Statement From the Nation Black United Front on the Passing of Fidel Castro
The National Black United Front joins with all freedom-loving people around the world in mourning the death and celebrating the life of El Comandante Fidel Castro. Fidel and the Cuban Revolution that he led has been an inspiration to all people of the world who cherish liberation and who support independence from all oppression and tyranny. The Cuban Revolution has been a staunch example of how a small, independent nation can survive against the powerful forces of United States imperialism and chart its own path in the development of the country.
The Cuban people, under the leadership of Fidel and his comrades, successfully liberated themselves from the rule of the dictator Fulgencio Batista, who was fully supported by the US government. Cuba, one of the last countries to eliminate slavery, had a corrupt ruling class that enforced racist oppression against most of the Cuban population. The success of the revolution brought to Cuba immeasurable advancements in the living standards of the ordinary Cuban people. After the revolution, the literacy rate became one of the highest in the world. In addition, the Cuban people benefited from free healthcare, free education, and improved social services in all aspects of Cuban life – all of this in spite of the harsh embargo imposed for decades by the US government. The Cuban revolution was a beacon to many other countries in Latin and South America. Many countries, inspired by Cuba, fought valiantly to throw off the yokes of oppressive governments supported American imperialism and establish free and independent nations that benefited the majority of their people.
Fidel Castro and the Cuban people have a special place in the hearts of African people throughout the diaspora. The support that they have given African people is legend. As an example, Nelson Mandela has correctly stated that the role of the Cuban army was indispensable in the defeat of the South African armed forces in the battle against apartheid. In addition, the Cuban army supported many other struggles on the African continent for independence from European domination. Cuban support to the peoples of Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and Guinea-Bissau proved to be invaluable in those countries’ fight for independence. Cuba stood with the New Jewel Movement of Grenada under the leadership of Maurice Bishop in 1983 during the Reagan administration’s armed invasion of that country. In addition to military support, Cuba has supplied doctors and other medical personal and humanitarian aid to many African and other poor countries around the world. The role of the Cuban medical teams was essential in the eradication of the Ebola disease in West Africa. Cuban medical and humanitarian aid was first on the scene after the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Cuba even offered assistance, which was turned down by the Bush administration, to this country after the US government failed our people in the wake of devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Today, the Cuban government offers free medical education to low-income Americans who can’t afford the exorbitant fees of the medical schools in this country.
We know that many people who support American imperialism and white supremacy around the world will rejoice at the death of Fidel Castro. That is to be expected. The reaction, however, of the people in the world who love freedom, independence and self-determination will be that of mourning the death of one of the greatest revolutionary leaders in history. The National Black United Front stands with those people. We take inspiration from Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution as we continue our own struggle for the liberation of Black people wherever we may be.
LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT OF EL COMANDANTE FIDEL CASTRO!