By Tim Bancroft-Hinchey
October 30, 2000 Anno Domini
*Originally titled FIDEL CASTRO: SOUTH AMERICA WILL BE FUTURE POWER
On a five-day visit to Venezuela, the Cuban leader Fidel Castro praised his host, President Hugo Chávez, saying that “I believe that the idea of Chávez is viable, transforming Latin America into a centre of power, so as to create a multipolar world,” more just and better balanced than the present state of affairs, with the U.S.A. proclaiming itself as the world policeman.
The historic revolutionary leader went on to say, “with men like Hugo Chávez, Latin America will resist any challenge and will be able to unite itself, to construct a great power base in a new international order”.
Questioned about whether South America will be able to resist pressure from the U.S.A. to keep the continent totally dependent upon its aid and, therefore, politically impotent, Castro shouted :
“If a small island can resist and fight for forty years, what would happen if it was the whole continent?”
Cuba and Venezuela have just signed a treaty through which Venezuela sells its crude to Cuba at special rates. Castro has found a strong ally in Chávez, a President who is seeking a new identity for his country and his continent, in a “pluripolar world”, to quote Chávez himself.
Castro’s revolution in Cuba in the 1950s freed his people from the corrupt, Mafia-controlled regime of Fulgencio Baptista. The Florida Mafia declared revenge on Castro and the anti-Castro lobbies in the United States have been active, trying to find ways to oust or assassinate the historic leader of nearly half a century—he was elected prime minister for the first time on January 2, 1959. Loved by his people, this truly popular figure has managed to build a pluralist and truly democratic society, based upon the principles of Communism. Now, as he looks to the future, beyond his death, Fidel Castro is as always true to his warcry.