State funeral to be held for Fidel Castro, the man who almost enabled the end of the world
28 November 2016
Fidel Castro, the communist leader and freedom fighter who seized power by vanquishing the incumbent Cuban leader, Fulgencio Batista, passed away on Friday.
There is something romantic about revolutionaries. The electorate generally identify with someone who brings about change, whether or not it benefits them as individuals. Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, was someone who vociferously fought for Cuban independence and brought about change in Cuba. The likes of which have not been matched anywhere since. He died on Friday and his extensive funeral arrangements, befitting of the way the man saw himself, will take place this week.
Since his death, tributes for the communist leader have been pouring in. Castro was celebrated by the people of Cuba who saw him as their saviour from oppressive rule through association with the US.
The state funeral will take place this week. Castro's cremated remains are to be marched 900 kilometres along the route of the Freedom Caravan; the very path Castro took to power all those years ago. Preceding this, a memorial celebration will be held in the Plaza de Revolution in Havana, where the people of Cuba will get a chance to say goodbye.
Castro has always been a divisive figure. His staunch, rebellious nature defined his life and his relationship with the US, which saw a slight improvement earlier this year when Barrack Obama became the first US president to visit Cuba in more than 85 years.
For many, he will be lauded as the revolutionary who famously defied US supremacy, survived countless assassination attempts and defended Cuban independence at the Bay of Pigs. However, his legacy will always be marred by his role in the Cuban Missile crisis and his willingness to allow Russia to deploy nuclear missiles on Cuba, just a few hundred miles from US mainland. Were it not for the concessions of Jack Kennedy and Nikita Krushchev, the World would almost certainly have been plunged into nuclear war from which it may never have recovered.
The funeral is to be attended by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, among other politicians from around the globe. Castro will be remembered for the heroism he exercised as Cuban leader and for the glimpse he provided into the international shockwaves which can be caused by someone who truly believes in their cause and themselves.