As the world condoles the demise of Cuba's former President and communist stalwart Fidel Castro, the Left leaders in Kerala remembered him as a great revolutionary belonging to not just Cuba, but the entire world.
In a statement released to the media, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that Castro was the inspiration behind every struggle against dictatorship in the world.
"There is no comparison for the kind of individual he was. He was the leader who challenged American imperialism, and ensured the survival of socialism during trying times," Pinarayi said.
Pinarayi recalled how Castro became a people's leader after overthrowing the autocratic rule of Batista: He led the underprivileged people on to the path of development.....from the darkness of dictatorship to the light of freedom and citizen rights. He outlived many assassination attempts to make Cuba a socialist country. Deeply interested in social rights since a very young age, Castro led the Cuban revolution."
He also noted that Castro's role in proving the relevance of socialist ideology could not be ignored, especially in regard to Kerala.
"During the 90s when Cuba was under crisis, we reached out to them with clothes and medicines. The world of revolution will always remember Castro. The world will always respect the years that he served as Cubaâ€™s President."
CPI(M) veteran VS Achuthandan said that Castro's death was a loss to entire mankind.
The party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan too condoled Castro's demise, terming him the guiding light for socialism and the fight against imperialism.
"Castro who had been a close friend to India, also maintained close relations with the Communist establishment in the country. We request all party constituents to lower the party flag for the next three days to condole his demise," Kodiyeri added.
Former Kerala Minister and senior CPI leader Binoy Viswam said his meeting with the great revolutionary way back in 1984 in Havana is still fresh in his memory.
"The moment he walked into the meeting hall where hundreds of youths from various places were present, the atmosphere turned electric with lots of slogan shouting, especially of 'Either socialism, or death'. He was an inspiration to Communists all over the world," said Viswam.
State Finance Minister and academic Thomas Issac said though Castro was not a Communist in the beginning, he later turned one, and since then he was instrumental in laying a new path for the third world countries, especially the Communist movement.
State Communist Party of India secretary Kanam Rajendran recalled that Castro played a huge role in showing to the world that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Communist movement is here to stay, and proved it too.
"He was always an inspiration for Indian communists. We too played a small role when an embargo was announced against Cuba, especially by providing food items and medicines," said Rajendran.
State Education Minister C. Raveendranath said the greatness of Castro was he understood the emotions and the feelings of the ordinary man.
"Communists across the globe have a common thread as Castro too followed the Marxist thoughts and ideology which he showed and proved was the true alternative to the neo-liberal policies," said Raveendranath.
(With inputs from IANS)