A mountain has died and words are inadequate to describe the loss, the Fidel-shaped hole in the universe we must live with now, but Jamaican songwriter and singer Tanya Stephens has written the most thoughtful, eloquent, hard-hitting tribute you can imagine and it deserves to be read far and wide–
I still remember the almighty roar that went up from the crowd outside the Holy Trinity Cathedral on North Street in Kingston when Fidel Castro alighted from his car and made his way into the Cathedral where the funeral service for Michael Manley was being held. It was 1997. I was in the street outside with the hoi polloi but i heard that even inside the Cathedral, full of VIPs, diplomats and other elites the entire congregation arose applauding when he walked in. Fidel was an inspiration as Tanya explains so eloquently…
I could also see that it was a synthetic kind of safety born of fear, but I would pick someone being afraid of the repercussions from committing a crime over everyone being afraid of criminals ANY day.
To all the people whose lives he touched negatively, I hope they and their descendants can somehow find the peace he is now incapable of giving them.
To all the people from all over the world who have benefited from the world leading education and health care industries he sculpted, I hope their gratitude will never wane and it will influence somehow their decisions when electing their own officials.
To all the other Caribbean Government heads, please take a page from his book. One of the good pages. Craft our education and health systems like you ACTUALLY have our interest somewhere in your corrupt hearts.
To those in the Jamaica tourist industry, Cuba has comparable and even better beaches, more points of interest, a more romantic tourism product. Get off your butt and start rebuilding your sector. The sky is not falling but your appeal and worth is!
To my 5th form history teacher Miss Blisseth (hope I spelled correctly) I thank you with all my heart for introducing me to the ONLY living Caribbean legend of my childhood. Shaping young minds is a tough job. We didn’t agree on everything, sometimes we even disagreed aggressively, but I’m grateful for every illusion you shattered and every new thought you introduced.
To Fidel, hope you finally find real peace!