My journey with FIDEL!
In 1959 on that fateful old year’s night in Cuba I was 4+ years old I therefore grew up with Fidel being part of my consciousness and an interest of mine. First there was the bi-polar view of Fidel and its discourse that bombarded my worldview. There was Fidel the man who seized power in Cuba against all odds by dint of his personal abilities and capacity this was the Fidel of the green military fatigues, the beret on his head and the cigar in his mouth the quintessential Caribbean sweet man with the swagger and the balls to take on the establishment and seize power. This vision was soon assaulted by the discourse of the cold war of the brutal communist dictator who had now turned against his people and grinding them to chillibibby to satisfy his lust for power. Then with the missile crisis the discourse hardened and became vitriolic as Fidel was now a lapdog of the Soviet Union intent on wiping us out with nuclear fallout from the inevitable nuclear world war sparked by the crisis as persons driven by this discourse started passing out anti-radiation sickness pills for entire families in T&T and I touched those held by my family. The Caribbean sweet man with the swagger was now a raving communist lunatic intent on killing all of us definitely unhinged. But in the aftermath this vitriolic hatred for Fidel placed him on my mental radar as a person of interest someone to keep track of to understand to read their speeches and writings. The journey began in 1969 at 14 years old with the post-colonial ferment for organic change that became public and hegemonic discourse named it the Black Power Movement. This ferment hinged on the quest for alternate knowledges and one such knowledge was Marxist-Leninist discourse which was seditious literature under law and involved the circulation of illicit words, writings and thoughts which made it even more attractive to a teenager. The first experience was then those marathon speeches of Fidel given at the Plaza of the Revolution, Havana reported in Granma and continued encompassing the 1960’s, the 1970’s, the 1980’s, the 1990’s and the 21st century. This journey has enabled me to form my view of the overarching Fidel through these decades the constant Fidel that drove his variegated dances with various entities in order to deal with specific realities that were negatively impacting the Cuban Revolution and his hegemony over it. For Fidel insisted to the end that he made the revolution, he defined the revolution, he defended and preserved the revolution and the revolution and Fidel were one and the power derived thereof from this hegemony. Fidel danced with many devils to preserve the revolution and his hegemony for they were inseparable many of them he personally at the level of discourse and worldview saw no merit in them, rejected their discourse and worldview and would never have adhered to their praxis in his revolution. The first was the Soviet Union and the last was Hugo Chavez’s version of 21st century socialism. Where is the Soviet Union today and behold the derelict near terminal condition of 21st century socialism in Venezuela whilst Fidel’s revolution battles on as it struggles to come in from the limbo imposed on it by the US. But never forget Fidel’s revolution can only be the Cuban Revolution nothing else as it always was and meant to be and many have died as a result of their failure to discern this and for this in my old days I continue to cry for Che. The neo-liberal corporate media will rant and rave about the brutal dictator Fidel was upon his death but cannot speak of the collection of dictators they don’t speak about as they serve neo-liberal interests. This duplicity is expected but I never wanted or desired to live in Cuba in Fidel’s revolution because I cannot surrender my quest to live my life my way as far as possible for the sake of a revolution that defines me unilaterally in keeping with the discourse of Fidel. One can be anti-capitalist from 1969 to 2016 and reject this condition of existence. In the pantheon of Marxist-Leninist icons, it’s only Mao Zedong and Fidel that can boast that they made a revolution and defended it their way. In this Fidel has made his mark on the history of the human race.