Fidel: A man with the courage to try to change the world

The only sure thing in life is that we all must die.

Having seen the occasional images of the frail Fidel Castro at 90, one knew that sooner rather than later the leader of the Cuban Revolution would succumb to that most strict of all human laws.

Although saddened in very personal ways by the news, I was not surprised to hear, at 1 a.m. Saturday, that Fidel Castro Ruz had died in Havana a few hours earlier.

May he rest in peace.

I live in Miami. For that reason and others that should be obvious to Cuba followers, since news broke of the Cuban leader’s demise, I have yet to turn on the television. I have tried, in fact, to avoid local news outlets that I am sure will make a circus of Fidel’s death…

Probably overlooked by most of our local media, though, is that Fidel Castro has staked his place in Cuban history. One hundred years, two hundred years forward, his name will hold a special and lofty place. Fidel’s name will go down as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century.

I hearken to today’s world when thinking of Fidel and his influence. The just completed presidential election in the United States, for example, and other recent world events that defy explanation, especially if you put too much trust in modernity and polls, point to a world populace that is not satisfied in the direction political leaders are taking us.

Some will call me crazy and reaching too far for comparisons, but in this instance Fidel’s thought was far ahead of most thinkers who deal with the everyday commonplace. And surely the man made mistakes, and who hasn’t, some very large and costly, but Fidel Castro knew, he felt the pulse of a future where he foresaw a need for change — in governance and how we govern; in our relationships; and in how we treat this earth where we live.

We may not have agreed with his ways, but he wanted to change the world. And yes, I believe, for the better. Only the future can tell us if he succeeded. I will not be around to see the results.

Very few of us dare risk everything for his or her beliefs. In that sense, Fidel never wavered. He had the courage of his convictions.

Finally, and possibly most importantly for all Cubans, for better or for worse, for the first time in its history, Cuba is not beholden to any world power. And for that we must thank Fidel Castro.