Fidel’s Cuba takes on the impossible

A reflection on the occasion of Fidel’s birthday – August 13, the 92nd anniversary of his birth – and a life well lived

Fidel delivers a speech circa 1960. Photo: Osvaldo Salas

Life seems short to humans. We are but specks of light in the infinity of history. Death puts an end to material existence and inexorably arrives for all.
Defeating it, despite all the efforts of those have tried for centuries, can only be accomplished two ways: leaving love, sowed with kindness and devotion, or by developing ideas that surpass the personal to become shared property.
Few men and women have been able to do both and reach a sublime form of immortality. They cease to exist to become a people, and as the date of their deaths recedes in time, their presence continues to spread, like a fire.
Just saying their names is enough to feel their closeness, to sustain and encourage us in the joyful times and those of sacrifice. Thus Fidel remains in our hearts, and as always speaks to us of what makes our country great: the unity of our people facing the impossible.
We must believe in humanity despite the dark sides, to make a Revolution, and understand that the struggle does not end with the victory, but rather truly begins at that moment. This vision is what makes Fidel so magnetic: his caliber as a leader and his unquestionable authority had as their foundation great faith in the will of human beings to grow, and the analytical ability to see beyond the evident.
Amidst our current effort to achieve a Constitution that works for us, not only putting the society we are on paper, but also the society we want to be, it is no accident that today’s date marks the beginning of a time period when we are called upon to speak loud and clear, knowing that politics is the people’s business – something else Fidel taught us.
August 13 does not mark the beginning of a life that lasted 90 years, but rather of a spiral that will continue upward as long as there is someone repeating what has become a moral conviction: Comandante en Jefe, at your orders!