Fidel Castro has been the longest serving head of state in the world. This despite a concerted effort by the CIA and the United States Government to overthrow him or even assassinate him by what ever means available. To understand the relevance of Castro we have to look back to the era of the fifties of the last century. That was the era when the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy bolstered dictatorial regimes on Latin America.These regimes were hand in glove with American capitalists and exploited the local people and their resources.
The result of this exploitation was that therich became richer and the poor remained where they were.Thus in Cuba also the same scenario prevailed as Batista the dictator at that time was a total stooge of the United States and himself lived an opulent life.Cuban industry and the sugar cane field and factories were all owned by multinationals and the common man never had it so bad. In addition Batista enforced a strict dictatorship and his opponents were either exiled or simply shot.
People who talk of those times as being better than the present in Cuba, are mostly ill-informed. Thus it was a matter of time before the moth-eaten state of Cuba under Batista supported by the USA collapsed. This is precisely what happened. Fidel Castro landed with fewer than a hundred men and marched towards Havana.. As he marchedhe was joined by many more so that as Fidel approached Havana the sheer numbers frightened Batista and his government collapsed.
Fidel seized power in Cuba.There is no doubt that he also became a dictator, but with a difference as he restored Cuban pride. He expelled the American multinationals and nationalized the sugar and other Industries. This had its fair share of hardship, but over all the standing of Cuba in the international community rose significantly. The people also benefitted to an extant.
Fidel imposed a communist regime and the United States was alarmed. It authorised an invasion by Cuban exiles with CIA support but the invasion collapsed. Known as the 'Bay of Pigs' fiasco the results surprised Kennedy. There was no doubt that Castro had a degree of popularity in Cuba.
Over the decades all efforts of the CIA and the USA came to naught as Castro continued in power.He showed that a small nation with determined and nationalistic agenda can defy the USA.It had never happened before and the Monroe Doctrine had its first failure. Cuba is now slowly changing as Fidel has retired.But his name will remain as the eternal revolutionary who defied the capitalists of the United States and gave dignity to the ordinary Cubans.