Fidel Castro Receives Venezuela’s Maduro

August 20, 2014 | Print Print |

Nicolas Maduro and Fidel Castro en La Habana el 19 de agosto de 2014. Foto: cubdebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro received the Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro at his home in Havana on Tuesday. Castro congratulated Maduro for his sending a plane of assistance to the population in Gaza, reported dpa news.

In an article published in the official press, Castro stated: “I congratulated Maduro for his extraordinary solidarity with the heroic people of the Gaza Strip.”

Castro, who turned 88 on August 13, called the Israeli military offensive against Gaza a “genocide” and “holocaust” for Palestinians.

Fidel continues to be the leading advisor to his brother President Raul Castro, especially regarding foreign affairs. He refrains from commenting in public about domestic issues.

Maduro is in the midst of a cabinet shuffle in Venezuela as his government moves to take drastic measures to confront the difficult economic situation facing the country, which includes acute shortages of basic consumer items.

Fidel Castro was like a father and mentor to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and it is suspected that he, and his brother Raul, play a key advice giving role with Maduro.


What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    There is nothing about these two clowns getting together that is positive. Fidel is probably the WORST economist in the world and what Venezuela needs more than anything right now is solid economic advice. I just read that Maduro spends more to maintain the Presidential Palace in in Miraflores than the British Royal Family spends in Great Britain. Fidel, who owns islands and yachts to take him to and fro is the last person Maduro should be taking advice from.

  • Fez Fernandez

    Oh Lord, who cares?

  • Griffin

    “it is suspected that he, and his brother Raul, play a key advice giving role with Maduro.”

    Ya think? Maduro is a puppet of the Castro regime. He was trained , groomed and hand-picked by the Castros to take over their Venezuelan colony when Chavez died.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    The blind leading the blind. Two egocentric paranoid socialists have much to discuss. For example the fascist plot in Aruba by an intoxicated Venezuelan citizen against Maduro and how can he copy the personal wealth creating programs designed by Fidel in Cuba to line the family coffers, prior to being deposed by the people of Venezuela for his rampant inflation creating economic policies.
    Fidel in the meantime was probably the inspiration for the disgraceful misuse of the name of the late Nelson Mandela by the Cuban Friendship Centre HQ in New York Center of Cuban Studies when awarding the “Nelson Mandela Prize” to the five Cuban spies promoted by the Castro family regime as “The Cuban Five”. For a totalitarian regime’s representatives to abuse the name of a man who fought for the freedom of his people in a democratic system is disgraceful and merits contempt.

    • dani

      I think you are rewriting history here. Nelson Mandela was left wing orientated (if not marxist) and remained supportive of Cuba throughout his life. He specifically thanked Cuba for the help in overthrowing the Apartheid regime (which you seem to be calling democratic). Reagan and Thatcher on the other hand criticized him, offered no support and called him a terrorist only to jump ship once the writing was on the wall.

      • Griffin

        Mandela was a terrorist. He was convicted and jailed under a fair trail for organizing and purchasing guns and bombs which were used against police and civilian targets. He had blood on his hands. The South African government offered to free him if he would renounce violent revolution. Mandela refused. Eventually they released him anyway. Only then did Mandela call for an end to violence and embrace reconcilliation. For that change of heart I salute him. But don’t you fall for the myth that Mandela was a man of peace.

        By the way, Mandela thanked a number of people for supporting the anti-apartheid movement, including some truly horrible thugs like Moumar Gadaffi and Yaser Arafar. Fidel is in typical company.

        • dani

          You are agreeing pretty much with what I said. Your argument is more with Carlyle MacDuff. The only dispute I would have is the overused and ambiguous term terrorist as I believe his actions were necessary at the time.

          • Griffin

            The term “terrorist” is certainly overused, but it is not vague and in this case it is accurate. Whether you deem the actions necessary or not is irrelevant to the use of the term “terrorist”. The nature of the acts are what qualify the use of the terminology. For a guerrilla group to target civilians with bombs & guns is by definition “terrorism”. It doesn’t matter if you agree with the cause or not.

            The more important point I wanted to make was to qualify the thanks Mandela gave to Cuba & Fidel Castro. He thanked other political leaders as well (including Canada’s PM Brian Mulroney, as Carlyle mentioned above). At the same time, Mandela also thanked a rogues’ gallery of monstrous dictators, thugs and killers, including Gadaffi. Being thanked by Mandela is not necessarily a badge of honour.

            As for the statement you wrote at the top: “…overthrowing the Apartheid regime”. That simply did not happen. 1989, F.W. De Klerk, who replaced P.W. Botha as President of South Africa, released Mandela and entered into discussions about how to resolve the struggle which was tearing South Africa apart. Together they negotiated an end to apartheid and the establishment of a new democratic South Africa for all citizens. The Apartheid regis was not “overthrown”, which implies it was toppled by an armed insurrection. In reality, two forward thinking and patriotic men, Mandela & De Klerk worked together and dismantled apartheid.

            it is worth noting that among the international Left today, many criticize Mandela for missing the opportunity to eliminate capitalism and liberal democracy in South Africa. They wished he had imposed a Marxist dictatorship.

            In my opinion, Mandela was a great man because when he had the chance to resort to even greater violence, to exact revenge on the white minority and to impose a Marxist dictatorship in South Africa, (and there were many in the ANC who wanted exactly that), Mandela decided the time had come for peace, negotiations and reconciliation. It takes a man of profound moral character to do that.

            Now if only Fidel Castro had been of similar character! If only he had decided to stick to his promise to hold free & democratic elections in Cuba instead of moving to seize absolute power, divide the nation and march the people into a Marxist dictatorship.

        • Hubert Gieschen

          I strongly take exception to calling Mandela a terrorist. A wholly unacceptable and shameful, utterly racist comment.

          But Mandela was not always a wise man.

          Carlyle and Dani you are both wrong on Mandela’s first foreign trips after his release.

          A quick Internet search refreshed my memory.

          Mandela’s first foreign visits after his release were in February 1990. I am not sure whether Tanzania or
          Zambia was the first country.

          On 16 April 1990 in his presence a huge musical tribute to Nelson Mandela took place at Wembley during his
          visit to London. London was always arguably the most important place
          of solidarity with Mandela. (It was not until July that he was
          received by Prime Minister Thatcher).

          In May 1990 he visited Gaddafi’s Libya. I think Libya was far more important to Mandela than Cuba for the simple reason that Gaddafi had money.

          He addressed both houses of the Canadian Parliament on 19 June 1990. He visited Cuba 23-26 July 1990.

          In October 1990 he went on a trip to India, Japan, Indonesia and Australia. In Australia he deeply disappointed Aboriginal leaders for not speaking out against racism against black Australians.

          His most controversial visit was to see Indonesian dictator Suharto. Suharto donated 10 million dollars to the ANC. That was 25 years after he had led a genocide against one
          million communists.

          Mandela completely ignored the illegal occupation of East Timor., let alone West Papua.https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/8157

          I think Mandela’s policy was quite straightforward. He accepted support from anyone, democrat or
          dictator, communist or anti-communist slayer of communists. He was initially stubbornly resisting briefings on human rights issues on those countries.

          During that first year after the release from prison and later he visited a number of unsavoury characters and said a lot of things he should not have said.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Thanks for the “refresher” Hubert. One correction though. Mandela’s visit to Cuba was not until July 1991 when he did a six nation tour – Jamaica, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela.
            I agree with your definition of his policy of accepting support(aid) from anyone – an astute politician. But, just as you defended him for being described as a terrorist, I was defending his name and reputation in deploring its use by the Center of Cuban Studies in New York as a prize to award to the five Cuban spies. Definition: a person who secretly collects and reports information on the activities, movements and plans of an enemy or competitor. or: a person who keeps watch on others secretly. It was not my purpose to set a hare running.
            He carefully avoided any criticism of Castro as a dictator.
            As a final note of record, Canada under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney implemented sanctions against South Africa in 1986. This was opposed by Prime Minister Thatcher and President Reagan. It took a lot of sound political wok by Mulroney to eventually sway them.

          • Griffin9c@gmail.com

            Could you please explain what could possibly be racist about my comment? Terrorism has a standard definition. If a person carried out acts which are terrorist by definition, then on is a terrorist. Period. Race does not enter I to it.

            I did note that after Mandela was released from prison he renounce the use of violence and entered into meaningful negotiations with FW De Klerk which lead to the end of apartheid and free elections for all Sourh Africans. For that brave and wise decision, I praise Mandela and consider him a great man.

            By the way, I was in the huge crowd who greeted Mandela when he came to Toronto. He gave a very moving speech.

            Your analysis is correct. Mandela was willing to accept help from anybody who was going to help the ANC end apartheid. That included some very nasty dictators such as Gadaffi, Suharto and yes, Castro.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Which was the first country Mandela visited after being released from Robbin Island to thank the Prime Minister for leading the battle against apartheid and persuading both President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher to support the embargo on South Africa? Which was the first country Mandela visited after being elected President of South Africa to address the parliament and on his third visit to accept being made an honorary citizen?
        The answer to all three questions is Canada, not Cuba! The Canadian Prime Minister was a Conservative, Brian Mulroney.
        Which were the only two countries in the Americas to continue to give diplomatic recognition to Cuba following the revolution in 1959. The answer is not Venezuela or Equador or Argentina or Chile or Columbia or Nicaragua or Brazil or Belize – all of which withdrew diplomatic recognition. The answer is Canada and Mexico.
        For US citizens accustomed to having Presidents who half the electorate dislike or even hate, political balance is an unknown asset. Although an admirer of the people of the US and having found them to be most hospitable when a guest, it is difficult to understand their lack of understanding of the political and social histories of other countries and cultures.
        When and where did I indicate that I considered the Apartheid regime as democratic? With a history of a close relative departing South Africa when the Verwoerd achieved power and instituted apartheid because she regarded him as “A Nazi” and as one who has visited the country and seen even in recent years the ingering legacy of the policy, you insult my intellect! Go on, tell me where I supported apartheid! Note that the totalitarian regime I referred to was that of the Castro family in Cuba. Reagan and Thatcher responded to Mulroney’s pleas and ended up supporting the embargo helping to put the writing on the wall! Get your facts right!

        • dani

          You said “who fought for the freedom of his people in a democratic system”. That does suggest that you consider the apartheid regime democratic, but guess it was badly stated.
          Ok well done Canada. Still this doesn’t refute the very close relationship between Cuba, the South African Communist Party and ANC/Mandela.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            I was defining the difference between Fidel Castro Ruz and Nelson Mandela. Yes, Mandela fought for his people to have a democratic system – and they got one! Fidel Castro Ruz did not give freedom and democracy to the people of Cuba but imposed a one party state. By so doing he replaced one form of dictatorial power with another. Just imagine if he had given the people of Cuba liberty – it was within his hands to do so. But no, he chose absolute power having lied when he said on the 2nd January 1959 when he said from the balcony of the City Hall in Santiago de Cuba:
            “I do not seek power and I will not accept it”
            Yes, there is a close link between the communist party and the ANC. The key difference with Mandela unlike Fidel Castro Ruz was that he supported establishing a democratic system – which is contrary to communism. Mandela retired gracefully and made no attempt to build his own financial empire – no Rafin SA, no Gaviota.
            Cuba was incapable of esatablishing an embargo on the apartheid regime – that is why Brian Mulroney’s role was so significant and Nelson Mandela recognised it publicly. Nelson Mandela was recognised by the world at large because he was able to balance the needs and rights of all. Fidel Castro Ruz when having similar opportunity squandered it for power!

          • dani

            Mandela recognized the support he got from everyone and all actions played a part. However, we need to remember that the embargo was pretty minor and is nothing like what Cuba faces. Nelson Mandela particularly recognized the Cuban support as it had involved loss of Cuban lives. This is the quote.

            “The decisive
            defeat of the aggressive apartheid forces destroyed the myth of the
            invincibility of the white oppressor. The defeat of the apartheid army served
            as an inspiration to the struggling people of South Africa. Without the defeat
            of Cuito Cuanavale our organizations would not have been legalized. The defeat
            of the racist army in Cuito Cuanavale made it possible for me to be here with
            you today. Cuito Cuanavale marks the divide in the struggle for the liberation
            of southern Africa. Cuito Cuanavale marked an important step in the struggle to
            free the continent and our country of the scourge of apartheid.”

            A lot of the arguments that you and others are making is that you see major differences between both leaders. But there is no evidence that Nelson Mandela saw any of this or that he became a “running dog of the right”. Brazil is a similar situation. Lula and Dilma both took a different path from Fidel but they have never condemned him and still have more in common with Cuba than with the US.

  • Hubert Gieschen

    Griffin,

    I strongly take exception to calling
    Mandela a terrorist. A wholly unacceptable and shameful, utterly
    racist comment. As of now I will ignore any further comments you may
    post. You have

    But Mandela was not always a wise man.

    Carlyle and Dani you are both wrong on
    Mandela’s first foreign trips after his release.

    A quick Internet search refreshed my
    memory.

    Mandela’s first foreign visits after
    his release were in February 1990. I am not sure whether Tanzania or
    Zambia was the first country.

    On 16 April 1990 in his presence a huge
    musical tribute to Nelson Mandela took place at Wembley during his
    visit to London. London was always arguably the most important place
    of solidarity with Mandela. (It was not until July that he was
    received by Prime Minister Thatcher).

    In May 1990 he visited Gaddafi’s Libya.
    I think Libya was far more important to Mandela than Cuba for the
    simple reason that Gaddafi had money.

    He addressed both houses of the
    Canadian Parliament on 19 June 1990.

    He visited Cuba 23-26 July 1990.

    In October 1990 he went on a trip to
    India, Japan, Indonesia and Australia. In Australia he deeply
    disappointed Aboriginal leaders for not speaking out against racism
    against black Australians.

    His most controversial visit was to see
    Indonesian dictator Suharto. Suharto donated 10 million dollars to
    the ANC. That was 25 years after he had led a genocide against one
    million communists.

    Mandela completely ignored the illegal
    occupation of East Timor., let alone West Papua.
    https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/8157

    I think Mandela’s policy was quite
    straightforward. He accepted support from anyone, democrat or
    dictator, communist or anti-communist slayer of communists. He was
    initially stubbornly resisting briefing on human rights issues on
    those countries.

    During that first year after the
    release from prison and later he visited a number of unsavoury
    characters and said a lot of things he should not have said.

    • Griffin

      You posted your comment twice, so I will respond again:

      There was absolutely nothing into criticism of Mandela which could possibly construed as racist. I made no reference to his race what so ever. It may be of interest to you to know I am of mixed race background.

      I take deep umbrage at being called a racist, especially for a comment which had nothing to do with race. Shall I call you a child molestor because I disagree with one of your comments? It would be no less grounded in fact than your insult to me.