On Fidel

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - Ron­ald Th­waites is mem­ber of par­lia­ment for Cen­tral Kingston and op­po­si­tion spokesman on ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing. Email feed­back to col­umns@glean­erjm.com. Ron­ald Th­waites FROM THE BACK BENCH

NO JAMAICAN leader, not even Gar­vey, has so in­car­nated the yearn­ing and strug­gle for free­dom and equal­ity among the peo­ple of South Amer­ica and the Caribbean as Fidel Cas­tro. Those of con­trar­ian views, like this writer, would prob­a­bly not have sur­vived un­der his regime. But his com­mit­ment to ef­fec­tive ed­u­ca­tion and health care in Cuba, as well as his sup­port for anti-im­pe­ri­al­ism and against mi­nor­ity rule in­ter­na­tion­ally, were mea­sures of his great­ness.

Ja­maicans con­tinue to ben­e­fit sub­stan­tially from Cuban sol­i­dar­ity and most of our peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate this and will mourn his death. Re­call the un­prece­dented roar of wel­come through­out Kingston when Fidel came unan­nounced to Michael’s fu­neral. It is to our na­tional credit that while oth­ers shied away, Ja­maica recog­nised Cuba diplo­mat­i­cally and has de­cried the un­just United States em­bargo ev­ery year at the United Na­tions as well as through lo­cal par­lia­men­tary res­o­lu­tion.

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