Published by Alma
By prensa Latina
The New York neighborhood of Harlem hosted a tribute to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, until Saturday night, at the emblematic Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.
More than 200 people seating and dozens of spectators standing honored the revolutionary leader, who passed away on November 25, 2016, as part of an event that organizers called ‘The Legacy Continues’ and that consisted of artistic performances, speeches and videos, in addition to a brief religious ceremony.
Big Apple residents from all walks of life participated in the event, as well as diplomats from the Cuban Permanent Mission at the United Nations, headed by Ambassador Anayansi Rodríguez.
‘The New York-New Jersey Cuba Sí Committee decided to pay great tribute to the commander, due to the example that he has given us in our struggles, to the Puerto Ricans, the African-Americans, etcetera, etcetera,’ one of the organizers, Frank Velgara, told Prensa Latina.
According to the activist, the community of Harlem welcomed Fidel several times, so it is the right scenario for the tribute.
‘It is an acknowledgement of the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro, who is our commander, and there is no better place than this neighborhood, with a long history of solidarity by African-Americans and Latinos with Cuba, as well as Cuba with our peoples,’ he noted.
Velgara recited a poem dedicated to the revolutionary leader, which he entitled ‘My Brother Fidel’.
‘I wrote it when I learned about his death and for the first time I recite it publicly,’ he explained.
In one of the most moving moments of the event, Dr. Joaquin Morante, a U.S. physician who graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba, expressed gratitude for the opportunity of sharing with people from everywhere in the world and changing his professional perspective.
‘I was changed there, because Fidel taught us to be better human beings and to worry about others (…) Cuba is an example of public health at the service of the people, with citizens as a priority, and in that we see the great vision of Fidel Castro,’ he underlined.
The masters of ceremonies were the executive director of the solidarity organization Pastors for Peace, Gail Walker, and a member of the Venceremos Brigade, Malcolm Sacks.
Videos about Fidel Castro, including fragments of speeches by African ambassadors at the United Nations General Assembly to remember his life and work in December, were screened during the event.
Cuba’s permanent representative at the United Nations expressed gratitude for the tribute to Fidel Castro and assured that the Cuban people reaffirm their commitment to being faithful the commander-in-chief’s legacy.
‘From him, we Cubans learned that a socialist revolution, to be true, must remain firm to principles. There should not be doubts that we will continue defending them today and in the future, whatever the situation may be,’ Rodriguez stressed.