Fidel Castro and the Right to Be a Marxist-Leninist

Fidel Castro.  File photo by Alex Castro/granma.cu
Fidel Castro. File photo by Alex Castro/granma.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Almost every time President Raul Castro travels abroad, his older brother, Fidel, comes out of hiding to let us know we haven’t been left home alone.

As Moscow celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over German fascism, with Raul Castro as its guest, Fidel expresses his “profound admiration towards the heroic people of the Soviet Union, who rendered a colossal service for humanity,” in an article published on the front page of all official newspapers, and to be read in its entirety by the anchor on today’s Cuba TV news programs.

The following is the official translation of Fidel Castro’s opinion piece.

Our right to be Marxist-Leninists

by Fidel Castro

The 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War will be commemorated the day after tomorrow, May 9. Given the time difference, while I write these lines, the soldiers and officials of the Army of the Russian Federation, full of pride, will be parading through Moscow’s Red Square with their characteristic quick, military steps.

Lenin was a brilliant revolutionary strategist who did not hesitate in assuming the ideas of Marx and implementing them in an immense and only partly industrialized country, whose proletariat party became the most radical and courageous on the planet in the wake of the greatest slaughter that capitalism had caused in the world, where for the first time tanks, automatic weapons, aviation and poison gases made an appearance in wars, and even a legendary cannon capable of launching a heavy projectile more than 100 kilometers made its presence felt in the bloody conflict.

From that carnage emerged the League of Nations, an institution that should have preserved peace but which did not even manage to stop the rapid advance of colonialism in Africa, a great part of Asia, Oceana, the Caribbean, Canada and a contemptuous neo-colonialism in Latin America. Barely 20 years later, another atrocious world war broke out in Europe, the preamble to which was the Spanish Civil War, beginning in 1936.

After the crushing defeat of the Nazis, world nations placed their hopes in the United Nations, which strives to generate cooperation in order to put an end to aggressions and wars, such that countries can preserve the peace, development and peaceful cooperation of the big and small, rich or poor States of the world. Millions of scientists could, among other tasks, increase the chances of the survival of the human species, with billions of people already threatened by food and water shortages within a short period of time. We are already 7.3 billion people on the planet. In 1800 there were only 978 million; this figure rose to 6.07 billion in 2000; and according to conservative estimates by the year 2050 there will be 10 billion.

Of course, scarcely is the arrival to Western Europe of boats full of migrants mentioned, traveling in any object that floats; a river of African migrants, from the continent colonized by the Europeans over hundreds of years. 23 years ago, in a United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development I stated: “An important biological species is in danger of disappearing given the rapid and progressive destruction of its natural life-sustaining conditions¬: man.” I did not know at that time, how close we were to this.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War, I wish to put on record our profound admiration for the heroic Soviet people, who provided humankind an enormous service. Today we are seeing the solid alliance between the people of the Russian Federation and the State with the fastest growing economy in the world: The People’s Republic of China; both countries, with their close cooperation, modern science and powerful armies and brave soldiers constitute a powerful shield of world peace and security, so that the life of our species may be preserved.

Physical and mental health, and the spirit of solidarity are norms which must prevail, or the future of humankind, as we know it, will be lost forever. The 27 million Soviets who died in the Great Patriotic War, also did so for humanity and the right to think and be socialists, to be Marxist-Leninists, communists, and leave the dark ages behind.

36 thoughts on “Fidel Castro and the Right to Be a Marxist-Leninist

  • but he fails to point out that Russia abandoned Marxism and it now a capitalist state of oligarchs.

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    • At 88 he remains committed. He has not fully accepted the failure of the Soviet Block. He is a tough old bird.

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      • I don’t mind Raul Castro Ruz or BIG BROTHER Fidel being committed. But the article attributed to him is entitled:
        ‘Our right to be Marxist-Leninist’
        There is no right in the view of whoever the author is, for others to have rights in which they believe. everybody MUST conform to the dictate. Such is Socialismo and communism. It is a sickening imposition upon those who have to suffer it.
        Yet there are those in free western democratic societies who swallow this inhumanity and seek to extend it to the rest of us.

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        • Who really is free under capitalism? Check the populations of the world? ho is more oppressed, who are more exploited? People who live under Socialism or those who dwell under capitalism? Do some research! Come up with honest answers? Latin America, Africa, The Middle East, The Southern States of America, Asia. Count the number of oppressed, uneducated, living in slums and denied the basic needs of life in order to enjoy living like the human beings they were created to be?

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          • Quite a list of socialist countries. You could have added North Korea, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Russia. so your point is taken, to live in socialist countries is to suffer oppression. That is why they don’t have free open elections.

    • How do we know that Fidel Castro wrote the article?

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      • He writes often and the article is vintage Fidel.

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        • Well, Fidel stopped writing his two pages in Granma about three years ago saying that there were more important things for Granma to contain. That was his self-assessment. Oddly it was about that time that Randy Falcon Alonso Executive Director of Mesa Redondo, went to interview Fidel at his home. The result found its way on to Youtube and showed Fidel Castro in semi-incoherent ramblings. The so-called interview was not shown on Cuban TV.
          It is perhaps significant that every now and then (2-3 months at a time) Fidel is shown on Cuban TV talking to young children – not to adults and that his other appearances are photo-ops with visiting political leaders (and Popes as he is a Jesuit).
          It is a long time since Fidel was actually heard speaking by the public. Like Lenin he can be seen behind a glass screen (TV) but not heard. Vintage Fidel can mean that his writer is consistent!

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  • As is typical of despotic leaders, Fidel recognizes the Soviets unsustainable efforts to establish a Marxist-Leninist government but chooses to ignore his own culpability in suppressing the rights of others to maintain a capitalist government in Cuba.

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  • By the time of the Second World War, Lenin was a waxwork figure on public display. Stalin a Communist made agreement with Hitler a National Socialist to invade and divide Poland a sovereign nation (Putin for whom the Castros have admiration,has a model to follow in Ukraine – the Russian bear does not change). Later the much admired Russia under his fellow Jesuit Stalin, placed the countries of Eastern Europe into bondage which they suffered until the implosion of the Russian Soviet Union.
    Fidel Castro does not offer to accept any African migrants in Cuba although he is himself the descendant of Spanish immigrants and Spain was a particularly vicious colonial power, eradicating the native people of Cuba.
    His most absurd statement is that Russia has the fastest growing economy in the world. In one word: BALDERDASH! This about a country that averaged an annual decrease in population from 2010 -2015 of 0.2%, has an average GDP per capita of $14,040 an inflation rate of 6.8% where the average male expectancy of life is 61.3 years and which is the largest arms exporter in the world – perhaps Fidel Castro regards the latter as a way of reducing the growth rate of world population, one of his concerns. Under the Castros communist family regime, Cuba’s agricultural sector has declined savagely with hundreds of thousands of acres of good agricultural land reverting to bush. In a world where millions are starving this demonstrates a total lack of concern for humanity.
    He has admiration for the “powerful armies” of Russia and China – power always having been his purpose. Those two armies combined total of 3,078,000. This compares with the US having 1,492,000.
    His final comment is the ludicrous statement that to be: “socialists, to be Marxist-Leninists, communists” is to “leave the dark ages behind.” No word of freedom of the individual, freedom of expression or human rights. In Fidel Castro’s perfect world everybody is in equal level of poverty with him in charge. His rule in Cuba proved that – he succeeded and Cuba crumbles.

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  • There is not Soviet Union the Soviet Union felled apart and Russia is ruled by the oligarchs. I my opinion the Russian people have never been free and now they are not. There is not such alliance between the Russia and China. Chine is more connected to the west than to Russia. It needs Russia for the the cheap gas and Oil. In summary Fidel Castro is a lost soul

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  • When i read the English language version there were no comments, but there certainly were in the Spanish language Granma. I noticed a number of comments praising Stalin. I found this interesting for three reasons. There are still a number of people who admire Stalin, they were willing to criticize Fidel for failing to mention Stalin and Granma was willing to print these comments.

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    • Ventura in particular is a Stalinist. Fidel fired one of his Ministers for objecting to the Russian suppression in Czechoslovakia. Che Guevara adopted Stalin’s concept of “the new man”.

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  • Fidel Castro: the right of the Cuban people not to be lied to and not to be repressed.

    Fidel denied in writings and in interviews that he was communist and that Cuba would become communist. He then imposed communism as it was to his advantage. Fidel lied and abused.

    Nobody has the right to impose a Stalinist, “Marxist-Leninist”, dictatorship on any people.

    Remember this one Fidel?
    “La estampilla que Fidel Castro publicó en 1959 y ocultó para siempre”
    http://www.infobae.com/2015/05/04/1726427-la-estampilla-que-fidel-castro-publico-1959-y-oculto-siempre

    Fidel Castro shares his political ideology, 1959: CBC Archives
    Source: Fidel Castro shares his political ideology, 1959: CBC Archives – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJL1Rj1P_J0

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  • Well, as far as the Russians providing humankind an enormous service by their heroic efforts in the defeat of Hitler’s Germany is concerned, Fidel is absolutely right. No people suffered more in the Second World War, and the Russian battle casualties were far more than the losses of the other Allied nations. The war in Europe was really won on the Russian front, with the Russian victory at Stalingrad at the end of 1942 marking the turning point of the war. But as to the rest of Fidel’s opinion piece, it’s just all the usual rambling, convoluted nonsense.

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    • Nobody would argue that the Russians made a major contribution to the defeat of National Socialist Germany in the Second World War. They paid a very heavy price for Stalin’s faith in the agreement which he made with Hitler to carve up Poland and were compelled to eventually enter the war by Hitler’s attack upon them.
      The Allies sensibly supported the Russian endeavors by the supply of arms shipped into Murmansk and without which Russia would not have been able to repel the German army.
      The suffering of the Russian people was in part a consequence of Stalin’s own actions and policies – a statement which could also be related to Hitler. These two Dictators deserved each other, but their peoples paid the price.
      The statement that the war in Europe was won on the Russian front is somewhat erroneous. Russia did not partake in North Africa, in Italy, in France, Belgium and Holland. All Russia’s endeavors were only on one front. Regarding casualties, other Allied leaders were concerned to minimize them, Stalin cared naught for Russian troops – remember his instructing tanks to advance over the troops going before them.

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      • First, I was speaking specifically of the war in Europe against Germany. Second, North Africa & Italy were really much smaller sideshows compared to the main event, which fought on the Russian front. This is easily verified by comparing the troop numbers of the combatants (both German & Allied) on each of these fronts during the war. And thirdly, the D-Day invasion, plus the subsequent advances in France, Belgium and Holland did not even begin until June of 1944, when the Germans were already in an all-out retreat on the Russian front. Nothing like the battle of Kursk of 1943 ever took place in the west; go to Wikipedia and have a look at the numbers for yourself.

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        • I don’t have to refer to Wikipedia as I was at school in Britain at the time of the various events to which you refer and my father and two uncles were in North Africa and Italy. One of those uncles incidentally was one of two British officers who parachuted in to provide help to Tito in Yugoslavia (prior to Fitzroy MacLean ). Stalin benefited from the British engaging the Nazis in Western Europe from 1939 onwards – British Expeditionary Force until Dunkirk. If as emagictman suggests Stalin was aware from the early thirties (as Adolf Hitler was not elected until 1934 – he must have been taking advice from a soothsayer), he was ill-prepared and the Nazis advanced virtually to the gates of Moscow before being repelled. He was fortunate in not facing Field Marshall Irwin Rommel who even emagictman’s historians will agree was the best German commander.
          You may also recall (or have read in those history books) that the US did not enter the Second World War until Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941 more than two years after the war started, when President Roosevelt declared war upon Japan but not Germany. It was Hitler who declared war upon the US. Effectively the US entered actual hostilities against Germany in 1942.

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    • To the people of the Soviet Union I would add Jews who suffered in great numbers and Serbs as well.

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    • You also omit to mention that the Allies were also fighting the Pacific War against Japan and that did not end until September 1945. Russia somewhat cynically declared war upon Japan just four days before its defeat by the Allies. Russian contribution was nil.

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    • Mr. Reality Check, you could never be as courageous, principled, brilliant, loved, admired, as famous as Fidel Castro! The world listens to the rumblings of Fidel Castro which always make sense but would scoff as i am scoffing at what you write.

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      • You cannot possibly be a Cuban or know Cuba. You write such nonsense that it doesn’t merit scoffing.

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  • Castro failed to mention how the USSR aligned itself with Hitler and swallowed up half of Poland,where the Russians murdered 10 thousand leading Polish citizens and officers at Katyn.

    Castro also failed to mention how Stalin’s intervention in the Spanish Civil War was significant for it’s brutality when he directed the Spanish Communists to liquidate the Anarchists. Were it not for that bit of bloodthirsty treachery, the Fascists might have been defeated.

    Castro also failed to mention that a good number of the 27 millions Soviet people who died in the WWII were killed by Stalin, who feared his own army more than he did the Germans, nor how the Red Army used mass rape against the German women as a weapon of war.

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    • Correction Griffin. the USSR war crime at Katyn was to murder 15,000. In addition to raping German women there was the infamous rape of Vienna where virtually every female of 13 and upward was raped.

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  • Fidel once said that “History will absolve me,”–and it will! The same may be said of Tovarich Stalin. Not only in Russia, but elsewhere, too, there has been a reassessment and new appreciation of his vital role as leader of the Soviet Union in defeating the Nazis. From the early 1930’s he was preparing the Soviet Union for the attack he knew was coming. Furthermore, during most of the 1930’s it was the strategic policy of the Western ruling classes, especially in England and France, to encourage German hostility towards the Soviet Union in the hopes that the two would be weakened by a war of attrition. Most folks who have studied history on a deeper level, using primary sources, know this to be true. Although Stalin’s methods were brutal–he had to pull Russia kicking and screaming from the pre-industrial, semi-feudal backwardness of the muzhic to that of a modern industrial power in just ten years–and he did! Without his perceptive policy–and, of course, the work, the suffering and the sacrifices of the Soviet peoples–Russia would have been reduced to and occupied by the Nazis. In the late 1930’s Stalin built much industrial infrastructure in the Urals and beyond, and after the surprise attack of the Nazis, he had as much of the industrial infrastructure which remained in the Ukraine, Byelo-Russia, etc. transferred beyond the Urals, and all else blown up and burned. U.S. aid through Murmansk provided an important, but supplemental, amount of the resources needed. The Soviets themselves provided most. The Soviet-Nazi non-aggression pact of August, 1939, a brilliant subterfuge by Stalin, was a tactical delay to give the Soviet Union additional time to prepare its defense for the inevitable attack. Even historians well aware of Stalin’s shortcomings, such as Isaac Deutscher (See “Stalin: A Political Biography” c. 1949), gave him his due.

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    • Wow. Just wow. You praise Stalin?

      He was a monster, responsible for the murders of tens of millions of people. Oh, but he did it for the right reasons, so it’s all good.

      Isaac Deutscher’s biography is a pathetic whitewash of Stalin’s crimes.
      I suggest you read “Stalin’s Curse” by Robert Gellately for a more honest history of the Communist dictator.

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      • Another reason, seldom mentioned, for the high death toll of Russian troops during WW2 is the general lack of concern for the individual soldier. Russian troops were, literally, led from behind at the point of a bayonet and machine gun. Russian troops would be marched ahead of their tanks to detonate land mines.

        Communists have never had much use for the individual, a very dangerous thing indeed. What’s a few million deaths in the service of world socialism.

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        • What is the value of human life when billions of Black slaves were uprooted from Mother Africa across the Atlantic, forced to work on Sugar and cotton plantations, lynched, decultured, massacred, exploited, oppressed, dehumanized,all in the name of capitalism so that a few could amass great fortunes from the misery of so many? Is this how the Master intended his World to be Governed and His children whom He Himself Created, treated? Didn’t His Son visited planet earth, confronted the appalling injustice meted out to His Creations and was crucified by the same capitalists? Capitalism and the Christian religion have massacred more human beings than Stalin and Communism have ever done. You need to be frank and honrst with yourself man; Communism and Socialism are world orders which will usher in long periods of peace and progress for the masses. But you see, the capitalists do not wish for there to be peace and peaceful co-existence. They do not want the world to be at peace for their war machines in which the oligarchs have huge investments must be able to reap huge profits at the expense of human lives lost; and you have the effrontery to point a finger at Stalin? Creating wars, destroying countries and their infrstructure,killing and maiming men, women, children, senior citizens, all in the quest of making millions and billions in profits? And you have the heart and the nerve to criticize Stalin?

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          • Do you really believe this or are you pulling our legs?

      • Actually, Deutscher did not whitewash Stalin. Deutscher had been a Trotskyist, and wrote the definitive 3-volume bio. on him. Deutscher’s historical works are well known and respected by most major historians. Who is Robert Gellately? A non-entity.

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    • The aid through Murmansk was transported by the Royal Navy (UK).
      The non-aggression pact was an agreement between Stalin and Hitler to attack and carve up Poland between them. In his enthusiasm to pursue the eradication of Poland, Stalin was responsible for the massacre at Katyn of 15,000 Polish officers and intellectuals. To describe Stalin’s implementation of his pact with Hitler and war crime at Katyn as “a brilliant subterfuge” brings no credit whatever to the author of the comment, but rather disgust!
      With regard to those “folks who have studied history on a deeper (did you actually mean subterranean?) level, you will perhaps agree that history depends upon who write it and does not replace the views of those who experienced events.
      To suggest that the British government (England became part of Great Britain in 1604 and that is undisputed history) was to encourage Germany to have a war against the Soviet Union is contrary to he records of Hansard and Churchill’s memoirs. That there was a policy of appeasement by Chamberlin is however factual.
      The countries of Eastern Europe that were enslaved by Stalin and the millions who died in the Gulags are unlikely to agree with your view that history will absolve him.

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    • Excellent! I have always said that only a tough SOB like Stalin could’ve resisted the tough NAZI military machine. I wonder what would’ve happened had The Soviet Union been ruled by Leon Trotsky.

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      • Although I admire The Trot as an intellectual, in the practical world Stalin assessed the situation correctly. Waiting for revolutions in the advanced Western countries, like Germany, England, France, and the U.S., would have been like Waiting for Godot, and would have been a fatal mistake. Stalin knew what needed to be done–and did it! As Danton said: “Audacity, Audacity, and again, Audacity! Under Trotsky, the Nazis would have rolled over Russia, which would have become an agricultural breadbasket, run by Slavic slaves, for the Thousand Year Reich. At best, without the successful defense by the Soviet Union, the Axis vs the West would have been a stalemate. Worst case scenario, a far grimmer alternative to our current history.

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    • People here always mention Stalin’s crime, but conveniently forget to mention US President’s murders by invading small countries to steal their natural resources and bad installing and supporting vicious military murderers in power.

      And nobody mentions President Andrew Jackson who wanted to stamp out the Indian Nation by slaughtering native Americans. Well, this mass-murderer has his name and image on the $20 bill, go figure.

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      • One of the darkest episodes of U.S. history (Alas! One amongst many) was Jackson’s treatment of the Native Americans, especially the Cherokee, one of the five “civilized” tribes, who adapted settled ways, developed a written language, settled in towns, published a newspaper, etc. Yet, when folks in Georgia and the Carolinas wanted there lands, the seized them anyway. The Cherokees won their case before the U.S. Supreme Court, but Jackson’s reply to Chief Justice John Marshall was, “You’ve made your decision, now try to enforce it!” As Prodoum once said: “Property is theft!”

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  • So a full blown Communist has the right to have a cult of personality surround him/her, but you have no rights to protest him/her….yea…forgot about that part….

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