Happy Birthday Comrade Fidel and ninety times, Thank you! Place one word in any search engine: Fidel - and you will find the biography of a champion of freedom, a champion of democracy, a champion of the fight against tyranny, a champion of Humanity both in Cuba and abroad, where his programmes have brought Light to countless millions of lives.
Happy Birthday Comrade Fidel and ninety times, Thank you! Place one word in any search engine: Fidel - and you will find the biography of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, a champion of freedom, a champion of democracy, a champion of the fight against tyranny, a champion of Humanity both at home in Cuba and abroad, where his programmes have brought Light to countless millions of lives.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel! It is an honor to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Fidel Castro today, Saturday August 13, and it is an honor to remember the tremendous contribution that Fidel has made to Humankind and to the history of political science, blazing a trail which will last forever as he provided an example of how Socialism can build a society, can bring a backward nation into the vanguard of progress within a generation, and how it can internationalize the model bringing health and education to peoples who their imperialist masters had forgotten.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel! We remember how you inherited an island which had been turned into the whore house of the United States of America, where half a million farmers lived in wooden shacks with straw roofs, where six hundred thousand people were illiterate, where a huge percentage of the people were endemically unemployed, where most of those who were employed only had four months' work a year, on plantations, where two per cent of the population had access to running water, where fourteen per cent of the population suffered from tuberculosis.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel! We remember how after taking control of the Government after a heroic and selfless fight, in which you risked your own life several times, you turned the casinos into schools and universities, you started a massive education and literacy program, taking Cuba to the lead in educational standards in the Americas and Caribbean, to the point that UNESCO had to repeat its studies a few years ago because Cubans were exponentially ahead of their American peers.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel! We remember your massive road-building program, connecting communities, we remember the slashing of the prices of medicines, making them affordable to all, we remember the Agrarian Reform, which distributed land. We remember the liberation of Cuban women through the Federation of Cuban Women, we remember the Family Code, which for the first time in Cuban history, made women equals with men under the law. We remember the program which brought women into the workplace as equals.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel! We remember the excellent healthcare system which sees foreigners flocking to Cuba to study or to receive treatment, we remember that Cuba has one of the highest doctor-to-patient ratios in the world.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel! We remember the internationalization of your Glorious Revolution, bringing free healthcare and educational services to millions of people around the world. Tens of thousands of Cuban healthcare workers provide free services in over seventy countries in America, in Africa, in Asia, in Oceania. Cuba has sponsored and financed HIV/AIDS awareness programs, gay rights, anti-imperialism, has laid out plans to end world hunger, to launch reforestation programs, to guarantee sustainable green development.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel! We remember your campaign to cancel the debt of developing countries, we remember your military campaigns to liberate oppressed peoples and to help them win their fight for freedom, in Namibia, in Angola, in Sierra Leone, in Tanzania. We remember the Escuela Latino Americana de Medicina in Havana, a school of excellence, attended by nine thousand students per year.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel! We remember that you are still actively with us, guiding us with your writings and studies, pointing out the way forward with your pen, which you have turned into a mighty sword against the enemies of Humankind who perpetuate themselves through social terrorism programs. We remember that you are the champion of Intervention Journalism, you are the champion of the Social Media which has won the freedom of expression battle and which has beaten the mainstream media back into the stone age where it belongs.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel! We remember that having won your battles, you today stand for peace, for dialogue, for debate, for discussion, for bridge-building. These are the fundamental precepts of democracy, of which the Cuban electoral system is a shining example.
Grácias, Camarada Fidel! Thank you for all of this. I just ask you one thing: Please stay with us for another ninety years!
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
Photo: Sierra Maestra, where Castro based his Revolutionaries
By Anagoria - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18901574