Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

Fidel Castro Has Multiplied into Millions

Elio Delgado Legon

yo-soy-fidel
I am Fidel.  Foto: prensa-latina.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Those who without knowing Fidel Castro or the Cuban people and their history of struggles, and have labeled him a dictator who oppressed his people, are very mistaken. The Cuban people have never accepted dictators or oppressors and have always fought and paid a high price for their freedom with the lives of the best children.

Fidel stopped breathing on November 25th at 10:29 PM and ever since people got wind of the news, they have revealed their sadness and shock. We have never seen such a healtfelt and mass display of grief.

Millions of Cubans went to sign the Concept of the Revolution oath which Fidel communicated on May 1st 2000, and paid tribute to him at places lined with the guerrilla fighter’s photo, mainly at Jose Marti Memorial Park, in Revolution Square, Havana, where a line of people stood there on November 28th from 9 AM until almost past midnight and on the 29th, until after midday.

On the 29th, a mass rally took place in Revolution Square which hundreds of thousands of people of all ages took part in, where Cuban youth were especially present and everyone was chanting: I am Fidel! I am Fidel! as a display of their alliance with his ideas.

Everybody, no matter what their age, revealed their pain and conviction that Fidel hasn’t died because his ideas live on and will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of the Cuban people.

A man who led a Revolution which has had and continues to have the great majority of people’s support cannot die. He gave Cuba education, healthcare, sports, culture, social equality; he fought all of his life against underdevelopment; he managed to get Cuba to make groundbreaking discoveries in science and medicine on the same level even as developed countries, as well as contributing to improving the situation in other Latin American countries and in other parts of the world with his solidarity and aid.

A man who displayed his exceptional human values, courage and bravery to confront difficulties, unwavering morale, loyalty to the Revolution’s principles cannot die: who sacrificed his life which he could have lived quite comfortably, as he didn’t come from a poor family and was also an excellent lawyer, but he chose to sacrifice himself for the poor. For this reason and for so many others which don’t fit into this article, nearly eight million people have shown that they won’t let him die.

Moving his ashes from Havana to Santiago de Cuba was an unprecedented display of public grief and you could hear the slogan “I am Fidel!” everywhere. And “Fidel, friend of the people is with you!”

At the mass rally that took place in Antonio Maceo Square, in Santiago de Cuba, General/President Raul Castro told us of Fidel’s dying wish. He, who was always an enemy of personality cults, forbade putting up busts or statues of him by law, or giving his name to streets or institutions.

Those who knew him on a more intimate level agree on the fact that Fidel was a simple, austere, delicate, sensitive gentleman who was concerned about the most poor, in Cuba and in other parts of the country, and was extremely hard-working. His working day always ended well into the morning hours, until dawn a lot of the time.

Fidel was a giant in every aspect, but small people can’t understand the work of giants.

During the official mourning and afterwards, millions of Cubans, especially young people, have communicated that they aren’t willing to let his ideas die, and that’s why we can claim, without fear of being wrong, that Fidel hasn’t died, he multiplied into the millions.

  • Moses Patterson

    Hahahahaha! Elio turned comedian. This has to be, and this is hard to imagine, Elio’s most ridiculous post. Fidel Castro was a murderous tyrant. He has ruined the lives of 3 generations of Cubans. He is personally responsible for bringing Cuba to ruins. Out of respect for the dead, I won’t write how I really feel. Elio rejects Fidel being labeled a Dictator? Even Fidel acknowledged his dictatorship. Millions of Fidels? Maybe there are 3, 4 at the max.

    • Ron Fox

      You are predictable, if nothing else!

      • Moses Patterson

        Predictable means consistent in this case. I am proud to admit that I am consistently opposed to tyranny and dictatorships. I am predictably going to criticize repression. Thanks for pointing this out.

        • dani

          Like one of those computer chat-bots, given the same keywords you generate the same automated erroneous response. For example “healthcare” or “education” generate the response “95% tax rate” despite all the evidence against this. To start with if 95% was spent on those services it would be remarkable. The UK has universal healthcare and only spends 9% of GDP. Secondly why make up a random figure of 95% tax rate when the true figures are freely available. It’s hardly rocket science – self-employed and small businesses are asked to pay between 25% and 50%. Now even this is optimistic as the tax collectors aren’t that efficient and there is very little paper trail not to mention the widespread pilfering and diverting of funds. I’ve explained all this several times, but come next week no doubt you and your three amigos will come out with the same erroneous figure.

          • Moses Patterson

            Your reading comprehension skills are slipping. A 95% tax rate has nothing to do with GDP. By the way, the fact is that published Cuban GDP numbers are sketchy at best because of their dual currency mess and faulty accounting principles. The 95+ % is an educated estimate long held by economists as fact. Use common sense; a Cuban guy works all day at a job in a hotel jointly owned by the Castros and a foreign hotel company. He makes the daily salary equivalent of $1.50 usd. His counterparts in the same hotel chain in other countries, make $140 a day. Room rates in both hotels are comparable. Adjusting for currency exchange, the math is simple. The Castros withhold 95% of the earned wages for the Cuban worker in comparison to, let’s say 25%, for the worker in a similar job in a different country. You are right, this is not rocket science. Just ask a Cuban Doctor who works in Brazil. Cuba recieves up to $8000 per month for her services, and she gets $600 minus living expenses. By the way, what Cuban small businesses have to pay in bribes to inspectors and suppliers, more than makes up for the taxes they may be able to avoid paying.

          • dani

            You ignore the actual tax rate that self-employed and independent businesses pay of between 25-50%. According to conservatives (and others) this sector isn’t treated fairly by the Cuban government yet according to you they are getting 45%+ tax breaks. This is a totally daft assertion.

            Your figures don’t add up as 1) if the Cubans were hired by a private company the employer would also take a cut of the profit. That isn’t tax. 2) Employees aren’t paid the same in different countries. An employee in a hotel chain in Cancun doesn’t get paid the same as an employee in Florida working for the same hotel chain. They are paid according to what the going rate (or the least that the company can get away with). In some countries the company makes a lot of profit compared to wages, in others less. Again nothing to do with tax.

            I take your point on bribes to inspectors and suppliers, but as reported by the BBC a lot of people only declare around 10% of their income.

          • Moses Patterson

            My father-in-law is a cuentapropista. Hard to ignore. Legally self-employed Cubans make up only 10% of the workforce although unofficially, it is estimated that more than half of Cubans have a second or even third income. Obviously, you weren’t a business major. Of course the foreign hotelier takes their cut. As much as 49%. That still doesn’t justify such low salaries to Cubans in comparison to workers in the same job in similar countries. Room rates at the 4-star hotels in Havana compare to the room rates in the Dominican Republic, for example. However, Dominican front desk workers make a lot more money.

    • rob mowrey

      Cuba who under Fidel had free medical care , free education that some say was better then the USA’s . They sent doctors around the world to help those who needed it.
      The so called free countries talk about how many people he killed — well one sight I read said that 600 people in 50 years is small compared to any state in the USA when you consider that it included murders ,the Bay of Pigs battle and those caught trying to kill Castro.
      All this while the USA worked very hard to destroy Cuba’s economy by embargoing them from the rest of the world.
      Oh I also read that the rich that can pay their property taxes through other nations still own their homes in Cuba ?

      • Moses Patterson

        #1 Healthcare and education are not free. Cubans pay a tax rate of more than 95%.
        #2 No one who has ever been to a Cuban hospital or attended a Cuban school would make the claim that health care and education in Cuba is better than health care and education in the United States.
        #3 Fidel has murdered, tortured, and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Cubans. His dictatorship has repressed millions.
        #4 When you leave Cuba to live permanently elsewhere, you lose property rights. There are no property taxes in Cuba.

        • rob mowrey

          yes there taxes are high they have no other real incomes because after the CIA got Castro back into Cuba and then he won but wouldn’t do as they said , the USA sent war ships to cut Cube off from the rest of the world for 50 years . But no one goes hungry and it depends who you read as to their level of education and medical care. There are a lot of different statements on life any where depending on who puts it out — try the UN publication , they seem to have a different point of view ?

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        You are ill-informed rob mowrey. Cuban archival materials document 3,615 executions by firing squad since Fidel Castro took power and an additional 1,253 extra judicial killings have been attributed to the Castro regime. Those figures do not include any from the Bay of Pigs debacle.
        By law in Cuba only Cubans can own property and that excludes Cubans who have become US citizens. The only exceptions permitted are foreign residents working in Cuba – diplomats, business companies.
        Since Raul Castro decided four years ago that Cubans then owned the properties in which they live, some of the US Cubans have financed the purchase of houses by relatives.
        The declared purpose within the Constitution of education in Cuba is:
        Article 39 (c)
        “to promote the patriotic education and communist training for the new generation.”
        The purpose of the US Embargo is clearly defined in the US Cuban Democracy Act. When you have read it, please do explain which of the conditions for lifting the embargo you oppose?
        Their is a marked tendency for ‘socialismo’ dreamers to think that Cuba is the ultimate socialist paradise. But oddly, those dreamers do not seek similar conditions for themselves.
        But please ron mowrey do check the facts!

    • N.J. Marti

      The myth of Fidel has so little real world support. The man was a magician with words and state security apparatus, the only explanation for how so many could be forced to live a lie for so long.

    • Elio very accurately described the sorrow that the overwhelming majority of Cubans felt about Fidel and his death. I know. I was there.

      One can, with good reason, agree or disagree with the results of Fidel’s actions. But Elio, with the exception of part of his 6th paragraph, did not write about Fidel’s merits, only the way the Cuban people felt about him. A good number of Cubans who disagree with him politically still admired him on a personal level.

      Some here have an absolute black and white view, attacking someone who does not share their position that Fidel was totally bad and therefore the Cuban people did not mourn his passing. This is erroneous logic.

      The reality is the overwhelming majority of Cubans mourned Fidel’s death just as Elio described. That is what I saw from Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, and Holguin.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Did you help to push the truck bearing the ashes when it broke down?

      • Moses Patterson

        I don’t disagree with your comment. The Stockholm syndrome is a reality for many Cubans.

  • Gerard Matthews

    obviously seeking a position within the establishment!

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    Why doesn’t Elio question who printed and distributed the posters saying: “Yo say Fidel” preparatory for the tour of his ashes?

    I can think of so many streets in Cuba that ought to bear Fidel Castro’s name, because they reflect his contribution to the people of Cuba with pot-holes on the street, crumbling side-walks, running leaking water, horse feces from local transport and flanked by homes constructed with concrete blocks, corrugated iron and salvaged timber.
    Ah! look, there is a house bearing a plaque which says:

    “Presidente CDR”

    Fidel the BIG BROTHER still watches over Cubans!

  • william plummer

    I feel so sorry that Elio would write such crap, Moses said it all in a short E-mail, thanks Moses….

  • N.J. Marti

    Fidel was a briliant revolutionary and dictator. And a total disaster when it came to the mangled Cuba economic model. Fidel himself would come to recognize the failure of the model. He took a working economy and turned it into a basket case dependent on Charity of the Soviet Union and then latter Venezuela. Cuba was a leading nation with medical and education before the revolution. The marginal increase came at a high price. Many nations have increased social programs without the oppression. Of course Fidel was not satisfied to ruin one country. He all but took over Venezuela and successfully installed the Cuban economic model. The man was a failure even as he memorized many with a fantasy construct.

  • Moses Patterson

    The argument that there are worse places that don’t love their tyrant proves the rule. Fidel artfully managed to “hold captive” millions with just enough force to provoke fear of rebellion but enough leadership to engender support among a few of his captives. Not silly at all. It’s also not unusual that there are Castro sycophants living in the United States.

    • rob mowrey

      Global Peace Index done yearly in 2016 placed Cuba at number 85 the USA at 103 ! The USA has fought over 80 “wars ” and killed over 50,000,000 non combatants since ww2 yes the nations of NATO share in those event but not one battle was fought any where that was a direct threat to any nation in NATO so there are people that like a peaceful person like Castro.

    • Moses: your statements indicate your wishful thinking from the west coast of the US and not the realities in Cuba. You seem to be unable to accept that others have opinions that simply differ from yours. You certainly have the right to disagree with them but you extend that to the denial that other opinions exist. You personally attack those like Elio who have differing opinions. That is not espousing the free speech that you claim to strive for.

      My observations from living part time in Cuba, attending Fidel’s two day long 90th birthday celebration in Biran, and seeing the impact of his actual but long expected death shows me that your belief that he “engender support among a few of his captives” is simply what you wish but not reality. Whether one personally liked him or not, one must acknowledge that he was loved by a majority of the Cuban people.

      Once again, I will point out that my observations of what I see are objective and uncolored by my own personal political opinions. My personal views have very carefully never been expressed here. Only those who live in that black and white world of absolutes will make assumptions about them.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    Human dignity and the ghost of Fidel Castro represent opposing beliefs George. Fidel Castro’s Cuban Empire will eventually crumble and only then will human dignity be restored to Cubans

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    Constitution of Cuba

    Article 53:
    Citizens have freedom of speech and of the press in keeping with the objectives of a socialist society. Material conditions for the exercise of that right are provided by the fact that the press, radio, television, movies and the organs of the mass media are STATE OR SOCIAL PROPERTY and can NEVER BE PRIVATE PROPERTY.

    THE LAW REGULATES THE EXERCISE OF THESE FREEDOMS.

    When Ron Fox was there last a free vote in Cuba? I too like Jose Marti whose name has been so sullied by the Castro communist regime wish to see:

    “the fundamental right of our republic to be the tribute of Cubans to the FULL DIGNITY OF MAN.”

    Marti earned his living by writing in the free media. In Castro’s Cuba he would have been denied such opportunity.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    The signs at the memorial held in Havana for Fidel Castro read:

    “The Cuban Communist Party is the only legitimate heir of the legacy and authority of the commander in chief of the Cuban Revolution, Commander Fidel Castro.”

    Obviously the purpose was to remind Cubans as they filed through that they were and remain mere pawns under the Castro family regime dictatorship. They have no say, being denied freedom of speech.

  • mi5cents

    Didn’t vast numbers of Russians turn out to mourn Stalin in 1953? Just because a leader has support, whether through fear or genuine popularity, or a combination of both, does not mean that they cannot be a dictator.