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Tom Morello Defends Fidel Castro: ‘Huge Hero Throughout the Third World’

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Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello has followed in the tradition of other liberal celebrities by defending former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the wake of his death at age 90 on Friday.

In a lengthy message posted to his Instagram account this weekend, Morello said that while he doesn’t agree with everything Castro did in Cuba, “there is ample reason why he is vilified in the US and yet remains a huge hero throughout the Third World.”

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"With what morality can the US leaders talk of human rights in a country where there are millionaires and beggars, where blacks face discrimination and great masses of Chicanos, Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans are deprecated, exploited and humiliated?"-Fidel. While I don't agree with all that Fidel Castro did there is ample reason why he is vilified in the US and yet remains a huge hero throughout the Third World. By defying Yankee imperialism for 50 years, instituting the best healthcare, child immunization and literacy systems in the Western Hemisphere (surpassing the US and Canada), exporting doctors to countries in need all over the globe (the Bush administration turned down his offer to send medical teams to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina), and being an unrepentant advocate of the poor and exploited it is no surprise that millions will mourn his passing. Audioslave was the first US rock band to ever play in Cuba and that experience will be one I will always treasure, especially the trip we took to a former country club of the wealthy that had been turned into a free college for gifted musicians. #vivalarevolucion #RIPFidel

A photo posted by Tom Morello (@tommorello) on

The guitarist continued:

“By defying Yankee imperialism for 50 years, instituting the best healthcare, child immunization and literacy systems in the Western Hemisphere (surpassing the US and Canada), exporting doctors to countries in need all over the globe (the Bush administration turned down his offer to send medical teams to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina), and being an unrepentant advocate of the poor and exploited it is no surprise that millions will mourn his passing.”

Morello also recalled how one of his bands, Audioslave, became the first rock band to play an outdoor concert on the island nation in 2005. The band later released a DVD of the live concert, Live in Cuba.

“Audioslave was the first US rock band to ever play in Cuba and that experience will be one I will always treasure, especially the trip we took to a former country club of the wealthy that had been turned into a free college for gifted musicians,” he wrote.

Morello’s defense of Castro comes as other progressive leaders have praised the dictator in the days following his death, including San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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