the small over the mighty. It is, in the words of Assata Shakur, a palenque (in slavery days in Brazil) – a place of freedom amidst capitalist tyranny’.
Mumia Abu Jamal, imprisoned black revolutionary writer and broadcaster, interview with Rafael Rodriguez-Cruz 26 May 2006

FRFI 192 August / September 2006


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