New Book Released on Fidel Castro’s Political, Economic Thought

  • Fidel Castro and a young teacher as he salutes literacy teachers and students at the Plaza de la Revolucion after declaring Cuba free of illiteracy, Dec. 22, 1961.

    Fidel Castro and a young teacher as he salutes literacy teachers and students at the Plaza de la Revolucion after declaring Cuba free of illiteracy, Dec. 22, 1961. | Photo: Cuba Debate

Published 27 May 2017 (6 hours 12 minutes ago)
In addition to economics, the book also delves into Fidel’s approach to questions of political ideology, science and humanism.

A new book exploring the political and economic thought of the late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has been released which collects the work of various intellectuals, scholars and journalists who explore the iconic leader’s views.

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Titled, “I am Fidel: Political and Economic Thought,” the Spanish-language compilation is a rallying call for the preservation of El Comandante’s sublime approach to the issues of his day that remain relevant now.

The 240-page book, released by Cuban publishing house Ciencias Sociales, arose from discussions following Fidel’s death last November and was compiled with the idea of preserving, disseminating and advancing the leader’s ideas, according to co-editor Ramon Labañino, the vice president of the National Association of Economists and Accountants of Cuba. Labañino was also one of a member of the Cuban 5 who was imprisoned by the United States on spurious charges of espionage.

Throughout the Cold War, Fidel was the face of communism in the Western Hemisphere. In a 1977 interview by Foreign Policy, the Cuban leader was asked when he became a communist.

“I became a Communist by studying capitalist political economy,” he answered. “When I had some understanding of that problem, it ac­tually seemed to me so absurd, so irrational, so inhuman, that I simply began to elaborate on my own formulas for production and distribution.”

In addition to economics, the book also delves into Fidel’s approach to questions of political ideology, science and humanism.

Beyond the socialist measures spearheaded by Fidel in the field of economics, the Cuban Revolution of 1959 helped raise the national literacy rate from 60 percent to 96 percent shortly after its triumph. Hundreds of “literacy brigades” taught over 700,000 adults to read and write, showing the profound impact his revolutionary thought had on Cuban society on all levels.

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Fidel also instilled the Cuban nation with a powerful spirit of solidarity, extending aid to various countries despite a U.S.-imposed blockade that choked the socialist nation’s economy to this day. Following Hurricane Katrina, he even pledged to assist the U.S. While Washington rebuffed the offer, Fidel noted that “regardless of how rich a country may be,” the poor people of the U.S. require health professionals during times of crisis.

Deputy Rector of La Sapienza University in Italy Luciano Vasapollo, who also helped compile the book, noted that the book is relevant for European readers seeking to explore not only Fidel the economist, but Fidel the revolutionary, who defended cultural and human heritage itself.

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South Korea Invades DPRK Airspace with Drone: Pyongyang

  • Visitors walk past a surveillance unmanned air vehicle "Heron TP" by IAI and Airbus Defence at the ILA Berlin Air Show in Schoenefeld, south of Berlin, Germany, May 31, 2016.

    Visitors walk past a surveillance unmanned air vehicle “Heron TP” by IAI and Airbus Defence at the ILA Berlin Air Show in Schoenefeld, south of Berlin, Germany, May 31, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 May 2017 (3 hours 58 minutes ago)
“The recent adventurous provocation is prompted by their sinister scheme to ward off … improved north-south relations,” Pyongyang said.

Despite South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s promises of renewed inter-Korean dialogue, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has reported that an Israeli-built Heron surveillance drone flew within its borders.

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“The puppet military of south Korea let a spy drone ‘Heron’ intrude deep into the territorial air of the DPRK four times while flying above the hotspot waters of the West Sea of Korea and its vicinity,” a report by North Korea’s Korea Central News Agency said Saturday.

“The recent adventurous provocation is prompted by their sinister scheme to ward off the growing demand of the south Korean people for improved north-south relations and ignite a war for invasion of the north, pursuant to their U.S. master’s anti-DPRK policy,” the report added.

The KCNA said that the incursion was grave, given that the U.S. had relocated four Global Hawk spy drones and 100 military personnel to Yokoda Air Base in Japan from Guam on the pretext of avoiding a typhoon.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the DPRK claimed the Heron drone violated DPRK airspace between 7:46 a.m. and 8:40 p.m. Friday.

Seoul has denied the report, calling it “untrue” and saying that it merely carried out a “normal operation as planned.”

The report comes days after South Korea’s military fired warning shots at an alleged DPRK drone.

Tensions continue to remain high on the Korean peninsula due to U.S.-led aggression against the DPRK. However, hope still remains that South Korea’s new head of state will seek dialogue with regional neighbors like China who want to see a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis. Japan and the United States, however, have sought to hype up the threat from Pyongyang’s weapons program, promising boosted sanctions and ratcheting up talk of war in the region.

Earlier this month, a recent successful missile launch that sent a ballistic missile flying 430 miles off the coast of the DPRK resulted in U.N. Security Council threating to introduce further sanctions against the country. The Security Council first imposed sanctions on the DPRK in 2006 following five nuclear tests and two long-range rocket tests conducted by the socialist country.

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