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Fidel Castro venerated as uncompromising socialist leader

As former Cuban leader Fidel Castro turns 90 years old on August 13 this year, Venezuelan historian and writer Luis Britto Garcia could not help remembering his many victories as a legendary and uncompromising revolutionary against Western animosity.

(Soundbite, Spanish) Luis Britto Garcia, Venezuelan Historian and Writer
“Fidel stuck by the socialist revolution and vowed the United States would not succeed. He led the only party for the Cuban socialist revolution. Since then, the course of the revolution has remained socialist and Marxist, without any sign of going back or backtracking. It has continued progressing.”

During Fidel Castro’s rule of Cuba from 1959 to 2006, he challenged 10 U.S. presidents, setting up a socialist government on the doorstep of the United States and allegedly surviving more than 600 assassination attempts.

(Soundbite, Spanish) Luis Britto Garcia, Venezuelan Historian and Writer
“During that time, there were numerous attempts on the life of Fidel Castro by imperialist forces. They tried to kill him with poisoned milkshakes, they poisoned the air in his diving equipment, they even tried with snipers. However, with great care, Fidel and the Cuban security services dismantled these plots one after another.”

Fidel Castro governed with iron fist and wisdom, essentially remaking his motherland, with free education and healthcare as his globally acclaimed achievements.
Meanhile, tandem ally and cooperation with the former Soviet Union and Venezuela helped the socialist country stave off one crisis after another.

(Soundbite, Spanish) Luis Britto Garcia, Venezuelan Historian and Writer
“It is also said that someone is reborn when facing great danger. This has allowed Fidel to be reborn many times, and to maintain his leadership when the Cuban people have faced difficult times. The Cuban people have lived through the scarcity of essential goods and through lean times, which grew worse when the Soviet Union fell apart and dissolved. This began a “special period” when Cuba no longer had support in the world. The United States said that it was then certain that Fidel would fall. However, Cuban socialism and Fidel Castro resisted the ordeal and carried on.”

After nearly half a century in power, Fidel Castro stepped down as head of state in July 2006 due to a severe illness, making way for his brother Raul. Two years later, he formally retired.
A gradual economic reform anchored by Raul Castro within the framework of socialist ideology is now navigating Cuba to a more promising future.

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