Querido Compañero (Dear Comrade): A Tribute to Fidel Castro 

Querido Compañero,

We celebrate you, knowing that you have fulfilled the role you were sent to execute among us mortals. Today and forever I honour you, for the work that you have done supercedes the work of three lifetimes of the average man. 

 You liberated not just your own country but sought to liberate those oppressed by imperialists, preying on their wealth of resources. We will not forget how you went into Africa to help Africa and not exploit Africa like the many capitalists did before. 

We will not forget how you stood up to the mighty USA. We will not forget the many plots that you overcame, the many assassination attempts that were foiled.  We will not forget how you never compromised what you stood for. We will never forget how you crafted a health system that surpassed, in every regard, that of a country that placed a total economic blockade against your people. 

We will never forget your role in dismantling the colonial forces and guaranteeing the independence of Angola. We will not forget your tricontinental conference in the 1960s which encouraged and supported the armed struggle against colonialists in Asia, Africa and Latin America. We will not forget your role in seeking freedom for Mandela and ending apartheid even while powerful states supported the oppressive government. 

We will not forget the words of Comrade Mandela on your service to his continent,

 “The Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom and justice unparalleled for its principled and selfless character… We in Africa are used to being victims of countries wanting to carve up our territory or subvert our sovereignty. It is unparalleled in African history to have another people rise to the defence of one of us.”

We will not forget how you reminded us that to be truly able to fight for ourselves, we will need to fight for others. We will not forget how you lived by and stood by your own words. 

We will not forget your contribution to Jamaica. We will not forget how you worked with Comrade Michael to improve health care and education and we will certainly not forget the thousands who were uplifted from poverty because of your partnership. We will not forget the infrastructure which you willingly contributed to this nation to ensure the education of the masses. We will not forget how the Cuba you created continues to bolster our health sector. We will also not forget the many conspiracies against you and how many who now praise you once demonized you. 

How can we forget your selflessness? How even with your own tragedies you sent assistance to those who were also in need? How your healthcare missions worldwide rivaled and surpassed those of international organizations set up to focus solely on health? How can we forget the thousands of medical professionals from low income households that your Cuba trained free of cost? How can we forget the role that the compassionate Cuba you created in containing the most recent Ebola crisis? 

Esteemed icon, we pray for more selfless leaders like you because none as great as you has walked this earth in this generation. Your legacy and impact live on in our lives and hearts forever. For nine days we’ll mourn your transition from the realm of mortals and for a lifetime we’ll honour you. My dearest comrade, you may take leave of the company of mortals but rest assured that you will never die. 

 Hasta el último aliento compañero, te voy a honrar. Hasta la victoria siempre, La Patria o muerte. Viva la revolución! Viva El Comandante-en-Jefe!

Saludos Mi Héroe Inmortal,

La historia se ha absuelto (History has absolved you)

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