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War, Racism and Economic Justice: The Global Ravages of Capitalism Paperback – October, 2002

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About the Author

Fidel Castro led a guerrilla movement in Cuba that overthrew the Batista dictatorship in 1959. Since then, the Cuban president has been the nemesis of ten U.S. administrations. He stepped down in 2007 but has regularly expressed his views on world events and political personalities in his famous "reflections."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Ocean Press (October 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1876175478
  • ISBN-13: 978-1876175474
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Fidel Castro Ruz was born in Birán, in the former province of Oriente, on August 13, 1926. Born into a well-off landowning family, he received his primary education in a rural school, later attended private Jesuit schools in Santiago de Cuba and Havana, and graduated from law school at the University of Havana (described in My Early Years and Fidel and Religion). As a student, he volunteered for an armed expedition against the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic and was in Colombia to help organize a Latin American anti-imperialist student congress when the April 1948 popular uprising occurred in Bogotá. After Fulgencio Batista's 1952 coup, Fidel Castro organized and led an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada army garrison in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953. While in prison, Fidel Castro edited his defense speech from the trial into the pamphlet History Will Absolve Me, which was distributed in tens of thousands of copies and became the program of what was to become the revolutionary July 26 Movement. Originally sentenced to 15 years, he and his comrades were released from prison 22 months later, in May 1955, as a result of a growing public campaign. Exiled to Mexico, he organized a guerrilla expedition to Cuba to launch a guerrilla movement to overthrow Batista. Arriving aboard the cabin cruiser Granma, for the next two years, Fidel Castro led the Rebel Army. On January 1, 1959, Batista fled Cuba. In response to a call by Fidel, hundreds of thousands of Cubans launched an insurrectionary general strike that ensured the victory of the revolution. Fidel Castro arrived triumphantly in Havana on January 8 as commander-in-chief of Cuba's victorious Rebel Army. On February 13, 1959, he was named prime minister, a position he held until December 1976, when he became president of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers. One of history's greatest orators, for nearly five decades, Fidel Castro has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of Third World and other oppressed peoples at international forums such as the Movement of Nonaligned Countries and the United Nations. A selection of his famous speeches was published in Fidel Castro Reader. On July 31, 2006, shortly before his 80th birthday, Fidel Castro handed over all his positions in the Cuban government to his brother Raúl. "Fidel's devotion to the word is almost magical." -- Gabriel García Márquez "Fidel is the leader of one of the smallest countries in the world, but he has helped to shape the destinies of millions of people across the globe." --Angela Davis "Fidel Castro is a man of the masses& The Cuban revolution has been a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people." --Nelson Mandela "Fidel's is a singing and dancing intellect& In Fidel this passion is expressed in his priestly dedication to revolution." --Alice Walker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tim Johnson on June 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read Castro's book as part of an ongoing series in my attempt to make sense out of the jumble of political puzzle pieces strewn around in my head. Only now after many books, many articles and finally this compilation of Castro's speeches can I say that I have a good idea of the picture that is emerging out of the welter of political "spin" that clouds our contemporary world.

I should have read this book three years ago when I started this mammouth mind-puzzle but I did not know that the book even existed. Had I known, it would have saved much time because Castro says what all the other writers say but in a far more concise manner.

I know, I know-there will be many who dismiss this comment because they believe that a marxist socialist can never be believed even when he is quoting United Nation's facts and figures; however, his facts, figures and interpretations are repeated over and over again by other writers from other countries on other continents. The sum of the information is just too great to ignore-read this wonderful, concise volume and you will be much the wiser for your effort.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book contains a selection of Fidel's speeches given between June 2000 and November 2001. A portrait of a great and humane man emerges from these pages. He addresses a remarkable variety of subjects, but always links them to their root cause, our continued tolerance of the unjust and unworkable economic disorder that is capitalism.
He defends Cuba's exceptional achievements in the fields of health and education, pointing out that in Cuba life expectancy is remarkably high. He upholds Cuba's democracy as more full and just than the parliamentary democracy that we increasingly reject.
He notes that more Cuban doctors and health workers are providing free medical services in Third World countries than at any previous time. They are training 5000 Latin American medical students to become doctors in Latin America. Cuban doctors have set up medical schools in Gambia and Equatorial Guinea to educate doctors to live and work in Africa, not to poach them, as the Blair government does. Cuban doctors are working to assist African countries to cope with the devastations of AIDS.
War, terrorism and economic crisis are all born of an unsuccessful and unsustainable political and economic order. Fidel deplores the fact that the US government holds the sole veto power in the IMF and the World Bank, which prevents these bodies from being changed from tools of destruction. Fidel asserts that theft of resources and of capital from Third World countries equals genocide, and looking at the huge numbers of unnecessary child deaths in those countries, one can only agree.
He warns against recourse to war as a solution to problems. Instead, he proposes that the UN Security Council, an executive body, should be subordinated to the democratic legislature of the General Assembly.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Drew Hunkins on May 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
With incredible wisdom, erudition and experience Castro touches on all the major issues of our time in this concise and spectacular book. Over 500 years of imperialism and exploitation against the Caribbean, South America and Central America are addressed. One consistent theme he constantly refers to is the need for solidarity amongst all of the Latin people of the Western Hemisphere.

Interesting sections of the book deal with the living standards in Cuba that have all gone in a positive, life-affirming direction since the ouster of Batista in the late 1950s and the onset of the revolution's socio-economic programs. Literacy rates, infant mortality, vaccinations, poverty levels, employment rates - in all of these categories the common Cuban folks are the envy of the rest of the Latin American masses who are gripped by incredible levels of poverty and crushing exploitation.

Fidel also includes insightful chapters expounding on the speculative global economy that has developed since Nixon's dismantling of the Bretton Wood system in the early 1970s. It's an economy that hinges on the machinations of international financiers making computerized currency trades in a matter of seconds. Castro alludes to its unsustainability since it's a system that has virtually nothing to do with the substantive manufacture of goods and services. Instead, daily by the minute currency speculation and financial bubbles dictate global capitalism. Of course along with addressing this relatively recent phenomenon the book also includes a fair critique of the FTAA.

Most interesting is a chapter consisting entirely of the speech Castro delivered to the International Conference on Racism in South Africa two weeks prior to the September 11th attacks.
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