Fidel Castro has left this mortal plane at the age of 90. Many of us either rejoiced his death or shook our heads at the passing of a steadfast man of principle. To many (stateside), he was viewed as a tyrant. To many that are anti-imperialism, he was an inspiration. The problem is that there are very few that fall in between when it comes to Fidel.
Fidel Castro is practically the real-world Dr. Doom. Yes, he worked hard to do right by the people that were with him. However, anyone that went against him felt his wrath like none other. Just like Victor Von, Castro wanted adjunct loyalty. Nothing else was to be tolerated.
However, many black people have a special adoration for the man that many white politicians find to be repulsive. And there are quite a few reasons why.
Fidel Castro was a Friend of Black People
Fidel Castro has, on numerous occasions, assisted with the resistance of black people against colonialism, imperialism, and blatant racism. And these occasions are quite profound in making it clear why so many US politicians loathed his existence.
- Fidel Castro assisted the ANC with its fight against apartheid. I’m talking about making a base in Angola for the ANC, helping them, and helping bring about the freedom of Nelson Mandela.
- Assata Shakur was provided asylum in Cuba after escaping prison in the U.S. Since she was convicted on questionable charges in the murder of a New Jersey state trooper, many black people felt that this was “justified”. For Castro, it was a vote of confidence and a chess move.
- In recent history, Cuba supported the Venezuelan people against the U.S. sanctions put upon them. Although a lot of this was done by Raul Castro, Fidel still had his influence solidified.
- In 1983, Castro sent troops to help Maurice Bishop of the New Jewel Movement in Grenada. The U.S. weren’t thrilled by Bishop or his movement toward socialism and Black power. So, the U.S. government wanted it overthrown. Castro, however, had other plans.
- In 2000, Castro promised to provide free medical training to hundreds of low income black people. This was done through the assistance of the late Rev. Lucius Walker. Walker facilitated the program stateside.
- Castro even tried to provide the victims of Hurricane Katrina with supplies. Too bad the U.S. government rejected the offer.
As menacing as Fidel Castro has appeared in the public eye, he just isn’t the devil that many have made him to be.
Why the U.S. Disliked Fidel Castro
With all the aforementioned situations, it is quite clear that Fidel Castro was a thorn in the side of U.S. exploitation. In so many cases, Castro either thwarted U.S. efforts to get what they want or came around to make them look bad. And most of his intentions were genuine. However, part of me feels that he took at least a slight amount of pride making buffoons out of a government that could never shut him down. In short, Fidel Castro enjoyed doing right by the downtrodden because it exposed his enemies.
Fidel Castro the Misunderstood
Fidel Castro was the simultaneous enemy of the U.S. government and friend of black people. Many want to make commentary about his Communist ways yet rarely shed light on the good he has done. And much of that is understood. However, Castro was a man of dignity and fortitude despite his harsh ways of handling detractors. And a lot of times, it is WHO he helped that mattered more than HOW he helped them.
Sometimes, history is written from a slant of prejudice and bias. Fidel Castro is proof of this.