Fidel’s Legacy: Null or Empty

The death of Fidel Castro leaves a huge void, difficult to fill. It seems practically impossible, given the conditions of the modern world, that somebody may achieve his dictatorial power, his military interventionism in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, quite disproportionate for a nation of only 11 million inhabitants. The same happens with his endless verbiage, which earned him the Guinness record for the longest speech at the United Nations (4 hours and 29 minutes). Castro also delivered the longest speech by a politician in contemporary history (7 hours and 10 minutes) at the closing of the Second Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba.

By the time he officially retired in 2006, Castro was the longest-serving head of government in the world (47 years), and the world’s third head of state with more time in office, behind only the Queen of England and the King of Thailand. True to his monarchical style, on leaving the post, he transferred it to his brother in dynastic succession. History always has its inexorable way of valuing people in their proper dimension.

The facts mentioned above should suffice to prove the falseness of the image of “a real revolutionary” that some are trying to raise, without even adding the extensive list of Cubans shot by firing squads, exiled, imprisoned, and missing at sea trying to escape, as well as the families divided by the Castroist dictatorship. Also, eagerness for expansionism and verbal incontinence are distinctive features of those who consider themselves as entitled to power by the grace of God or by force of arms.

Another angle of this void, perhaps the most important, is the so-called Fidel Castro’s “legacy”. In addition to all the mortuary paraphernalia, the sales of alcoholic beverages, listening to music, broadcasting of cartoons on television, and even saying “good morning” on TV shows are banned during the nine days of mourning in Cuba. These prohibitions are clear evidence that grief is imposed in the purest North Korea’s style when Kim Il-Sung died. To accentuate this affinity, the Korean dictator decreed three days of mourning for the passing of Castro.

“What remains of Fidel Castro is the image of a stammering and decrepit old man, ignored by many and regarded as obsolete for others.”

Only one European ruler, Greece’s Alexis Tspiras, attended the farewell ceremony. America was represented only by the usual suspects from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). Even the Canadian Trudeau declined his presence, as did Barack Obama, who also refused to meet with the dictator during his visit to Cuba.

In the end, what remains of Fidel Castro is the image of a stammering and decrepit old man, ignored by many and regarded as obsolete for others. There is no room for seven-hour speeches in Twitter’s world. Furthermore, people say that time is the great judge of history. The “Coma Andante” (Walking Coma — i.e. an irreverent popular pun for “Comandante”) was overcome by both, time and history. His legacy is a null or empty set, as a mathematical axiom declares. The future does not belong entirely to Socialism, as the tyrant predicted. On the contrary, this doctrine will only be a sad reminder of the past, the same as him.

Fidel Castro died. “He is gone”, as Danilo Maldonado wrote on the façade of Hotel “Habana Libre”. This simple, peaceful action accomplished by the rebel graffiti artist, known as “El Sexto” (The Sixth), got him jail once more. However, with this, he gives a mortal blow to everything the tyrant represented and symbolises the way forward: Fidel Castro’s void must be filled with initiatives aimed at achieving democracy.



Omar López Montenegro – Human Rights director at the Cuban American National Foundation

Perth Herald Tribune joined the campaign “My Weekly Denunciation Of the Castro’s Dictatorship”, launched by the UNPACU and the Forum for a United America to raise awareness of the situation of the Cuban people worldwide.