Fidel Castro

I met Fidel Castro in 2001 in Durban during the UN Conference against Racism, which quickly transformed into a racist conference with the sole purpose of delegitimizasing Israel. In South Africa, Castro alongside Arafat, one of his best friends, and with the worst African dictator Mugabwe, contributed and gave his blessing to this endeavour. He was applauded by the Assembly and idolised by journalists who were excited by the presence of such a celebrity. The UN opened a witch hunt against Jews on the eve of September 11 attacks.

Castro supported throughout his lifetime both anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric, which were an integral part of the so called “anti-American, anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist front”. It’s not a matter of chance that the palestinian flags yesterday flew at half staff. He trained terrorists, gave Arafat his international prize, filled his pocket with money: Together, as I saw them in Durban, they were so fit for each other.. and for Mugabwe.

In Durban, a large demonstration followed on the side of the anti-Israeli conference where people marched and applauded the liberation leaders under posters with Bin Laden’s picture. Fidel Castro did never refuse this ideological poison. Over the years, I met and wrote about people and their relatives who were Fidel’s prisoners of conscience, he took their freedom cruelly for decades, and this went hand in hand with his hostility toward any liberal democracy,included Israel.

Until the end, sick and old, he didn’t forget to curse Israel, whose expertise in agriculture had even helped him, according to what Rafael Eitan said on the Israeli radio. He went so far as to say, some years ago, that the Mossad was the force behind ISIS and that the Operation Margin of Protection against Hamas in Gaza was a “disgusting form of fascism” .

What did it mean? Nothing, it was just a nonsensical verbal habit used by hard-line Communists to invoke incitement against democracy, Since Castro hated democracy, and therefore his followers and admirers hated Israel.

Translation by Amy K. Rosenthal

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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