Fidel Castro & Che Guevara: legions of Canadian supporters to descend upon Havana
Isn't Cuba a beautiful place to be this time of the year? The lush palm trees, the aromatic scent of tropical flowers, the tranquil sunsets. Not only are a lot of people going down to visit Cuba for its beautiful scenery, but some Vancouver politicos are planning visits there to celebrate a very special event.
Take for example former NPA mayoral candidate Peter Ladner. According to his Facebook site:
I'm off to Cuba for a week to be at the 50th anniversary of the Revolucion on Mayday. I'm feeling a historic moment coming. First time back since 1970.
Who would have ever thunk that former COPE Councillor Tim Louis, a huge fan of Che Guevara and Peter Ladner would have anything more in common than the fact they both live in Vancouver? If you recall, Louis was regularly seen around town with a large image of Che Guevara pasted onto the back of his electric wheelchair.
We contacted Tim Louis to get his reaction regarding Mr. Ladner's announcement of his excursion to Cuba to celebrate the 50th anniversary:
I'm very happy to hear that Peter is going and I very much look forward to getting a full report from him when he gets back.
Louis confirmed that he has no plans to head to Cuba along with Ladner to celebrate the momentus occasion. Perhaps it could be that he's still waiting for his $18,000 refund cheque from COPE for all the money he's owed prior to making any big travel plans.
Here is what some supporters of Castro are saying about Cuba 50 years post-revolution:
Cuba was the first Latin America country to achieve liberty from incessant imperialist domination through an armed revolt. It was a brilliantly original revolution; passionately inspiring to ignite waves of revolutionary struggles across the globe.
50 years after the revolution, under half a century of scrupulous blockade and economic warfare, Cuba has attained many considerable achievements to be proud about. It has completely eradicated illiteracy, an unparalleled achievement amongst the countries of Latin America, or even the US.
The Cuban government provides free education to all its children up to University level. Cuba has also successfully created an incredible ‘cradle to the grave’ national healthcare system that is completely free for its citizens. The infant mortality rate of Cuba is also the lowest in Latin America. Its healthcare system has completely eradicated many infectious and contagious diseases like polio, malaria and dengue from the country. Today, Cuba has the highest number of doctors per capita than any other country in the world. It is also training 76,000 foreign medical students free of charge and is exporting health care facilities to other poor countries. To provide first-rate health care facilities to the underprivileged people all over the third world, in 2008 Cuba has sent 36,500 doctors to eighty one third world nations. It has a flourishing biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, has developed a vaccine for meningitis B and worldwide exports the world’s best hepatitis B vaccine.
Today, the Cuban people enjoy cent-percent social security covers and the advantages of institutional equality provided by their government. Cuban society is absolutely free from racism and exploitation and has accomplished remarkable success on women empowerment. Cuban women constitute 40 percent of Cubans labour force, 66 percent of the country’s technical and scientific workforce and 36 percent National Assembly Members. It has also attained considerable success in the sporting arena.
Today, Cuba has the world’s best environmental record, having increased its forest coverage by over 50 percent, drastically reducing electricity used for lighting, and implementing a revolution in organic agriculture. The World Wildlife Fund has described Cuba as the only environmentally sustainable country in the world.
A commendable aspect of the Cuban revolution is Internationalism, the convenient assistance it provided to countries engaged on processes of radical transformation. Cuba had played a radical role by extending its hand of international solidarity towards the exploited and oppressed regions world over, to abolish the ‘exploitation of man by man’.
The luminous Cuban revolution has brought sovereignty and dignity to the people of Cuba by ending decades of imperialist exploitation and oppression. From an informal US colony the revolution transformed Cuba into a confident and dignified nation. The Cuban revolution has also in many ways transformed Latin America from the subjugated backyard of the US into a distinguished voice of its own. The US authorities greatly wanted and still want to destroy Cuba because it has become a symbol for others to follow.