Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan paid tribute to Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution at the PKK’s 38th anniversary celebrations in Medya Defence Zones, Firat News Agency reported on November 28.
“I would like to express my condolences for the Cuban people and all revolutionaries, and my wish that they march with the ideals of Fidel Castro in their struggle. In the last congress, he said ‘I will die one day, physically, but our ideals must live on.’ With this, Castro warned the Cuba Communist Party and the Cuban people. We believe the people of Cuba and all peoples of South America will continue Fidel Castro’s ideals and will march on that path. They will work for the implementation of the ideals of freedom, equality, socialism that Fidel Castro represents. We know he himself was a man devoted to the memory of great revolutionaries and worked to keep Southern American revolutionary tradition alive.”
Kalkan said Castro built the basic line of Latin American revolutionaries, fought to spread socialism all over the world and was the inspiration for the 1968 revolution of the youth and continued: “The revolutionary line of Cuba is embodied in the approach of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. They developed the fundamental line of Latin American Revolution and gave it cohesion. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara need to be considered together and that revolutionary line should be evaluated accordingly. If we do so, we develop Socialism and spread its ideals and ideology without sacrificing it for political gains.”
“The Cuban revolution was the fundamental force that triggered the 1968 movement.”
Kalkan emphasised that the PKK’s birth followed the '68 youth movement and coincided with the national liberation of Vietnam and the struggle of peoples in Africa. Kalkan stated that the Cuban revolution would always live on in the PKK’s struggle, and Castro’s statement ‘our ideals should live on’ is a heritage to all people including Kurds. Kalkan reiterated that they would continue to struggle for disseminating ideals such as equality based on diversity, democracy, sharing, solidarity an socialism in Kurdistan and the Middle East.
Kalkan noted that socialism developed uniquely in Cuba despite the collapse of socialism in many other parts of the world, and this had to do with commitment to ideological principles and goals as well as being founded in society.
The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) issued the following written statement on November 28.
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“We offer our condolences to the people of Cuba, to the progressive community and all revolutionaries in the wake of great revolutionary Fidel Castro losing his life. Fidel Castro, who embodied the purest ideals and longings of humanity until his last breath, will not be forgotten. His legacy will be carried by revolutionaries and the whole of humanity in the struggle for freedom, democracy and socialism. The Kurdish Freedom Movement will not forget the contributions Fidel Castro made to humanity’s struggle for freedom, democracy and socialism, and will carry his legacy and his aspirations in the Kurdish people’s and the peoples of Middle East’s struggle for freedom.
“The Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara has acted as a significant inspiration for the Kurdish Freedom Movement’s struggle. Their revolutionary spirit and their passion for freedom, them challenging tyrants, fascists, dictators and imperialists saying 'death come wherever it may' has had important impact in shaping the PKK militancy. Them challenging the imperialist capitalist system as a small country has been a characteristic held as an example by the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Like them, the Kurdish Movement has also proved through practice that no obstacle can stand in the way of the passion for freedom and democracy, and has fought and reached victory, however big the enemy is, and however many obstacles there may be.
“Fidel Castro and the people of Cuba have contributed so much to humanity’s history of freedom. In a period during which imperialism and fascism ruled the world, the resistance of the Cuban people and the revolution they realised gave strength to and accelerated the struggles for freedom and democracy for all peoples. And most of all, Fidel has awakened the spirit of freedom for the South American peoples, and turned South America into a region of revolutionary struggle where the struggle for freedom and democracy never wanes.
“After South America, the area where Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution has had the most effect has been the Middle East. Castro has had an important impact in the development of the revolutionary movements in Turkey and Kurdistan. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara’s militancy and the characteristics of the Cuban Revolution have been a source of courage and morale for peoples under strict oppression.
“The internationalist spirit of the Cuban revolution impacted Haki Karer and Kemal Pir’s [PKK's Turkish founders] decision to join the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Our movement and leader Öcalan have never forgotten or shown disloyalty towards any person or movement that has given strength to the development of the struggle for freedom; we will have the same approach to Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution and will carry on the legacy of this revolutionary and the values he created in our fight for freedom and our revolution.
“The revolutionary spirit of Fidel Castro and his comrades will live on in humanity’s struggle for democracy, freedom and socialism and humanity will one day reach the world it yearns for.”
[Translation of KCK statement reprinted from Kurdish Question.]