Yo Soy Fidel

The 25th of November 2016 died, at the age of 90, the Cuban Revolution’s leader Fidel Castro and with him an era came to an end. He had both admirers and detractors in Cuba and around the world. Some saw him as a ruthless despot who trampled rights and freedoms; many others hailed him, as the crowd did during the funeral, as a revolutionary hero. No doubt that he has been an icon that has left a deep mark in history and an important legacy.
Survived to 11 U.S. President and to more than 600 assassination attempts, as the legend says, Fidel Castro had held on to power longer than any other living national leader except Queen Elizabeth II. At least 3 generations of Cubans have lived under his government. He was perhaps the most important leader to emerge from Latin America since the wars of independence in the early 19th century and became a towering international figure whose importance in the 20th century far exceeded what might have been expected from the head of state of a Caribbean island nation of 11 million people.
His revolution transformed Cuban society and had a longer-lasting impact throughout the region than that of any other 20th-century Latin American insurrection. His legacy in Cuba has been a mixed record of successes and failures of social progress which anyway improved considerably the average conditions of the population, especially in the field of education and health care, that existed in the country under the former government of Batista.
For better or for worse, Fidel occupied an important place in the lives of Cubans. “The vast majority of Cubans feel a personal connection with Fidel,” said political scientist Rafael Hernandez, director of the Cuban magazine Temas. That applies to “both those who support him, wholly or with reservations, and those who see him as the cause of all Cuba’s ills.”.
With his death, many questions hang over the future of Cuba. Even if President Raul Castro, who has been leading the country since 2008 when Fidel stepped down, has been a reformist, pushing pragmatically for slow but steady change, the people are looking for a new future. If on one hand, Cubans feel devotion and gratitude towards their Lider Maximo, who has been a true father of his country, and now they are experiencing a sense of emptiness and uncertainty; on the other hand, they see in the death of Fidel an opportunity to take a step towards a modern society that can offer more individual possibilities. Especially the young generation are eager for a change, dreaming all the glittering things that capitalism can offer, without even knowing the backstory.
Nobody should assume, anyway, that without Fidel the revolutionary ideas, which are so deeply entrenched into the fabric of society, will easily succumb to capitalism’s supposed “jewels”. The Country will have to brace for a new challenge, finding a balance between modernity and Fidel’s legacy, if it wants to keep true to its socialist ideals, despite the economic hardships that it still has to confront.