The recent passing of Fidel Castro has sparked widespread conversation of his life and legacy.

“So many people just don’t know about him, but it’s very evident to people around the world, particularly people of oppressed countries, the giant that Fidel Castro was.  This was a life that got things done.” IPS’ Netfa Freeman told Jared Ball on I Mix What I Like.

Freeman shared that despite the various opinions of Castro that will be spread during this time, he should be known as one of the greatest ideologues of our time.  The host agreed with Freeman that in Castro’s case, his image as an ideologue meant that he was able to approach issues with integrity and steer and inform people on pressing issues.

“This is someone who talked about the climate change disaster and what it means for the third world before anyone was talking about it,” Freeman said.

The panelists said they hope that Castro’s impeccable leadership is not lost in remembrance of him.  “One of the things that made Fidel a giant is that he knew it wasn’t just about him. He was able to lead a revolution that prepared the people to be in charge and go on in his absence,” Netfa explained.

Freeman recognized that while many are deeply saddened by his passing, some will not join the mourning of the fallen leader, and he addressed some of the burden of Cuba that Castro was made to carry.

“We should separate the shortcomings of a country from the shortcomings of an individual leader of that country,” Freeman told Ball.

With the miscellany of perspectives on the life and impact of Castro, Freeman charges those that are more informed to defend his legacy. “When a leader passes, they get more attention and not all of it is correct,” Freeman said. “For those of us that know more about him, it gives us an opportunity to correct that stuff.”

Listen to the full article below.

Netfa Freeman is the events coordinator at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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