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Fidel Castro died exactly sixty years after the departure of the Granma yacht from Mexico, carrying a revolutionary force that arrived in Cuba to overthrow the dictator Batista, in combination with a strike planned in the East of the Island. That was the bumpy start of the Cuban Revolution.

Fidel bequeaths a contradictory political legacy. On the one hand, because Cuba is determined to repeat the experience of capitalist restoration occurred in China, in a more inadequate place and in worse international economic conditions. Trump’s ascent proves the explosiveness of this attempt, if not its complete infeasibility. The economic blockade remains as a means of pressure to disolve the obstacles that still exist in Cuba to the colonization by financial capital. The limited association of the State with foreign capital has reached the limits of its possibilities. Ironically, China is the mirror in which the government of Cuba, the favorite target of the economic war that the American tycoon has announced, sees itself.

In the people’s consciousness, however, Fidel’s legacy is an unprecedented social revolution in Latin America, with the peculiarity that the leading role of the working class was replaced by the radicalized middle class. The Cuban Revolution was not the product of a historical construction of the international working class, even if it collided with all the bureaucratic structures of the international labour movement, and in particular with the Stalinist parties. Under those conditions, a peculiar transitional historical process took place: a political regime that expropriated the bourgeoisie as part of a national independence movement, without the historical perspective of a government of the working class, or of the world proletarian revolution. The history of the twentieth century has been very fruitful in producing transitions of special characteristics which, in the absence of new revolutionary processes, were conditioned by world economic and political events.

The highest point of the Cuban Revolution and of Fidel himself was the defeat he inflicted in April 1961 on the mercenary invasion organized by the United States at Playa Girón, an event in which a million Cubans were mobilized arms-in-hand. In October 1962 it began a descending curve, after the Kennedy-Khrushchev pact, which was vigorously denounced by Castro. It was from this moment on that imperialism decided to fight against the Cuban Revolution by installing in Latin America, first, semi-Bonapartist dictatorships and soon after outright criminal governments. In Cuba, Fidel used the revolutionary mantle to establish a regime of personal political arbitration. Unlike what happened with past revolutions, when each political stage gave way to a different leadership, Fidel became the irreplaceable protagonist of the mutations of the Cuban Revolution.

The global impact of the Cuban Revolution and the international role of Castro should not be confused, as has been done, with an internationalist strategic orientation. The support he gave to different forms of armed struggle (foquism) constituted a substitutionist apparatus operation, which resulted in cruel defeats. Later Castro took the opposite path: diplomatic support for an understanding with the national bourgeoisie. This is what happened with the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende in Chile, and with the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua and the “peace processes” in Central America. The Sao Paulo Forum served as a framework for strategic negotiations which included the Vatican and the United States, and this was followed by his support for the “21st century socialism” of the government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, which rejected the anti-capitalist radicalism of the Cuban Revolution.

Fidel’s death is not the “symbolic” expression of the end of the Latin American revolutionary cycle, as the enemies of the Cuban Revolution argue. The premises that gave rise to it, 60 years ago, are more present than ever throughout the world.