Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.(iWN file photo)

By Jomo Sanga Thomas*

(“Plain Talk”, Nov. 29, 2019)

Fidel Castro, one of the greatest revolutionaries of the last century, died three years ago on Nov. 25, 2016.

The parliament of SVG held a special session to commemorate his life and triumphs. We said then that Fidel was about to die a second death, suffocated on a mountain of nice words.

What’s the last time did someone in SVG raise their voice to tell Fidel’s truth? We offer some of his thoughts, if only to show that death is not real, once one has done his life work well.

“Now we really are telling the world what Cubans are. For a long time they slandered us. They said we were not even independent. They said we were a satellite of the USSR. Today they can verify very clearly that we are satellites of principles. We are satellites of ideas. We are satellites of an ideal, which is like a sun of justice we revolve around and will always revolve around. History has given us the opportunity to show how independent we are. History has given us the right to proclaim that today we are the most independent country on earth.

‘’But we are a revolutionary people. We have consistently applied revolutionary ideas. Because how would we have done everything we have done without socialism and revolutionary ideas? It would not have been possible. Capitalism would not have been able to achieve this, by no means.  Our revolution was inspired by Marti’s ideas and Marxist-Leninist ideas, in a synthesis of them. It continues to be a synthesis, and it must become more perfect, more complete, fuller. Above all, we must put a lot of emphasis now on our own ideas, Cuban ideas, Marti’s ideas, without forgetting Marxism and Leninism for a minute.

“It is clear that today we are involved in a battle for survival. Well, we did not do things as others did, because there may even be peoples who live through a revolutionary process and then may make so many mistakes that they bring a revolution down. A revolution is not guaranteed by the mere fact that it is genuine.  Rather, under the conditions in which a revolution as advanced as the socialist revolution has to develop in today’s world, it really has to act with great wisdom to be able to move forward.

“Now, we have been forced to have even greater wisdom, and make a much greater effort, since the moment the European socialist bloc disappeared. Before that happened, our revolution was moving forward, defended by ourselves and nobody but ourselves, close to the United States. We cannot forget that in those East European socialist countries, they had Soviet tanks there more than once to save the revolution for them.

“Perhaps many of those revolutionaries- because I think there were sincere revolutionaries and sincere socialists in all those countries-expected that someone would always come to save the revolution for them.

‘But we could not count on anything similar. The only tanks that would land here were Yankee tanks. If the revolution became weak, if the revolution committed serious mistakes, if the revolution lost the ideological battle, if the revolution broke with its principles, no one would come to save the Cuban revolution, and we were well aware of that from the beginning.

“So perhaps the very fact that we are close to the United States and have had more than 100 years of history in our relations with this giant, which is so expansionist, so greedy, and so aggressive, perhaps this has helped this contradiction, this phenomenon: Knowing that the defence of the revolution depended on us and no one else, that we could not make enormous mistakes here.

“This may be one of the factors which explains why our revolution is stronger, why our revolution is more authentic, because it was made under more difficult conditions, confronted with a very powerful enemy which has been constantly on the lookout in order to take advantage of any weaknesses, any mistakes, to take advantage and destroy the revolution.

“This geographic phenomenon, this historical phenomenon, can help to explain why our revolution has been different. Marxist-Leninist interpretation cannot be taught by anyone, but rather those very same Cuban revolutionaries made their own interpretations of Marxism-Leninism.  It is not free from errors, certainly not.

“Of course, if our revolution has grown even more, in a political sense and in an authentic way, it is because, logically, it was logical and inevitable that the USSR and the socialist bloc would exert an enormous influence on us. We were obligated to be grateful, and we are still obligated to be grateful because they helped us. We cannot be ungrateful. We cannot deny the importance of the solidarity and collaboration from those countries, mainly the USSR. We can never forget it. It was very important. Of course, it had a great influence on us.

“Revolutions in great countries fell or collapsed precisely because of corruption, bureaucracy, lack of consciousness, bad methods of working with the masses and other [internal] failures.

“None of you paid a single cent to become members of our National Assembly.

“None of you ever aspired to become members or spoke in behalf of being named or elected member of the National Assembly. That is because none of you are seeking glory and you do not come here as demagogues or to politic or defend spurious interests.

“I have heard sceptics say that enthusiasts are passengers and I have heard many state theories that it is not the same after the first years of the revolution when the revolution is 10 years old, 20 years old, or 30 years old. Spirits fall. The happiness, enthusiasm, optimism, and expectations are not the same.

“After decades of revolutionary experience, we can say with absolute certainty, if enthusiasm disappears, it is because something is wrong.

“If enthusiasm disappears, it is because at a certain point the process has stopped being revolutionary. And we can say that when there is loyalty to principles, when there is dedication to the people, when the people feel part of the process and assume all the responsibilities inherent in their participation, if the process never deviates from its principles, enthusiasm will never disappear in a revolutionary process.”

*Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

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5 Comments

  1. As I recall Fidel Castro’s daughter once said that her father had turned Cuba into a large prison surrounded by water and so true that is. It is therefore rather strange that in this day and age the dead man still find supporters.

    Moreover while other Cubans suffer wants Tony Castro the “Grandson of Fidel Castro shares his life of luxury aboard yachts and more on Instagram” “Vacations on the Maya Riviera. A visit to the Basilica of the Sacred Family in Barcelona. A BMW. Expensive meals and a tour aboard a yacht. Those are some of the photos shared by Tony Castro, grandson of the late Fidel Castro, on his private Instagram account”.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article223928565.html

    But one just have to keep on asking this pertinent question; what is it with these so-called Socialist especially when they run governments, what is it with them and corruption? What is it about them when they and their family and cronies gets hold of the reins of power in a country? Do their much vaunted slogan of “Love for the people” gets misplaced? What happens?

    In March 2014 Brazil Police began an investigation initially headed by a judge (The Car Wash Scandal) that eventually resulted in which so-called Socialist close allies Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff did not come off so well with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva being sent to prison for 12 years for corruption and his successor being impeached. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-35810578

    A recent investigation into these red wearing Caribbean governments uncovered what many in the region already knew. That “Politicians in the Caribbean are said to be involved in a corrupt trade of diplomatic posts in exchange for money”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1Yba1-ijh4

    Corruption appears to go hand in hand with these red attired individuals as night follow day. We all know about the multiple accusations of corruption that follows the Maduro regime in Venezuela. So much so that on the 15 the November 2019, the former head of Venezuelan military intelligence, wanted in America for Drug Trafficking, failed to turn up in court in Spain and went on the run.
    https://eu-ocs.com/former-venezuelan-security-chief-wanted-for-drug-trafficking-in-us-disappears-in-spain/

    Just what happens to LOVE OF THE PEOPLE when some families get hold of political power?
    Not so long ago President Bouterse of Suriname’s son Dino Bouterse was arrested in Panama on charges that he conspired to smuggle cocaine into the US.

    More this corrupt individual “admitted charges in a New York court that he offered to help US agents posing as the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah a base in his country for operations against the US in an elaborate sting operation”. Moreover while “He also pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and firearms charges”. “He further admitted that “he provided a false Surinamese passport to a person he believed was a Hezbollah operative”.

    Now what do we have of his father? We learn on Friday 29th November that Desi Bouterse was found guilty of killing 15 political opponents in 1982, two years after he seized power in a coup. That President Desi Bouterse has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the execution of 15 political opponents.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/suriname-president-bouterse-sentenced-20-years-killings-191130051045015.html

    We get to hear from these individuals that “love of the people and the people’s love for them” is just what is keeping them in Political Office, but the true reality is so much different. It is always a family affair! The recent investigation into just one sector of corruption in the Caribbean, give us a totally different picture than the one these political “seat huggers” would have us believe of them, with suit cases of money passing hand and secret money transfers into cronies’ Bank account.

    Be they on the South American mainland, Africa or the Caribbean the story is the same family, greed and not love of the people that keeps these individuals in political office. Ivan of “The SVG Green Party” have been trying to draw Vincentian’s attention to certain goings on in SVG but would anyone listen? Perhaps it is time that we did! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FJ1TB0nwHs

    Now where is that Red Shirt and Red Cap, perhaps it’s time for a thorough wash in strong Bleach!

    Reply

  2. Fidel was a true revolutionary , however, he had h I should flaws. He liquidated his rivals as a true dictator. The execution of General Ochoa was a clear example. Long live Fidel but a lot so long live democracy .

    Reply

  3. Well Sanger my dear boy, that just about tells all about you and makes you totally unelectable in SVG.

    It put you where you belong, on the political dungheap.

    Fidel Castro personally carried out killings of hundreds of Cubans without trial, shooting them in the back of the head.

    Fidel Castro lived the life of a King, whilst the Cuban people that of slaves with little food and many hardships.

    Fidel Castro owned a bank in London where he laundered money. Stole money that belonged to the Cuban people.

    Fidel Castro owned a private island where no Cuban was allowed. He built a beautiful home there.

    Fidel Castro owned a super yacht, which is now used by his son to sail the Mediterranean and other silver seas.

    https://nypost.com/2015/05/10/inside-fidel-castros-luxurious-life-on-his-secret-island-getaway/

    http://www.therealcuba.com/?p=540

    Fidel Castro was one of the Worlds richest.

    Fidel Castro was one of the World’s most disgusting people, and his memory should reflect that.

    Reply

  4. I’m Agee with you.
    The equal distribution of misery, poverty and repression is unique in all those countries (Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and North Korea. Among others). As well as perpetuating in power and dilapidate the national treasure.

    Reply

  5. Frightening! Very frightening. We can all be glad he is out of politics. Unfortunately what we have at present is not much better. Socialism always means the masses will live in miserable poverty because there are always a percentage of people believing they are getting something free and cannot notice those in power live a life of priveledge. as they tell us they “love the people”.
    Saying we are the most independent nation on earth just shows how stupid our leaders believe we are, (unfortunately it is proven that many really are that stupid!).

    Remember when a big politician said that our Health care in SVG is “second to none”, yet that politician and all his friends and family gets all thier health care overseas?…not to mention…
    From the very countries he criticizes!

    Reply

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