Cuban revolutionary icon Fidel Castro was a source of inspiration for the Left parties in Kerala, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, CPI leader and former state minister Binoy Viswom said on Saturday. When the world witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern socialist group of nations in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Left parties and their sympathisers in the state had looked up to Castro as a “symbol of enduring socialist ideals”, he said.
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Former Cuban president and iconic communist leader Castro died in Havana last night at the age of 90. Viswom said the victory of the Cuban revolution, led by Castro, had inspired millions of people in Kerala, more so after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“He was a symbol of the anti-imperialist movement. The victory of the Cuban revolution in 1959, two years after the first communist government came to power in Kerala through the ballots, had inspired millions of communists and party sympathisers in the state,” he added.
“Moreover, Castro had sharpened the non-aligned movement with an anti-imperialist spearhead,” Viswom told PTI. Noted Malayalam poet Karivellur Murali, who wrote the award winning play ‘Che Guevara’, said the collapse of the Soviet Union had demoralised the communists in Kerala. Guevara was an Argentine revolutionary leader who was Castro’s chief lieutenant during the Cuban revolution. Castro stood as a lighthouse of hope for leftists and communists in the state after the collapse of the Soviet Union and communist bloc,” Murali told PTI.
He said Castro’s demise came exactly 60 years after the Cuban leader, along with Guevara, Raul Castro and other revolutionaries, had begun his voyage from a Mexican port on a yacht called ‘Granma’ to Cuba to fight against the
administration of General Batista.
“It was after the midnight of 25 November 1956, the 82 revolutionaries had started their voyage on the yacht to Cuba. Incidentally, the great leader of revolution died on November 25, Friday evening,” said Murali, who has researched extensively on the Cuban revolutionaries. Interestingly, when the CPI(M)-led LDF government returned to power in May this year, one of the questions before the party was how would it effect a leadership change replacing veteran leader VS Achuthanandan with his younger colleague Pinarayi Vijayan.
When the reporters kept asking CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury how the veteran leader was going to be accommodated, pat came the reply, “He will be there as the ‘Castro of Kerala’ to guide the government and party.”