What Castro Taught Us

What Castro Taught Us
Armed struggle is at the very heart of revolution.
— George Jackson, Field Marshall, Black Panther Party

Long before George Jackson ever thought, spoke, or wrote those words, their accuracy had been proven. For it was militant action - not petition, not protest, not voting - but armed struggle that led to the liberation of Cuba in 1959. Providing concrete examples of not just how to fight a revolutionary struggle, but how to win it; this is the legacy of Fidel Castro. From effective propaganda to successful guerilla war to internationalist solidarity, Castro all but wrote the book on how to get free from the shackles of imperialism.

Fidel Castro's service also laid to rest a defeatist, if not dangerous, long-time myth; that revolution requires a majority to prevail, that some critical mass of the population must first get on board before tyrants can be overthrown. Nonsense. Fidel began his efforts with 82 individuals, that's it. A small group of committed people - emphasis on committed - not even 100 in number, was able rid the Cuban island of capitalist exploitation not even 100 miles away from the planet's most powerful capitalist nation. Under Castro's leadership, the revolution led to significant improvements in quality of life across Cuba. For example, the infant mortality rate plummeted while the literacy rate skyrocketed. Every single Cuban was afforded healthcare while every level of education was made absolutely free. Cuba has since trained and sent thousands of medical professionals all across the Global South. They deployed troops to the African continent to assist in the struggle against Apartheid. They even provide refuge for political prisoners forced to flee the so-called Land of the Free (peace to Assata).

For inspiring and accomplishing all that he did - all while beating back invasion, subverting sabotage and surviving hundreds of assassination attempts - Fidel Castro's revolutionary spirit will continue to resonate throughout the global proletariat. He once said that, "Our country is not just Cuba; our country is also humanity." Well his passing wasn't just a loss for Cuba, but a loss for our entire species. Peace be upon him.