Latijns-Amerika in Beweging

Politiek

zaterdag, 26 november 2016 11:11

in Memoriam: Fidel "El Comandante" Castro (1926-2016)

Het was stil in de straten van Havana toen vlak voor middernacht president Raul Castro plotseling op de Cubaanse staatstelevisie verscheen met het nieuws wat iedereen al een tijdje verwachtte maar toch niet zag aankomen. Althans, niet vandaag.

Raul Castro zuchtte diep en las het bericht somber voor. "De aanvoerder van de Cubaanse revolutie, El Comandante Fidel Castro, is om 22.29 uur (vrijdagavond Cubaanse tijd) overleden". Hij voegde toe dat het lichaam van de 90-jarige Fidel gecremeerd zou worden, zoals hij dat zelf wilde. De president vertelde niet hoe de afscheidsplechtigheid zou verlopen. Dat zou later bekend worden gemaakt.

Het was stil in de straten van Havana gisteravond. Het bleef stil. De oudere Cubanen bleven geschokt achter. En de jongeren? Die houden zich stil.....voorlopig.

Wat rest zijn de herinneringen aan een van de meest controversiele en iconische leiders die Latijns-Amerika ooit gekend heeft.

Voor velen was hij de vader des vaderlands, een leider die er voor zorgde dat het "verderfelijke westerse kapitalisme" geen voet aan de grond kreeg in Cuba en wereldwijd streed tegen imperialistische krachten. Een leider die het analfabetisme in een klap elimineerde en ervoor zorgde dat Cubanen trots werden op hun gezondheidszorg en culturele rijkdom.

Voor anderen was hij een dictator die het communistische dogma hoger achtte dan een mensenleven. Een politicus die zonder blikken of blozen zijn tegenstanders in de gevangenis gooide en soms martelde. Een despoot die geen kaas had gegeten van economie, waardoor Cuba decennia lang in armoede achterbleef.

Op social media vechten voor- en tegenstanders van Fidel momenteel over zijn politieke erfenis. Een tweet bleef hangen: "He who believes in Fidel, let him know Fidel is dead. He who believes in the revolution, let him know revolution is eternal." #FidelCastro

Beluister hieronder de podcast van het radioprogramma OVT (van de VPRO) waarin Cuba-deskundige Jan van der Putten en historicus Gert Oostindie de dood van Castro in perspectief brengen en wat het voor Cuba zal betekenen.

 

Update: de eerder geplaatste online documentaire "Comandante" van de Amerikaanse filmregisseur Oliver Stone uit 2003 is vanwege copyrightschendingen door de Vimeo-beheerder van de site gehaald.

 

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