Former leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro’s life is celebrated through a photographic exhibition currently on show at the National Museum. Castro, who made his spiritual transition last year, was revered for his political leadership, resilience and ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
Despite his acclaim, Castro was also an enigma of sorts, and perceived differently. While he was touted as a hero by many, he was also brandished a horrid dictator in certain quarters. This exhibition brings the curious closer to learning more about this fascinating political icon.
Ambassador of Cuba to Botswana, Patricia Pego Guerro noted that the exhibition is aimed at not only preserving the country’s history but also sharing it with Botswana. “Botswana and Cuba share a history that spans 39 years and it was fitting for us to share the fascinating story of Castro through pictures that tell a story about his life.” The good thing about art displays is that individuals can interpret the work in their own way.
The exhibition features images in black and white spanning over three decades. One picture that piques interest is of Castro with former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Castro was one of the first leaders Mandela visited after his release from prison in the early 90s.
Castro was a simple man as evidenced in the pictures where he mostly wears his trademark outfit, a kaki military overall with cap and boots. From the pictures, one gets the sense that Castro was a people’s person and had legions of fans that believed in him and his ideologies.
Fidel Castro, who was born in 1926 near Biran, Cuba orchestrated the Cuban Revolution and was the head of Cuba’s government until 2008. Beginning in 1958, Castro and his forces began a campaign of guerrilla warfare, which led to the overthrow of former Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista. As the country’s new leader, Castro implemented communist domestic policies and initiated military and economic relations with the Soviet Union that led to strained relations with the United States that culminated in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Under Castro, improvements were made to health care and education. Castro was also responsible for fomenting communist revolutions in countries around the world. However, the 1991 collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and its negative impact on Cuba’s economy led Castro to relax some restrictions over time. Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016 at the age of 90. The exhibition runs until the end of May. The National Museum operates Monday to Friday from 8am until 4pm.
*Additional information: www.biography-people