When Fidel Castro Came to Harlem, New York
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Voice of FIDEL CASTRO – The great Cuban revolutionary leader and former President Fidel Castro has died. He was 90 years old. Castro had spent the last few years of his life watching from the sidelines after he stepped down from his role as President and turned over the reigns of his country to his brother Raul. He lived long enough to see a detente with the US, whose harsh embargo as punishment for Castro’s communist rule, had devastated the island’s economy.
Castro was different things to different people. To the left he was a hero who stood up to the US like no one else could, surviving countless assassination attempts by the CIA. To conservatives, he was a dictator who violated rights. But under Castro Cuba’s literacy rate soared to 100%, higher education was free, organic agriculture became the norm, trained medical professionals are so plentiful that they have the world over to help in disaster zones, and no one in Cuba has gone hungry – huge feats in the face of US defiance.
To African leaders Castro was particularly important given his strong solidarity against Western colonialists. And, to African Americans in the US, Castro also held special significance, given his support for the black freedom struggle.
Today we pay tribute to the life of one of the most important revolutionaries the world has ever seen, through a speech that Castro gave at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York in 1995. This speech is preserved in the Pacifica Radio Archives and here is an excerpt.
Find the full speech at www.PacificaRadioArchives.org.
Voice of Fidel Castro, Courtesy of Pacifica Radio Archives.