The Relationship between Nelson and Fidel: Game Changing

I was watching the History Channel last night and found out something that I had never known before.  As a Howard University graduate, I take my approach to learning Black History seriously.  As a Spanish minor, I also took great interest in learning about the struggles of individuals in Latin America.  There were many parallels between the struggles that we faced coming through slavery and the struggles that were faced by people of color in Spanish speaking countries.  I was shocked though to find out that Cuban troops helped to stabilize a radical group in Angola and thereby lead to the overthrow of apartheid in South Africa.

The system of apartheid was one of the most brutal forms of social control ever instituted.  As a student, I protested in front of the South African embassy.  I even met with a representative who felt that everything was fine in her country and that we should not be concerned about the people there.  I visited Johannesburg and even went to a small house that Nelson Mandela used to live in.  There were a pair of boots there that had sat there after he made a hasty escape from the South African police.  The ANC was a group that was hunted and vilified for trying to break the yoke of this racist regime.

Image result for nelson mandela and fidel castro

Cuba has had it own struggles with the United States.  Because it is a socialist state, our government has been leery of relationships with Fidel or Raul Castro.  The Bay of Pigs invasion by the U.S. fueled further anti-Cuban sentiment in this country.  Recently, after years of sanctions, the United States has decided to improve relationships with our neighbor in the western hemisphere.  Jay Z and BeyoncĂ© made a trip there recently.  Many businessmen are chomping at the bit trying to become the first corporations to legally establish a foothold in this country.  Governor Christie is a little upset about the relationship but he will get over it.

I think the one thing that forged the relationship between Nelson and Fidel was the common fight against oppression.  It is still hard to believe that my country was working hard to keep the apartheid regime in power.  Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was instrumental in trying to overthrow the uprising against the Portuguese backed regime in Angola.  Many European countries had carved Africa up and extracted natural resources for their own use.  Why would the U.S., built on the quest for religious freedom, willingly help to keep people of color from exercising their right to freedom?  That is a question for the history books.  I am just blogging about an interesting episode of the History Channel.

I wonder in what language Fidel and Nelson communicated?  Did they take the time to learn each others dialects?  Maybe the common fight for freedom was enough in terms of the communication process.  As we enter into 2016, the U.S. still has a problem of the color line.  People of color are being disproportionately killed by police officers.  There is a growing divide in economic parity.  our fight seems to be against ISIS and its radical approach to extending its borders.  I am always happy to find out that individuals that once seemed a threat to so called stability, can be viewed in a new light.  Fighting for liberty and justice for all is a hallmark of a superhero in our country.  It was also the basis for a relationship that I never knew existed. 

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