The passing of famed, yet equally feared, Cuban president Fidel Castro on Nov. 25 sent shock waves throughout the Western world and beyond. Critics of Castro’s rise to political prominence described him as a ruthless dictator, while advocates of his revolutionary ways saw him as a beacon of light for underprivileged peoples oppressed by the greater society.
Since his death, countless Black leaders have come forward to speak words of praise and and remembrance of Castro’s legacy, emphasizing the Cuban leader’s stance on assisting African-Americans in the fight against U.S. colonialism and white supremacy. Prominent Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan also offered heartfelt words for the late Castro, who he deemed a “messenger of Allah.”
“In answering the prayer of all, he becomes a messenger of Allah; he became a messenger to All from the God of All to answer the critical needs of All,” Farrakhan said of the Cuban revolutionary. “And like Jesus, who said he came into the world that those who say they see may go blind and that those who are blind may see; the revolution that Jesus was to bring about would take those that were up and sit them down and those that were down and deprived would be raised up. Such a man was Fidel Castro. No wonder people hated him.”
Farrakhan went on to assert that Castro was so abhorred by the world because of the work he did to dismantle the system of privilege exercised by higher society over the Black and peasant class of Cuba, Central America, South America and beyond. He characterized the Cuban political leader as an answered prayer for lower-class citizens of society who longed for freedom, justice and equal opportunity but were denied it “under slavery colonialism and neocolonialism.”
“The longer the people are deprived, the greater the manifestation of the one who is born out of that longing from a simple woman to answer that need, that cry, that prayer of those deprived who long,” Farrakhan wrote.
Citing a passage from the Qur’an, the Nation of Islam leader emphasized that although Castro is physically deceased, his revolutionary ideas and principles will live on through the people of the Cuban revolution and quickly invigorate international consciousness.
“Those characteristics and principles are found all over our planet today among the poor and the oppressed and the weak,” Farrakhan declared. “He lives! In my heart and in the heart of all of us who understand his role, he will never die.”
“Long live the memory of Fidel Castro,” he concluded. “Long live the Cuban people who have endured this savage blockade for over 50 years. And may we be on the side of those who admit that we were once blind, but it’s our time to see as the confusion of Western heads of state and government is so clear that they are going blind. They will continue to break apart as the poor, the weak, the Black, the Brown and the Red will continue to rise by the grace of Allah (God).”