While the United States was ruining its economy through a policy of military domination of the world, Cuba was on an alternative journey, described by Fidel as involving a commitment to good will and peace among all the countries of the world, in order to assure the survival of the human species. Cuba, Fidel affirmed in his message, will never cease in struggling for peace and wellbeing among all human beings of the planet, regardless of color or country of origin. He concluded the message by thanking all those who have been committed to the dream of justice and equality for all the inhabitants of the planet, ideals that were proclaimed when the revolutionary struggle in Cuba was initiated. Such ideals have included the concept of the equal right of all citizens with respect to health, education, work, nutrition, security, culture, science and wellbeing.
The Cuban daily television news program, The Roundtable, celebrated Fidel’s birthday with a discussion on “Fidel and Cuban Science,” with a panel formed by the President of the Cuban Academy of Science and directors of Cuban centers of scientific research. The panelists described the vision of Fidel in 1960 for the institutionalization of science in Cuba, in which Cuban scientific development would contribute to the well-being of the peoples of Cuba and the world, particularly in the underdeveloped countries of the Third World. This vision, the panelists noted, was formulated at a time in which Cuba was still a country with a high rate of illiteracy, and state support for the institutionalization of science was a relatively new phenomenon in the world, completely unimagined with respect to a Third World country. The panelists further described the active participation of Fidel in the implementation of the vision, including visits to research centers that would last for hours at a time.
Fidel Castro is one of the most important figures of the twentieth century, who illustrates the central and necessary role of charismatic leaders in the unfolding of popular revolutions committed to a more just social order. See various posts in the section on Charismatic Leaders.
McNamara, Robert S., with Brian VanDeMark. 1996. In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam. New York: Random House, Vintage Books.
Key words: Fidel, Cuba, science, dollar, gold standard