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Fidel Castro, thorn in the side of United States’ hegemony

Translated Monday 5 December 2016, by Adrian Jordan

Under the impetus of the leader who died on Friday night (25 November), the island was a support base for struggles for national freedom and against imperialism, in Latin-America and on the African continent.

When the guerrillas came to power in 1959, they gradually emancipated Cuba from the clutches of the USA, faithful to José Marti’s ideal of national liberation. This action, a few kilometres from the United States’ coast, was followed by many long years of resistance, recounted the many homages made by the leaders of a number of Southern states since Saturday. One section of them – notably the Latin-Americans – will go to Santiago de Cuba for the funeral on Sunday, or go to pay homage in Havana from today. This sympathy, apart from the symbolic unity, is due to the fact that Cuba, with changing fortune, supported emancipatory and revolutionary struggles in Latin-America (like those of Che who died in Bolivia in 1967), or supported nascent anti-colonial movements – inspiring certain actions in Asia, and concretely assisting some African colonies, and former African colonies, such as Angola and Algeria, while at the same time being one of the prime activists at an international level for the struggle against apartheid in south Africa.

This equally allowed for a strong involvement in the Non-Aligned Movement, with the aim of breaking “block” mentality, even though Cuba showed affinity with the Soviet Union to the point of accepting its missiles and provoking a crisis with the United States in 1962. More recently, Cuba was the lynchpin in building regional unions such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA, from the Spanish), with progressive governments from the sub-region.

Fidel Castro and Cuban leaders integrated international solidarity into Cuban DNA. It is in fact included in the country’s constitution. True to that line, Havana has since defended the interests of Palestinians and Sahrawis, organising missions (particularly medical) to foreign countries.

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