MIAMI, United States. – Just four months after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the dictator Fidel Castro visited the United States invited by the North American Society of Newspaper Editors. The then flamboyant guerrilla fighter arrived in Washington DC on April 15, 1959.
At the age of 32, the Cuban leader began an 11-day tour of the country. In the US capital, where some 1,500 admirers greeted him at the airport, he met then-Vice President Richard Nixon. According to the BBCon the streets of Washington and New York “was treated like a celebrity despite the suspicion he aroused in the offices of power.”
But 63 years after the late Cuban dictator’s visit to the United States – before both countries broke off relations – what continues to resonate the most are his own statements: Fidel Castro assured that his revolution was not communist.
“The people of Cuba know that the revolutionary government is not communist,” he said exactly on April 19, 1959, in a speech in which he renounced the “campaign” to link the nascent Cuban government with Soviet communism.
“Our Revolution is as Cuban as our palms. (…) And all this ‘communist’ campaign, false campaign, rogue campaign, which neither worries us nor scares us”, he added in the same speech, in Washington DC
So when did you become a communist?
In his famous plea “History will absolve me”, Fidel Castro did not once mention the words socialism, communism, Marxism or Leninism.
How did you get to April 16, 1961, when you first declared the socialist nature of the Cuban regime? That day, at the burial of the first victims of the Bay of Pigs invasion, in the Colon Cemetery, he said:
“That is what [los americanos] They cannot forgive us, that we are right under their noses and that we have made a socialist Revolution right under the nose of the United States!”
In fact, the BBC itself considers the “reckless” thesis that Castro became a communist after being bordered by the United States.
“What was decisive in the rapprochement with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the proclamation of the Revolution as Marxist-Leninist was out of necessity, since the United States tried to prevent economic independence (of Cuba),” the British media said. researcher Evilin Ling, from Lund University in Sweden.
“Since Fidel Castro was the only one in a position to make such a change, it happened that he simultaneously declared himself a communist and turned the Revolution into a communist,” the academic considered in her essay. “A study on the reason for the change to communism in the Cuban Revolution”.
However, other authors consider that Fidel Castro’s rapprochement with Marxism-Leninism and, therefore, with communism, occurred much earlier. Specifically, they consider that the dictator approached the classic texts of Marxism shortly after his departure from the Model Prison, in 1955.
Castro himself even told the Brazilian Frei Betto that, while studying Law at the University of Havana, he met the ideas of Karl Marx, Federico Engels and Vladimir Ilich Lenin.
Cuban analyst and writer Carlos Alberto Montaner agrees with the dictator, who considers that the radicalization of the communist leader happened at the end of the 1940s, effectively when he was studying Law at the University of Havana.
“That, at least, is what José Ignacio Rasco said (…), his classmate since high school at Colegio Belén, and later at the University,” explains Montaner. “For José Ignacio, and he told me personally, there was not the slightest doubt: ‘He was seduced by the Leninist theses; he recited from memory entire pages of To do?, the essay in which the Russian describes the seizure of power’. Even Fidel himself, after being sure that the government could not escape from his hands, went so far as to say that ‘he was a Marxist-Leninist and always would be’”.
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