What is the legacy of Fidel Castro?


7 December  2016  UPDATE : See:  Media Coverage of Fidel Castro’s Death Has Been Abysmally One-Sided (Stephen Kimber, Huffington Post, 2 Dec 2016).

Particularly disappointing was the CBC news coverage, bearing in mind their mandate is to “reflect Canada” but which too often excludes progressive views held by at least 30% of the population.

2 December 2016: UPDATE: See: Justin Trudeau loses his nerve, skips Fidel Castro’s funeral: Walkom (Toronto Star, 30 Nov 2016).

This is an extremely unwelcome postscript to our blog on the legacy of Fidel Castro – namely the decision by PM Trudeau not to attend the funeral.


After surviving 600 assassination attempts and outlasting 10 U.S. Presidents, Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016 at the age of 90.

What is his legacy? We offer the following articles.

Castro’s legacy: how the revolutionary inspired and appalled the world (Rory Carroll and Jonathan Watts, The Guardian.com, 26 November 2016).

Historians will debate Castro’s legacy for decades to come but his revolution’s accomplishments and failures are on open display in today’s Cuba, which – even with the reforms of recent years – still bears the stamp of half a century of “Fidelismo”.

From the Open Democracy.net archives of 2008: Fidel Castrol’s legacy: Cuban conversations (Fred Halliday, 26 November 2016)

Much of what is wrong with Cuba is the result not of imperialist mischief, but of post-revolutionary dogmatism, stupidity and arrogance.

Another Open Democracy.net article, this one from a Latin American perspective: Latin American fidelities (Francesc Badia Dalmases, 28 November 2016).

Fidel Castro quickly became the moral mentor of the Latin American Left, but he ended up perpetuating himself in power and not listening.

Democracy Now! brings an important African dimension: The Untold Story of Cuba’s Support for African Independence Movements under Fidel Castro (Amy Goodman, 28 November 2016)

In 1991, a year after he was freed and a few years before he became president, Nelson Mandela visited Cuba to thank President Fidel Castro.

And finally a distinctly Canadian viewpoint which Donald Trump has already denigrated: Canada can help Cuba along a new path: editorial (Toronto Star, 28 November 2016).

… Canada and the U.S. have taken starkly different approaches towards Cuba dating back to Diefenbaker’s days.


Photo credit: Democracy Now!

Tags: African independence, American imperialism, Angola, Cuba, Cuban revolution, Democracy Now!, Donald Trump, Fidel Castro, Human rights, Latin America, Nelson Mandela, OpenDemocracy.net, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, PM Justin Trudeau, The Guardian.com, United States