Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin presided Tuesday over the inauguration ceremony of a monument in Moscow to the eternal leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro. The sculpture stands on the square named after the Commander in the Sokol district.
The monument made of bronze is three meters high and was created in Moscow over a period of half a year. The sculpture depicts Fidel on a rock upon which the map of Cuba is inscribed. The image reflects the heroic path of the man who defended the rights and freedoms of the people in his country, according to a Kremlin statement.
The Russian president noted that the monument was inaugurated in the square that already bears the name of Fidel Castro, whom Putin referred to as an “outstanding statesman and politician, founder of the modern Cuban state,” whose life was dedicated to “the self-sacrificing struggle for the triumph of the ideas of good, peace and justice, for the freedom of oppressed peoples, for a dignified life for ordinary people and social equality.”
The president added that Fidel Castro “is rightly considered one of the most famous and charismatic leaders of the 20th century, a truly legendary personality.”
It is common knowledge that on his deathbed, Fidel reiterated his desire that that no monuments be erected in his likeliness, in order to prevent a cult of personality forming around him.
According to Raúl Castro, “his attitude was consistent until the final hours of his life, insisting that once he died, his name and his image would never be used to denominate institutions, plazas, parks, avenues, streets, or other public places.” Fidel specifically said, according to his brother, that there should be no “monuments, busts, statues or other similar forms of tributes in his memory.” As a result, in Cuba, it is forbidden to erect a statue of Fidel.
Last February, In Moscow, City Duma deputies supported the idea of establishing the monument in the capital. The necessary funds for its construction would be provided by the Russian Military-Historical Society.
The Cuban president arrived in Moscow on November 19, as part of his international tour that includes visits to Algeria, Turkey, Russia, and China, between November 16 and 27. During his stay in Moscow, the Cuban leader will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 22.
On November 21, the Cuban leader attended a ceremony to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, a monument in honor of the combatants fallen during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945).
The Cuban president received an invitation from the Russian president to “come to Russia, hold talks and participate in the opening of the monument to Comandante Fidel Castro,” Cuban Ambassador to Russia Julio Antonio Garmendía Peña said in mid-November.
(Resumen Latinoamericano – English) with Orinoco Tribune content
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