Funzing Talks | Fidel Castro: Dictator or Hero?
- 62 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AU
Fidel Castro was the world’s longest standing political leader, and no one has divided opinion more. Fidel Castro has been portrayed as a dictator, many Cuban exiles hate him, but unlike any other dictator, Fidel retired with the love of his people. A year ago hundreds of Cubans in Florida celebrated his death, and millions of Cubans in Cuba mourned him deeply. In particular the older Cubans who remember the revolution, which Fidel came to personify.
In the 1950s, with his trusted gang of revolutionaries including the handsome Argentinian doctor Ernesto Che Guevara, and the brave Celia Sanchez, Fidel Castro vowed to liberate Cuba from the dictator Batista. With just a few hundred soldiers and limited weapons, they took on Batista’s army of thousands, with its tanks, aircraft and US-backed weapons and won. Their secret was their bravery, dedication, and the support of the Cuban people who desperately longed for social justice and an independent Cuba. To fulfill his promises of equality and independence Fidel Castro nationalised US property in Cuba and gave it to the people. The people loved him for it but the Americans never forgave him, and thus started the US embargo against Cuba, which lasted over fifty years and kept Cuba in poverty.
There is no character in history more interesting and controversial that Fidel Castro. He led Cuba for over 50 years while presidents and prime ministers came and went, doggedly sticking to the promises he made at the Declaration of Havana in 1960 of social justice and independence for Cuba. The story has elements of Robin Hood as Fidel expropriated US property in Cuba and gave it to the poor, leading to a 5 decade long embargo against the island. There are elements of David and Goliath as this tiny country held off US aggression and the attempted invasion in the Bay of Pigs and an estimated 638 CIA plots against Fidel Castro’s life. If it wasn’t true, you wouldn’t believe it!
Dr Denise Baden visited Cuba several times, eager to find out how this tiny island, with a GDP a fraction of that of countries in the West, could match or even outperform countries such as the US on factors such as life expectancy, infant mortality, pharmaceutical innovation, gender and racial equality and environmental sustainability. She found the leadership of Fidel Castro was central. She was also struck by the stark mismatch between Western views of Cuba as an oppressive dictatorship and the perceptions of Cubans themselves. Were Cubans all brainwashed, or have we in the West been victims of US propaganda? Denise will address this question and share her insights into this unique island and its leader through a mixture of personal insights, extracts of interviews with Cubans, photographs, theatre and music!
Venue: Lighthouse, Shoreditch
Doors: 7pm / Talk starts: 7.30pm.
Funzing Talks is a new concept which aims to re-invent your after work drinks. We've pulled together an impressive array of leading entrepreneurs, intellectuals, bright thinkers and incredible individuals to inspire your evenings.
Held in a hand picked range of bars across London, a Funzing Talks event makes the perfect after work activity.
Delve into a totally new subject and challenge your perspectives over a beer with like-minded Londoners. Funzing has always encouraged you to do something different with your free time, so we say do just that - you never know where it may lead you!Read Less
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