Monday, December 5, 2016 at All Souls Episcopal Church, 88 St Nicholas Avenue (between 114 and 115 Avenues), Harlem NYC.
“We shall always remember you as our own. Fidel was not just your leader, Cuba, he was our leader, and the leader of all revolutionaries,” said President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, speaking for all of us.
For more information call December 12th Movement at 718-398-1766.
Harlem Pays Tribute to
Commandante Fidel Castro Ruz
by Amadi Ajamu
A special tribute honoring our revolutionary hero and world leader, the President of Cuba, El Jefe Commandante Fidel Castro Ruz, was held in Harlem, New York City, NY, USA on December 5, 2016 at the All Souls Episcopal Church on St. Nicholas Avenue and 114th Street.
President Castro died on November 25, 2016 at 90 years old. After a tour of his ashes starting from Havana, with people lining the streets and roof tops, on December 3, his remains were laid to rest in Santiago de Cuba. Tens of thousands of people crowded into Revolutionary Square to mourn and shout “Yo soy Fidel!”, or “I am Fidel!”
Miles away, a commemoration was held in New York City. “A Black Community Tribute to Commandante Fidel Castro” hosted by the December 12th Movement International Secretariat and the people of Harlem shouted, “Viva Cuba!” “Viva Fidel!” “When Africa called, Cuba Answered!”
The tribute began with a presentation from Father Frank Morales, presiding minister of the All Souls; “It is with great pleasure and honor that we welcome you here tonight as we celebrate a life of revolutionary inspiration from Fidel Castro. I think it’s more than interesting, that we’re here in a church, where a lot of the things that we strived for as people of faith to build a true heaven on earth are very similar to a lot of the things Fidel speaks about in terms of the communist and socialist society we want to build together.” Excerpt from speech.
After the screening of the 2009 Pan African Film Festival best documentary, “Cuba, An African Odyssey,” The Deputy Representative of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations, Ana Rodriguez spoke.
“We came here to the heart of Harlem, the Harlem that sheltered him (Fidel) and extended him its helping hand in 1960. The same Harlem that received him in the years 1995 and 2000. The Harlem of Lucius Walker, the Harlem of Elombe Brath, the Harlem of December 12th. The supportive and revolutionary Harlem, indispensable in his visits. Today, we come were to Harlem to celebrate his life!”
Speakers included Father Lawrence Lucas, Viola Plummer, and Omowale Clay of December 12th Movement, Nellie Bailey of Black Agenda, Bro. Hafiz Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, Drs. Leonard and Roslyn Jeffries, Professor James Smalls, Nana Camille Yarborough, and Tonderai Mutarisi, Counselor of the Permanent Mission to the Republic of Zimbabwe to the Untied Nations.
International attorney Roger Wareham of December 12th Movement read a statement from H.E. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe he made in Cuba.
“In short I can just say, taking Fidel Castro and all that Cuba has done under his leadership; your loss is our loss. And we could not stay and keep away, now that he is gone. We could not just keep away without coming to say farewell dear brother, farewell revolutionary. We shall always remember you as our own in the same way Cubans do also and that is the spirit that brings me and my delegation here. Just to share a tear with you and assure you that you that our hearts are with you also. But also our hearts are full of courage, and his life that he has bequeathed to us a lot of revolutionary goodness.
Fidel’s legacy transcended Cuba to the people and South America and Africa that he sacrificed so much for. I, as President of Zimbabwe, have come to join the people of Cuba and mourn with them the loss of our dear brother and our dear leader Fidel Castro. To express our deep condolences and to assure them that their feeling of deep loss is shared by us in Zimbabwe.” Excerpt from speech.
Omowale Clay stated in closing, “Much of what we heard and the reason why we called this tribute is because Fidel and the Cuban revolution have always been internationalist and continues that legacy. But most importantly, they stood for a peoples right to self determination. In that regard our community, the Black community, the African community, had this particular tribute to this brother and the Cuban revolution.”
“From Malcolm X, to our political prisoners who would be languishing in these dungeons in America if it were not for Cuba. The freedom and liberty of Southern Africa would not have been possible if it were not for the revolutionary alliance and the blood of the Cuban people. And as they said in the film when recruiting Cuban soldiers to fight, ‘without hesitation’ they called on the soldiers and told them, ‘You are going on an internationalist duty.’ The Cuban soldiers responded, ‘Where?’ ‘When? ‘How?’ ‘Let’s go!’ That kind of love and loyalty to a revolution that freed its people must be emulated, because the revolutionary spirit of El Commandante Fidel Castro must never ever touch the ground.”
Long live spirit of Commandante Fidel Castro!