But this book is a compilation of 100 hours of interviews between Ignacio Ramonet and Fidel Castro himself. That means this is a primary source, though I have to admit that the questions asked were probably pretty much influenced by the interviewer’s view on the interviewee. You won’t ask killer questions to a mate who’s running for a parliamentary seat which will expose his weaknesses, will you? But at least this is book is the exact words of Castro himself, rather than interpretations of his words.
I told you that I sometimes went hungry; I told you a lot of things, the things I went through. It was very easy for me,then, to understand that we lived in a society of inequalities and injustices.
From Marx I received the concept of what human society is ; otherwise someone who has not read about it, or to whom it has not been explained, it’s as though they were set down in the middle of a forest, at night, without knowing which way north is, or south, east or west.
The strangest example was when I was contemplating on the fundamental behind environmentalism. I read environmental philosophy during summer, well, the introduction to it, but then I started to question my stand on environmentalism, asking the nature of our relationship with nature; how far should we go utilizing it, and then upon balancing my view (so that I won’t jump into being an extremist and radical in this area – which might include choosing to be childfree or a vegetarian Muslim) I have this one last statement that comforted me : ‘Of course there is something that God have taught us regarding this’ and yes, indeed there is. That is when I figured out that studying the environmental philosophy according to Islam and other religions is a must – and of course there are good materials on these to be read.
Back to Castro.
Here’s what wikipedia says about him:
On August 5, 1951, during the radio broadcast on which he was expected to present the evidence supporting his claim that education minister Aurelio Sanchez Aurango was embezzling money, he instead talked about other topics, warned that Fulgencio Batista might attempt a military coup, and made a farewell statement. Chibas, who was also a senator, killed himself during this broadcast as the congressmen who were going to give him the evidence in support of his claim refused to do so and Chibas believed that killing himself was the only way he could apologize for his inability to keep his promise. He was planning to have the radio listeners hear the gunshot that would kill him, but he was cut off the air because his speech was too long.
That is what I would call dignity and integrity, though it could not be the best thing to do. But to take a look on whatever that has happened (and happening, of course) in my very own country will only make me less proud; we have a deputy prime minister sent to jail, for a false accusation, while having the accuser set free and can’t stop talking for instance. Not that I am fond of the victim to take his side, but I can’t wait for the court to reach the verdict on the latest accusation of sodomy (again) – if it turns out that it is a false claim – should that 23-year-old guy do what Chibas have done?
And I bet Castro is impressive, on how he trained and recruited his army of 1200 young men for the assult he planned:
That was the personal touch, knowing every single soul in your army. Perhaps that was why the won – every single man admitted in such an important, crucial action has been screened. A lesson to be learned of course.
Maybe I should continue reading this soon, bedtime reading perhaps – or else I will delay many other lessons from Castro!
p.s. I have bought a new laptop, alhamdulillah, half of the cost was funded by my friends. My prayers are with you, may Allah bless you and forgive you all.