The death of Fidel Castro Ruz on Nov. 25 shook the world. The great revolutionary leader not only guided, but assisted the world’s poorest peoples and those fighting for national liberation and socialism, whether in Cuba, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean or here in the United States.
Fidel was the “Maximum Leader” of the Cuban Revolution, acknowledged as such by all who fought to topple the brutal Fulgencio Batista dictatorship and liberate Cuba from U.S. domination and imperialist exploitation. He was the leader of first a student movement, then a guerrilla band and finally an army of revolutionaries. These fighters all had tremendous abilities. Among them were Celia Sanchez, Vilma Espin, Juan Almeida, Che Guevara, Camilo Cienfuegos, Frank Pais, Raul Castro and many others.
Fidel was the leader among all these heroic leaders, as well as in the eyes of millions of oppressed and downtrodden Cubans, struggling in the cities and starving in the countryside. He carried out their will. The population was ready for revolution, and Fidel and his collaborators won the people’s confidence with their tremendous courage, integrity and resolve.
Much of this issue of Workers World is devoted to honoring Fidel’s revolutionary life and legacy. In these pages, writers contribute their recollections, tell what Fidel and socialist Cuba have meant to them and to the world, and take a glimpse at Cuba today.
We’ll start off here with the message Workers World Party sent to Comrade Raul Castro and the Cuban people. WWP was founded in 1959 — the same year as the victory of the Cuban Revolution — and has organized solidarity with Cuba ever since.