The UN General Assembly has, since 1992, passed a resolution every year condemning the ongoing impact of the embargo and declaring it to be in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.
Happy Birthday Fidel !!!
After 638 Assassination Attempts: Fidel Castro Celebrates 90th Birthday
Today, Cuban leader Fidel Castro is celebrating his 90th birthday. Although there are almost no blank spots in Castro’s biography, some facts of his life might have been forgotten. RT has decided to remember them.
Castro was always distinguished by his charisma, a feature which allowed him not only to implement a number of cardinal reforms in Cuba and bring the country to new heights in the fields of education, medicine, and tourism, but also make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, become a blogger, and even a hero in computer games.
Cigars and the beard
Many remember Fidel Castro for his beard and cigar. El Comandante was always proud of his beard and said that he would shave it only when the revolution finally triumphs.
“I don’t waste my time shaving. This would take about 15 minutes every day. This way, I can save a few days a year for important matters,” he once stated.
Castro always loved Havana cigars, so much that there was once an attempt to poison him through them. In 1986, however, the leader of the revolution had to give up this pernicious habit because of health problems. “The best thing you can do with a box of cigars is give them to the enemy,” he said then.
In the early 1960’s, the leader of the Island of Freedom ordered that all educational institutions be nationalized and a unified state education system be established. In 1961, 10 thousand schools were built. By 1995, the country’s literacy rate was 95%.
Following the revolution in 1959, the medical education system was reorganized. Cuba now has the lowest infant mortality rate on the entire American continent with the exception of Canada. Medical care on the island is now free.
Between 1989-1994, the reallocation of resources in the country led to the rapid growth of tourism, a sector of the economy which now brings in an average of $2 billion a year.
Guinness Book of World Records
On September 26th, 1960, Fidel Castro delivered a speech at the UN including the words “When the philosophy of plunder disappears, so will the philosophy of war.” In his speech, he explained the meaning of the Cuban Revolution and the essence of its reforms. His speech lasted 4 hours and 29 minutes, thus entering into the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest speech ever delivered at the UN.
However, according to other sources, Castro’s longest speech ever delivered was at the Third congress of the Cuban Communist Party in 1986, lasting 7 hours and 10 minutes.
In addition, Castro became a record-breaker for having survived 638 different assassination attempts. The majority of them, moreover, were characterized by extraordinary ingenuity, resembling scenes from James Bond films.
More than 600 assassination attempts
For example, the CIA planned hundreds of assassination attempts on El Comandante’s life using poisons. In 1960, cigars carrying deadly toxins were gathered to be given to the lover of fine cigars, Fidel himself.
Later, an attempt was made to put poison in Castro’s shoes by placing thallium salt in the soles. His diving suit as well, according to some reports, was once infected with lethal bacteria. But the man responsible for Castro’s outfits changed his mind at the last moment and gave El Comandante a different, safe suit.
Fidel’s lover, the CIA-recruit Marita Lorenz, was once complicit in an attempt to take his life. American intelligence gave her poisonous pills which she hid and dissolved in a jar of cream.
Fidel also managed to avoid being stabbed by a poisoned needle hidden in a ballpoint pen. One of the Cuban leader’s political employees intended to stab him with a poison-tipped needle during a meeting with American President John F. Kennedy. But the attempt failed.
Plans were also hatched to spoil Castro’s good reputation by getting him high on LSD during a live radio show. It was assumed that the drug would cloud the Cuban leader’s mind so that he would begin to talk nonsense and disappoint audiences. But this plan also failed.
Such unthinkable assassination attempts were also featured in the computer games Call of Duty: Black Ops and The Godfather 2, whose levels included missions to eliminate Castro.
Books, articles, and social networks
Even after retiring and passing the baton to his brother Raul, Fidel Castro did not cease to surprise the public. He has retained a clear mind and publishes articles in the newspaper “Granma.”
Around 6 years ago, El Comandante registered an account on Twitter with the aim of surpassing the popularity of Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu’s accounts. Castro’s miniblog @reflexionfidel publishes his thoughts on current political events and is now subscribed to by nearly 500,000 people.
In 2010, Cuba released the first part of his memoirs, “The Strategic Victory.” It is believed that he is now working on the second part of the book.
Translated from Russian by J. Arnoldski
The original source of this article is Fort Russ
Happy 90th birthday Fidel
Cubans around the world celebrated the 90th birthday of Cuba’s most celebrated revolutionary leader Fidel Castro Ruz.
The Karl Marx Theater in Havana hosted a special gala on Saturday night, where some of Fidel’s oldest comrades, including some of those who accompanied him in the attack on the Moncada barracks, along with foreign dignitaries and heads of state, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, participated.
Fidel Castro thanked Cubans and foreign friends for their well-wishes on his 90th birthday on Saturday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also sent a birthday message: “You enjoy deep respect in Russia as an outstanding statesman who devoted his entire life to serving the people of Cuba.”
Lebanese media paid rich tributes by calling Fidel Castro as a model for Muslims and Christian leaders, for his support for the oppressed Palestinian people.
Boxing icon Muhammad Ali (d. 2016) had a special relationship with Cuba and its revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro. In 1996, Ali traveled to Cuba as part of a Red Cross mission to deliver medical supplies. He spent five days in Cuba and led the delegation to hand over US$500,000 worth of medical aid. In 1998 Ali returned to deliver a donation of US$1.2 million in medical aid.
To thank him for his efforts, Fidel invited Ali and his companions to a private meeting. During the meeting Fidel and Ali exchanged jokes and jabs, with Fidel telling Ali, Hit me here, and pointing to his face (see photo by Hazel Hankin below).
Fidel Castro visited Tehran in May 2001, and held meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei in the presence of country’s president Ayatullah Mohammad Khatami. Fidel expressed his delight to be in a country which he said is a valuable religious nation.
Fidel Castro said Iran is the center of spirituality in the world today and told Ayatullah Khamenei that his words on Islam and religious values had deeply impressed him. Terming the western approach towards different civilizations and religions as discriminating, Castro said in the West high budgets are allocated to projects aimed at deviation of the mankind’s minds from the sheer truths and realities.
Castro denounced the Western hegemony and said that the West, and particularly the US administrations, despite their vast propaganda, acts in a totally uncivilized manner. He agreed with Ayatullah Khamenei on the point that the US is extremely weak today, adding, “we are today eye-witness to their weakness, as their close neighbors.” The Cuban President further stressed, “we are not scared of America today, and the Cuban nation is stronger than ever in the past, forty years after the victory of its revolution.” He once again agreed with Ayatullah Khamenei on the point that Iran and Cuba can hand in hand defeat America.
Read Khamenei’s statement during his meeting with Fidel Castro (here).
In a joint statement the two countries condemned acts of terrorism as well as sanctions imposed by the imperialists, as those against Cuba, Iran, and Iraq. They also expressed their support to the “continuing struggles of the Palestinian people to gain their rights and, above all, the right of self-determination and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees.” The two countries also condemned the massacres carried out by the Israeli regime.
Fidel Castro visited Tehran University to receive an honorary doctorate in political science.
In 1998, in a joint news conference with US president Bill Clinton in Cape Town, Nelson Mandela made a point of praising Cuba, Libya and Iran-all countries on Washington’s hit list.
“Not only did they support us in rhetoric, they gave us the resources for us to conduct the struggle and win,” Mandela said pointedly.