New Delhi: Marking the 5th death anniversary of Cuban communist revolutionary Fidel Castro, who dies on November 25, 2016, at the age of 90, Left parties held a memorial meeting here on Tuesday, reminiscing the leader’s fight against US imperialism and his struggles for a just world.
The speakers, most of whom had met Fidel Castro in person, such as Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M), D Raja of CPI, Sonya Gupta, who teaches Spanish in Jamia and Juan Carlos from the Embassy of Cuba in Delhi, reminisced about their memories of the Cuban revolutionary, and highlighted the importance of standing in solidarity with Cuba in the current atmosphere of political turmoil, when US imperialist forces are constantly trying to attack the socialist spirit of the country.
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The meeting was organised by the National Committee for Solidarity with Cuba and All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO).
Addressing the meeting, D Raja, general secretary of the Communist Party of India, said, "The has been constant attack on Cuba by the US imperialist forces. Even yesterday, they tried to start a nationwide protest in Cuba, and failed miserably, because of the spirit and determination of the Cuban people."
He shared anecdotes of the times he had seen Fidel, had heard him, and spoke about the extraordinary power of his oration, and how Fidel's speeches had inspired him in his youth, and young people across the world.
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Juan Carlos, from the Embassy of Cuba, spoke about the solidarity that has always existed between the two countries, and how Harkishen Singh Surjeet, who was a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), had visited Cuba with a shipful of rations during the special period in Cuba. The Indian Left had collected rations to help Cuba during the major economic crisis.
Carlos also spoke about what Fidel means to the people, explaining that the Cubans never say that Fidel died, “only that he disappeared physically. The Cubans believe Fidel is still present among them in spirit.”
Most speakers also highlighted the stark contrast between the current government in India, and the governance under Fidel's leadership in Cuba.
Arun Kumar from AIPSO said, "It is important for us to remember that if Cuba, a small country, can sustain their fight against the US imperialist forces for so long, we can also raise our voices against those who are in power in our country. “
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of CPI(M), shared personal anecdotes with the members of the audience. He spoke about Fidel's love for art, and about his knack for details, which he had noticed when he met Fidel with late CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu.
Dastak, a cultural organisation, comprising students from across Delhi, presented songs after the meeting, and a documentary film about Fidel Castro was screened.