"El marxismo me enseñó cómo era la sociedad. Era como un hombre con los ojos vendados en un bosque, que ni siquiera sabe dónde está el norte o hacia el sur es. Si usted no tiene el tiempo llega a comprender realmente la historia de la lucha de clases, o por lo menos tener una idea clara de que la sociedad está dividida entre los ricos y los pobres, y que algunas personas subyugar y explotar a los demás, estás perdido en un bosque, sin saber nada -
"Marxism taught me what society was. I was like a blindfolded man in a forest, who doesn't even know where north or south is. If you don't eventually come to truly understand the history of the class struggle, or at least have a clear idea that society is divided between the rich and the poor, and that some people subjugate and exploit other people, you're lost in a forest, not knowing anything." - Fidel Castro, quoted in My Life: A Spoken Autobiography, by Ignacio Ramonet (2009).
From an MGR post on Oct. 26, 2011:
"On the evening of December 31, 1958 the president of Cuba was a swaggering dictator named Fulgencio Batista. An old friend of Washington and the American mafia alike, Batista knew the end was near. Cuban rebels, long his nemesis, were on the outskirts of Havana, and occasional gunfire could be heard in the distance. U.S. political support was quickly evaporating. Officials of the Dwight Eisenhower administration told Batista that it was time to pack his bags. At a New Year's Eve party, over a champagne toast, he told his cabinet ministers that he was leaving the country in a few hours. At 3:00 a.m. on January 1, 1959, Batista boarded a plane with supporters and flew to the Dominican Republic, under the careful watch of U.S. officials. With him, crammed into the cargo hold, went cash and art work estimated at $300-$700 million USD, all of it property of the Cuban state.
"A week later one of those young rebels rode into Havana in a jeep, dressed in trademark army greens and with a customary cigar stuck in his mouth. His name was Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. Castro has managed to outlive or outlast 10 U.S. presidents: Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush I, Bill Clinton and George Bush II. He may just outlast Barack Obama as well." The U.S. Embargo of Cuba - a paradigm for how not to conduct foreign policy.
In recent days Fidel's brother and successor, president Raúl Castro, has emphasized that the island regime remains open to improving relations with the U.S.. When Raúl greeted Barack Obama and shook his hand at the recent funeral services for deceased South African president Nelson Mandela, his only words - in English - were, "Mr. President, I am Castro." Fidel, 87, praised his brother for that small step in one of his periodic "reflections" in Granma, the official Cuban Communist Party organ. The paper is named after the 60 foot cabin cruiser which carried 82 rebels across rough Gulf seas from Mexico to Cuba in November 1956. On board were Fidel, Raúl and an idealistic young Argentine physician, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, regarded by many as the intellectual genius and primary military strategist of the fledgling guerrilla offensive.
But in 55th anniversary festivities in Havana today, Raúl warned that enemies of the revolution remain all around, determined to "undermine and dismantle" the achievements of the Cuban people. "Before the revolution," Raúl told thousands in the capital city's main plaza, "Cuba was a paradise for foreign travelers seeking prostitution, a refuge and reunion point for American mafia bosses, a staging ground for dirty counter-revolutionaries sent from abroad to sabotage our efforts for real social change." There was no doubt in anyone's mind about whom the Cuban president had in mind, as his hoarse voice rattled off a long litany of bitter condemnations of the Malevolent Empire just 90 miles to the north.
Benedict and Fidel, so very far apart.
Jan. 3, 2014 - Car dealerships are now legal in Cuba, for the first time in 50 years.
Nov. 1, 2013 - Mexico forgives $341 million USD in Cuban bank debt
Oct. 29, 2013 - United Nations again condemns U.S. embargo of Cuba
June 15, 2013 - Canadian faces life sentence in Cuban sex tourism case
Oct. 2, 2012 - Cuba lambasts U.S. embargo at U.N. General Assembly
May 12, 2012 - Opinion: Barack Obama should free Alan Gross
Apr. 9, 2012 - Colombia's president Santos calls for normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations
Mar. 28, 2012 - Fidel Castro greets Pope Benedict XVI - but no jail pass for U.S. citizen Alan Gross
Feb. 7, 2012 - U.S. embargo of Cuba is 50 years old today
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