José Martí Association for Turkish-Cuban Friendship (JMKDD) held a commemoration event on November 26 in İstanbul for the first anniversary of the death of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
Luis Alberto Amorós Núñez, the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Ankara, and Elio Sotero Gámez Neyra, Vice-President of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), as well as Kemal Okuyan, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), attended the event.
Working in coordination with ICAP, JMKDD was founded on the initiative of the TKP in 2002 with the aim to develop the friendship and cooperation between Turkish and Cuban peoples.
"In answer to the question what has happened in Cuba after Fidel’s departure, I can say that today Cuba is Fidelista more than ever. Castro is among us with the work of all the Cuban people. We want to give a message to those who think that Cuba cannot resist the imperialist attacks without Fidel: there will be no treason in Cuba. We will always protect the glory legacy of Fidel," Cuban ambassador Núñez said.
CUBA RESISTED TWO BIG POWERS
Saying that it is very difficult to talk about Fidel during the anniversary of his death, Kemal Okuyan emphasized that Cuba had resisted the U.S. and the Soviet Union under Gorbachev at the time. Okuyan emphasised the role of Fidel Castro and the Cuban people’s resolution when the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev led a counterrevolutionary initiative around the world. Okuyan said that Cuba decided to stick to socialism in difficult times when the socialist world was collapsing.
"Fidel never tried to conceal humanely weaknesses throughout his entire life, nor his people do so. Fidel also belongs to us, not only to Cuba. Thanks to the ‘last leader’, we hopefully advocate a struggle today. We lost the last person who fits well to the description of 'revolutionary leader'. Salute to our dear Comandante, salute to our friend and comrade," Okuyan continued.
INDEPENDENCE IS POSSIBLE ONLY WITH SOCIALISM
Elio Gámez Neyra expressed thanks to the Turkish-Cuban Friendship Association and TKP for their supports to Cuba in difficult times, adding that Fidel taught the Cubans internationalism and solidarity.
"I want to underline again: the Cuban people will stick to Fidel's thoughts, and there will be no treason. Nobody should be mistaken about the steps we have taken in Cuba; those economic steps are for a better socialist establishment. We do not see ourselves as a teacher to teach anybody about what is to be done, yet, only with socialism one can be independent 90 miles away from the U.S.," Gámez Neyra stated.
Gülzerin Kızıler, from the İstanbul branch of the Turkish-Cuban Friendship Association, delivered a concluding speech: "We lost the historical leader of a country that is still defending the good despite the blockade in a world where reactionism and injustice prevail. If the slogan of the Cuban people, ‘I am Fidel’, following the death of Fidel has evolved into ‘Fidel is the people’, we must believe that Cuba will continue its path under socialism. We will continue to act in solidarity with the Cuban people against imperialism."
The commemoration event ended with live performances of Turkish musician Gülcan Altan and Cuban musicians with the enthusiastic participation of the audience who chanted "Yo soy Fidel!" (I am Fidel!) and "Viva Cuba! Viva Socialismo!" (Long live Cuba! Long live Socialism!).