On the eve of Fidel Castro’s 91st birthday and the 72 years anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Let us reflect on democracy and escalation of offensive nuclear weapons.

Fidel Castro Ruz delivered one of his most memorable speech on January 21, 1959 in Havana in front of a million Cuban workers and peasants. “When the People Rule” He defined the democracy for the majority to build Cuba where the people are free not just political but economically as well. The USA has campaigned against the people of Cuba because of their fear of this dangerous example and the idea of freedom for all of America. Fidel also set out that the fate of a nation cannot depend on one man and lived his life without an entourage of security and armoury associated with state leaders. During the speech, he proposed to the July 26 Movement Board to appoint Raul Castro second in command. He explained that he was suggesting this not because Raul is his brother but because he considered him sufficiently capable to substitute for him should he have to die. Moreover, he went on to clarify that Raul is a Comrade with very firm revolutionary convictions and has shown his ability in this struggle. Raul has demonstrated his ability as an organiser, leader and spent two years in prison.”I wish this did not concern a brother. I wish that he had been another in order to remove the slightest suspicion that I am favouring a relative.

Cuban state elections will take place next year. Raul has already decided not to stand for President. There will not be the power politics of money like the USA or the distasteful scenes witnessed this week in India for the Rajya Sabah politics with MLA’s being traded for 15 Crore each.Democracy has to be for the majority. The Constitution of the Republic of India provides for a parliament elected on the basis of adult franchise and confers certain fundamental rights on the people. Due to the bourgeois landlord rule by the minority with money power, many of these rights are misinterpreted, distorted and even violated by the authorities of the State. For workers, peasants, women, Dalits, religious minorities, students and youth, the fundamental rights cease to apply for them.
Battle of ideas, differences of opinion that we pride ourselves on is denied and described as unpatriotic and anti national.

On the question originally posed by nuclear weapons, having heard the rhetoric from Donald Trump and DPRK today, the world has moved closer to the brink of destruction. Today of all days when we recall the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Harsev Bains
Indian Workers Association (GB)