On January 21, 2017 at the Historic Church of the Advocate in the heart of Black North Philadelphia, the symposium, Fidel Castro: The Cuban Revolution and Our Common Future will take place. This event seeks to study Fidel’s life, its relationship to the Cuban Revolution and to the struggles of the US people and of humanity. This is conceived as a contribution to ideological clarity and theoretical sophistication in a time when the neoliberal capitalist regime globally faces a crisis of unprecedented dimensions.
It is hoped that from this symposium will come new ways of thinking about the future, new ways of organizing and new practices of liberation for this time. The Cuban Revolution constitutes a new moment in humanity’s revolutionary history. This is so because it tackles fundamental contradictions of the capitalist epoch: colonialism, white supremacy, class exploitation, poverty, the inequality of women, and the oppression of the rural masses. Its leadership insisted from the outset that the goals of the Revolution were more than to topple the dictatorship and build socialism in Cuba, but to assist humanity in resolving in practice the main contradictions of this epoch. It, therefore, became a selfless part of the world’s revolutionary and emancipatory forces. The Cuban Revolution’s contributions to the liberation of Africa, the Palestinian people and African Americans is unprecedented, and a historic contribution to human emancipation and world morality. The Revolution is thus a monumental contribution to humanity as a whole. In confronting modern systems of global oppression in a revolutionary manner the Revolution produced a new type of leadership and a new human being. To make possible the people’s self-actualization and self-liberation, the Revolution created new political mechanisms and institutions of the state and the masses. At their foundation is revolutionary democracy. At the same time, a new vanguard of the people was forged, its central vehicle is the Cuban Communist Party. The Communist Party was forged from several revolutionary trends existing at the time of the toppling of the dictatorship; among them the July 26th Movement, the old Cuban Communist Party, elements of Cuba’s socialists and revolutionaries from the workers and peasants movements, as well as revolutionary intellectuals and artists. Comandante en Jefe Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was the paramount leader of the Revolution. The celebration of the Cuban Revolution is therefore, a celebration of its leadership, especially the first among equals Fidel Castro. Simultaneously, to celebrate Fidel Castro is to celebrate the Cuban Revolution and the Cuban people. Fidel emerged from the people and remained until his death faithful to them. He is a figure of world historic significance. His leadership was forged by human processes that were both universal and specific to Cuba. It was characterized by its high moral standards, political principles, modesty, rejection of the cult of personality, humility in the manner of his day to day life and a refusal to put himself above or before the people. Fidel Castro was an exemplary human being and a model of what revolutionary leadership in our epoch must become. He believed that the highest form of leadership is collective leadership. He upheld the dialectical approach to knowledge; that theory becomes knowledge as it is linked to revolutionary practice. And that international and intercivilizational revolutionary unity is the path to consolidating national revolutions and laying the foundations for ending global imperialism, white supremacy, and class and gender oppression. He was a fierce opponent of narrow nationalism and bourgeois individualism. As humanity faces the possibility of the imminent collapse of the capitalist world order, and the revolutionary transformation of human and socio-economic relationships, the life of Fidel Castro and of the Cuban Revolution must be part of our common understanding of the future. Lessons from Castro’s life teach us how revolutionaries connect to the people, what revolutionary leadership looks like, how revolutionaries address and solve the intersecting problems of racism, the oppression of women, class exploitation, poverty, illiteracy, lack of health care and the entire barbaric heritage of capitalist, colonialist and racist exploitation. It teaches us about international and intercivilizational revolutionary solidarity and how the fight for peace is at once the fight for liberation.
The symposium is an act of solidarity with the Cuban Revoultion and the all humanity struggle for peace, justice and genuine freedom. It is, at the same time, an act of revolutionary optimism: founded on the conviction that if we fight we will be victorious.
Hasta La Victoria Siempre A Luta Continua A Vitoria Acerta