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Fidel Castro - thy name is courage
If there was one name that had sent shivers through all Capitalist rulers of the world since 1959 till he voluntarily withdrew from power - the name is Fidel Castro. If there is one name that commands respect without demand among poorest of the poor of the planet Earth - the name is Fidel Castro.

Think of him and a picture pops up upon the mental screen – a bearded revolutionary with a cigar dangling down the right side of his pout, a man steely resolve, a man who had refused to accept any dictates from mightiest of the mighty and haughtiest of the haughty.

In books, courage is defined as the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. Physical courage is the courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal or discouragement.

Fidel Castro has all that and much packed in his strong sturdy body usually attired with his green revolutionary uniform. Born to a son of Cuban sugar planter on 13 August 1926 in Oriente Province of Cuab, he studied law at University of Havana. He was basically a democrat who wanted to fight elections in 1952. However, the Cuban government was overthrown by Gen Fulgencio Batista. No elections ! He didn’t give up. With his brother Raul, in 1953 they led an unsuccessful rebellion and the General incarcerated them for 15 years. They were released under an amnesty and fled to Mexico.

Here, they met an Argentinean Marxist Ernesto 'Che' Guevara. In 1956, Together they landed in Cuba with a small band of insurgents, known as the '26th of July Movement.' They organized a guerrilla war against the government and on December 1958 they launched a full-scale attack and Batista was forced to flee. In February 1959, Castro was sworn in as prime minister of Cuba and announced the introduction of a Marxist-Leninist Ideological government.

According to Dr. J. Rufus Fears, professor of an incredibly manly subject: the history of freedom, ‘a politician and a statesman are not the same thing. A statesman is not a tyrant; he is the free leader of a free people and he must possess four critical qualities: Bedrock of principles, a moral compass, a vision and the ability to build a consensus to achieve that vision.’

First challenge for Castro’s abilities appeared at ‘Bay of Pigs.’ For America and other capitalist nations he was the bête noire. In 1961, the CIA sponsored the Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles and Castro secretly allowed the Soviets to build sites for nuclear missiles in Cuba. That led to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The US and the Soviet Union came very close to war.

Yes, he was ruthless also and often too hard upon opposition but he remained popular in Cuba. Many Cubans benefited from the free education and healthcare program he introduced. Cuba received considerable economic support from the Soviet Union. In 1976, Cuba's National Assembly elected Castro its President. He also emerged as one of the leaders of the non-aligned nations. He handed the reins of power to his younger brother Raul Castro in 2008.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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