The Lyon King
While the West discusses whether Fidel Castro’s legacy was positive or negative, in Africa they feel like if they have lost a national hero. For many Africans, history has absolved Fidel Castro when it comes to Cuba’s foreign policy:
One of Castro’s central foreign policy goals was internationalism – the promotion of decolonisation and revolutionary politics abroad. This involved sending troops to fight in wars against colonial forces on the African continent, as well as supporting those movements with logistical and technical support. Cuba sent troops but it also sent thousands of doctors, dentists, nurses, health-care technicians, academics, teachers and engineers to the continent.
Furthermore, a significant proportion of Cubans trace their ancestries to west and central Africa (owing to slavery) contributes to this politics, writes Sean Jacobs, a South African, an associate professor of international affairs at the New School, and founder and editor of Africa is a Country.
Today, Cuba continues its involvement on the African continent, including training Africans in Cuban universities. During the Ebola outbreak in three west African countries, even Cuba’s US critics had to acknowledge the Cuban contribution to alleviating the crisis. At one point during the Ebola crisis, Cuba – a country with only 11 million people – had supplied the largest contingent of foreign medical personnel by any single nation working alongside African medics.
As reported this week in The Guardian