Cuban Ambassador Her Excellency Ibete Fernandez speaks at the closing ceremony
A major month-long photo exhibition on the life and revolutionary struggle of former Cuban President Fidel Castro was declared closed at the HELP College of Arts and Technology on 25 January 2017 in the presence of ambassadors and diplomatic staff from over 30 Latin American nations.
The exhibition opened very shortly after the passing of the iconic Cuban leader, and was organised in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Malaysia.
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (1926-2016), to give him his full name, was a Cuban revolutionary hero and nationalist known for his strong anti-American stance in consort with the former USSR and for embracing communism as a state ideology. He is revered throughout the Latin American continent, and under his leadership Cuba made great strides in medical, social and educational development, often to the detriment of economic progress.
In her speech at the closing, Her Excellency Ibete Fernandez, the ambassador of Cuba to Malaysia, paid tribute to Castro: “Fidel was a man who never defrauded his people, who fought tirelessly for their welfare and was at the head of every battle fought, every stumbling block faced. The impact of the Cuban Revolution could not be valued without taking into account its meaning for the people who were its main protagonists. The Revolution freed it from its oppression, returned its pride and taught it to think to make it independent.”
“I think there was no better place for this tribute and celebration…than a university [HELP CAT] where the young people who will build the future of this beautiful country and of the world congregate…let the exhibition stimulate knowledge about Cuba and Fidel Castro, an icon of the struggle for social justice…”
- Ambassador Ibete Fernandez
Dr Choong: “President Castro pitted himself against 11 US presidents in his lifetime.”
On the occasion, Her Excellency also presented a selection of books on Cuba to Dr Choong.
In tribute to Fidel Castro, HELP CAT President Dr Choong Yeow Wei said Castro also won the respect of the world at large. “While many of us remember President Castro as a soldier and a warrior, one must not forget that he created universal and free education and healthcare for Cubans. Cuba today enjoys first-world levels of literacy and life expectancy. The late President also made sure that the state reached the poorest communities, a commitment denied slum-dwellers in many poor countries.”
Photos from the exhibition
Castro was born to a wealthy sugar farming family in Birán,
Oriente Province, Cuba, where he is now buried.
“A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past”
– Fidel Castro.
Castro addressing the UN General Assembly: throughout much of
its history, Cuba had to struggle for recognition and acceptance in western-dominated forums.
Castro with Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the Argentinian medical doctor
who fought alongside Castro and similarly acquired revolutionary hero
status for leading revolutionaries in Latin America and Africa.
Castro had fond “sisterly” ties with Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. At the Non-Aligned summit in New Delhi
in March 1983, he surprised everyone by giving Indira a big bear hug before passing the conference gavel to her to
signify India taking over as host country from Cuba.