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Fidel in His Own Words

My thoughts are on one topic above all others today, Fidel Castro’s passing, and the end of an era, unknown what may follow but hopeful.

Fidel Castro

On national television Friday evening, Raul Castro announced his brother’s death, saying:

“With deep pain, I appear to inform our people, the friends of our America and the world that today, November 25, 2016, at 10:29 PM, the commander-in- chief of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz died” at age 90.

As he wished, his remains will be cremated and interred in Santiago, where his liberating revolution began. Beginning November 26, nine days of national mourning will continue through December 4.

According to Granma, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party of Cuba, “public activities and spectacles stand cancelled. The national flag will wave at half-mast in public buildings and military establishments. Radio and television will maintain an informative, patriotic and historical programming.”

On November 15, he was last seen publicly with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang at his home in Havana.

His last public appearance was on August 13 during events celebrating his 90th birthday at Havana’s Karl Marx Theater.

In April, at the VII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, he delivered his last public address, highlighting his revolutionary ideology and spirit. At the time, he said:

“We will all be in for our turn, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain, as proof that on this planet, if we work with fervor and dignity, we can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we must fight without ceasing to obtain them.”

He said “Marxism or scientific socialism is the revolutionary movement of the working class,” calling himself “a Marxist-Leninist…until the end of my life.” Some of his other memorable quotes, include saying:

“Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me.”

“We will win this battle for life, and not only for your lives, but also for the lives of all children in the world.”

“Cuba is not opposed to finding a solution to its historical differences with the United States, but no one should expect Cuba to change its position or yield in its principles. Cuba is and will continue to be socialist. Cuba is and will continue to be a friend of the Soviet Union and of all the socialist states.”

“I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy. It is gross. It is alienating...because it causes war, hypocrisy and competition.”

“I am not a communist and neither is the revolutionary movement.”

“A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.”

“There is not Communism or Marxism, but representative democracy and social justice in a well-planned economy.”

“I began revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I’d do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and a plan of action.”

“North Americans don’t understand...that our country is not just Cuba; our country is also humanity.”

“Someday, the capitalist system will disappear in the United States, because no social class system has been eternal. One day, class societies will disappear.”

“I can assure you that my first and foremost interest is my country.”

“I think that a man should not live beyond the age when he begins to deteriorate, when the flame that lighted the brightest moment of his life has weakened.”

“We will all be in for our turn, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain, as proof that on this planet, if we work with fervor and dignity, we can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we must fight without ceasing to obtain them.”

He breathed his last on Friday evening, November 25. His spirit lives on forever.


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