The great balding buzzard of the US circles a weary Cuba during it’s first week of mourning it’s national icon and leader Fidel Castro, the predecessor to the current president Raul Castro.

The relationship between Cuba and the US since Castro’s rise to power in 1959 was off to a bad start when he and his band of revolutionaries including the famous Che Guevera ousted the fascist US-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

Batista, who was a fascist and a scoundrel with deep seething ties to the underworld of drugs and prostitution within Cuba had essentially sold his country to corporate USA during his rule.

Some figures, for example in 1959 (just before Castro seized power) US companies owned about 40 percent of the Cuban sugar lands, almost all of its’ cattle ranches, 90 percent of the mines and mineral concessions,80 percent of the utilities, large majority of the oil industry, and supplied two-thirds of Cuba’s imports.

Following Castro’s dramatic rise to power in 1959 was a ruthless wave of extermination aimed at all opposition – mainly that of the drug cartel and supporters of fascism and US intervention which led to a mass exile of displaced Cubans primarily in Miami.

Castro just before the declaration of liberation in Cuba 1959 - credit: Marja Ollikainen, pinterest

Castro just before the declaration of liberation in Cuba 1959 – credit: Marja Ollikainen, Pinterest

While the methods of his rise and his rule have left a mixed legacy, many Cubans and leftists around the world will remember him as the man that clawed his homeland back from the cold grip of fascism and gave his people what would have otherwise been in the suit pocket of the corporate US today.

After 52 years of hostile Cuba-US relations a thaw plan was set in place by Barack Obama following his meeting with Raul Castro, where trade and travel restrictions between the two countries would begin the process towards normalising and easing constraints.

Donald Trump has tweeted that “If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal.”

In typical Trump style, or lack off, he has proven how inept he is in diplomacy, as the Cuban people are currently halfway through the mourning period of Castro’s death.

If Trumps statement holds weight, it will have dire consequences for the Cuban economy as did the trade embargo which has kept Cuba from trading with the rest of world and surely plummet relations between the two countries.

Castro once said “let tyrants tremble before men who are capable of dying for their ideals” – his opposition had met one, and he couldn’t be killed.

The numerous attempts made on Castro’s life, to overthrow and undermine him while refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of Cuba as a state, all failed as he remained adamant to keep capitalism from Cuba’s shores, along with the US backed Coup attempts.

Now that time has swept Castro from this era, time will only tell if the strength remains in Cuba to remain the self sufficient state it has been since it’s liberation from fascism 50 years ago.

Check out “A life in picture of Fidel Castro” at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-12160798

 

 

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