Our Readers' Opinions
November 29, 2016
We have lost a true friend, a brother, a father, teacher and a proven fighter


The St Vincent and the Grenadines/Cuba friendship Society joins with the rest of the international community in mourning the loss of the incomparable Commandante Fidel Castro Ruz, and with progressive mankind in paying tribute to his tremendous contribution to the development of his country, Cuba, the Caribbean, and countries too numerous to mention in Africa, Asia and Latin America.{{more}}

We have collectively lost a true friend, a brother, father and teacher, a proven fighter on behalf of oppressed people the world over. His courage in the face of adversity, fidelity to the cause of uplifting the oppressed, and practical solidarity, made Fidel Castro, along with the late Nelson Mandela, one of the most outstanding giants of the 20th century.

His role in weakening the odious system of apartheid in South Africa, enabled not only the emergence of independent states in Southern Africa, but also the birth of the democratic Republic of South Africa itself, out of the rubble of the racist apartheid system, led by Nelson Mandela himself. The contribution of Cuba, under Fidel Castro’s leadership, to the socio-economic development of developing nations did not stay there, for at great sacrifice to the meagre resources of his country, Fidel insisted that Cuba give practical assistance to these nations, particularly in the critical areas of education and health. We too, in St Vincent and the Grenadines have benefited in this regard.

Fidel has also provided political leadership to developing countries, in the United Nations, in the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and other such international bodies. His country has been in the forefront in fighting the ravages of disease, for example ebola in West Africa, and in providing assistance to countries struck by natural disaster. We remember for instance, Fidel’s offer of assistance to this country following the Soufriere eruption of 1979, even though the government of the day had initially been reluctant to accept such generosity. Finally, what greater manifestation of selfless internationalism can there be than the international airports at Pointe Salines in Grenada and Argyle, here in SVG, built with Cuban assistance under Fidel’s direction?

For these, and countless other deeds of solidarity, Fidel Castro Ruz will long be remembered, long after the world has forgotten those who have vilified him. It is instructive to note that he has survived more than 600 assassination attempts, state-sponsored terrorism by those who had the gall to declare Cuba, and Fidel, as sponsors of terrorism.

Fortunately, the passage of time has removed this dreadful slur. Fidel himself, in his defence when charged with treason in Cuba, more than six decades ago, had declared, that “History will absolve me”.

How prophetic are those words! Long live his memory and magnificent example. Vincentians will treasure those memories of FIDEL!

Renwick E A Rose