Opening Statement



Saturday, 26 November 2016

RIP Fidel Castro!



I would be remiss if I did not post my condolences for revolutionary iconclast and former Cuban President Fidel Castro! In Cuba, Fidel is largely considered a nationalist hero, much loved and revered as a founding father figure, since the Triumph of the 1959 Revolution. 

Since 1959, Fidel Castro worked tirelessly to root out Cuba's neo colonial past. That's included kicking out the mafia and other US backed imperialist influences, that have plagued so many other developing nations in the America's, widely earning Fidel their respect.

Fidel Castro provided his people with independence, universal education and medicare. Virtually unheard of in the developing world, this has come at a very step cost. Fidel's social democratic reforms occurred under a crippling 50 year US economic embargo. It's resulted in a permanent state of emergency in Cuba, often thwarting the best efforts and intentions of the Castro Revolution.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, just back from a Cuba Trip last week has promptly offered his condolences. Canada and Cuba have had a long uninterrupted relationship, maintaining political, economic, social and cultural ties despite the 50 year old US embargo of Cuba. 

Canada and the US differ greatly on their approach to Cuba. Quiet diplomacy? A Mixed Economy? Taxes? Human Rights? Canada has had a hand in developing all of these in Cuba, following a close "policy of engagement" to create the prerequisites for peaceful, constructive change.

That's how I became involved in regularly travelling to visit, live and work in Cuba for much of my adult life. In 1992, I began, and continue to serve, as Director of the Cuban School Project. We have provided educational aid and assistance in developing the English and Business programs at the Santiago de Cuba schools. I continue to do so, on a more limited basis, since I retired from active teaching a few years ago.

My Cuba blogs, as posted here, have always tried to reflect this dualism in showing the good, the bad and the ugly side of life in Cuba, as I have experienced it first hand. I believe they also help show the great progress that has been made by the Cuban Revolution in the face of such incredible diversity.

Ironically, Fidel died on Black Friday, surely Capitalism's biggest holy day of the year. With President Elect Donald Trump quite likely plotting a new US controlled future the rogue socialist state. 

Fidel, one suspects, would remain undaunted, to the great challenges that still lay ahead! Truly he died as he lived life, believing that it's "Better to die standing, than to live on your knees."

BACKGROUND LINKS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's official statement @ GC

Teacher Free Speech November News + Views -Latest News Links @ Here!

Habana Empire: The US + the Mafia in Cuba before the revolution @ Here!

The Cuban School Project Story @ Here!

My Cubans School Project Links @ Here!

Cuba: What The Heck Is Going On?!? @ Here!

Cuba: What Do They Think? @ Here!

On The Road in Cuba @ Here!

Chritmas In Cuba [1996] @ There!

I will keep adding my Cuba links and other hopefully useful ones here for your convenience.

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