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Stone writes: "Fidel stood always strongly against imperialism and colonialism, as well as racism, and the kind of corporate capitalism that interferes in other nations' right to self-govern."

Oliver Stone and Fidel Castro in 2002. (photo: Comandante)
Oliver Stone and Fidel Castro in 2002. (photo: Comandante)

On the Passing of Fidel Castro

By Oliver Stone, Oliver Stone's Facebook Page

07 December 16


- Thoughts for a Sunday -

idel Castro died on Friday at 90. It was for those who believe in independence a great loss. To those who celebrated his death, it was a victory of vengeance. I made 3 documentaries with Castro, each in a different key -- “Comandante” was a wide-open, 5-day effort, showing his spontaneous curiosity and a warm persona, which after a successful showing at the Sundance Film Festival, was aborted by HBO under pressure from Cuban right-wingers in our country. The second, “Looking for Fidel,” was a tough adversarial Q&A released for that reason by HBO in the US. The 3rd was a mellow Q&A in 2010, in which he looks back on his life and the future; it too was never released in the US.

It’s nearly impossible for an American who’s rarely traveled outside of his native country to understand the economic, military, and covert-warfare power of the US to undermine most social revolutions, such as the one Cuba badly needed in 1959. To be 90 miles from our shores and undergo the pressure, illegal and other, that Cuba felt from the US blockade, embargo, assassination attempts, terrorist attacks, and the outright military invasion at the Bay of Pigs might be the basis to understand how the Cuban people had to make a choice. To stand for their own independence without giving up to the United States. They became allies of the Soviet Union because they had to to survive. But certainly the Eisenhower/Nixon administration made this come to be. And without a strong, cohesive central control, the Cuban Revolution would’ve certainly perished in these many attacks, as have similar experiments in social reform throughout the world, most often with the nudge of US administrations.

Fidel stood always strongly against imperialism and colonialism (obituaries seldom mention Cuba’s heroic contribution in Angola against South African and US power), as well as racism, and the kind of corporate capitalism that interferes in other nations’ right to self-govern.

Mr. Trump has unfortunately and unnecessarily insulted him in death, and sends his message to the world, which seems so sour right now. Clinton and her Democratic neoliberal order only promised us more tension and ideological conflict with China, Russia, and Iran. It’s my modest hope that among a raft of hardcore appointments to Justice, CIA, and sadly soon-to-be Secretary of State, that Trump will be more of a pragmatist than an ideologue and seek treaties with Russia, China, Iran, on all fronts -- nuclear, economic, and so importantly, cyberspace.

But I must wonder about that inevitable moment when the next terror attack sets off once again our hysteria and desire for revenge. How do these Giulianis, Sessions, and reactionary members of his circle respond, but with the predictable outrage and clampdown on our remaining spaces? As Snowden said, all the buttons are in place, beginning and ending with the global surveillance state, which has made all of us into hostages and suspects -- beyond “1984.”

Try to find some inner peace this Holiday season -- in your church, your spirit, your family -- and in your fellow men and women. Those who remember and are still here have been spared -- but we can never quite speak for those who’ve faced the disasters and haven’t survived.

I take refuge, perhaps falsely, in the words of Rumi, the Persian poet:

“The whole world lives within a safeguarding, fish inside waves, birds held in the sky, all subsist, exist, are held in the divine. Nothing is ever alone for a single moment. All giving comes from There, no matter who you think you put your open hand out toward, it’s That which gives.” your social media marketing partner
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