In the article, Fidel criticized Obama for not recognizing during his visit the significant Cuban gains in race relations or Cuban support for the African struggle against racist South Africa. And he rejected Obama’s call to forget the past, noting that it would not be possible for Cuba to forget nearly sixty years of blockade or the multiple acts of violence directed against Cuba with US support.
Obama’s ahistorical perspective, in which he wants to focus on the future and not dwell on the past, has been repeatedly criticized by Latin American leaders and intellectuals, who believe that understanding the past in necessary for understanding and acting intelligently in the present, a precondition for making a better future. Latin American leaders commonly makes speeches that possess historical consciousness and make historical references. Fidel’s article, for example, began with discussion of the Spanish conquest of Cuba and the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain, and it subsequently made reference to the US supported invasion of Cuba by Cuban emigres at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.
Fidel concludes: “We are capable of producing the food and material wealth that we need with the effort and intelligence of our people. We do not need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and pacific, because our commitment is to peace and fraternity with all the human beings that live on this planet.”
“El hermano Obama” was amply covered in the international news media. It received significant coverage and commentary in Nicaragua, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexica, France and the United Kingdom, for example.
Now retired from active political leadership, Fidel occasionally writes reflections that are amply covered in the Cuban press and television. These commentaries are important in indicating Fidel’s support for certain tendencies in Cuba.
Fidel is revered by the Cuban people. Many in Latin America, including charismatic leaders that had shaped a new political reality in Latin America, consider him the “comandante” of all the world's peoples in movement.
Key words: Fidel, Obama, Cuba