Validity of national unity in the thought of Fidel Castro to face COVID-19

EDUMECENTRO 2023;15:e2301



Validity of national unity in the thought of Fidel Castro to face COVID-19

Validez de la unidad nacional en el pensamiento de Fidel Castro para enfrentar la COVID-19


Mayra de los Ángeles Rodríguez Fernández1*
Lariza Pérez Machado1
Bárbara Esperanza Larrondo Castañeda1
Dora Lidia Arencibia Zamora1


1 University of Medical Sciences of Villa Clara. Pediatric University Hospital "José Luis Miranda". Santa Clara. Villa Clara. Cuba.


*Corresponding author. Email:




In Fidel Castro's ideology, his considerations about the need for unity to overcome any obstacle that tries to stop the course of the Cuban Revolution are appreciated, fundamentally directed towards the destabilizing maneuvers of the enemies of the homeland; However, this Fidel´s conviction that unity guarantees victory is present in the battle that has been waged, and is still being waged, against COVID-19, where the people, organized in various sectors, continue to obtain positive results against this pandemic. It is the objective of these authors to share some of their ideas that will serve as analysis and inspiration for their application in the current epidemiological context.

MeSH: coronavirus infections; ethics, professional; principle-based ethics; education, medical.


En el ideario de Fidel Castro se aprecian sus consideraciones acerca de la necesidad de la unidad para vencer cualquier obstáculo que pretenda detener el curso de la Revolución cubana, en lo fundamental dirigidas hacia las maniobras desestabilizadoras de los enemigos de la patria; sin embargo, esa convicción fidelista de que la unidad garantiza el triunfo está presente en la batalla que se ha librado, y aún se libra, contra la COVID-19, donde el pueblo, organizado en diversos sectores, continúa obteniendo resultados positivos en contra de esta pandemia. Es objetivo de estos autores compartir algunas de sus ideas que servirán de análisis e inspiración para su aplicación en el actual contexto epidemiológico.

DeSC: infecciones por coronavirus; ética profesional; ética basada en principios; educación médica.



Submitted: 24/01/2022
Accepted: 29/11/2022



Fidel Castro Ruz paid special attention to the health branch in his leadership during the transformation process of the new Cuban society. Public health in Cuba is not something improvised by circumstances, it is something carefully dreamed of, thought about and put into practice, and that is due to the genius of the revolutionary thought of the Commander in Chief.(1)

It is an irrefutable fact that health care is one of the main achievements of the Revolution, fulfilling what was expressed in its defense statement "History will absolve me", where it states the main problems that had to be solved: "The problem of the land, the industrialization problem, the housing problem, the unemployment problem, the education problem and the people's health problem; Here are the six points to whose solution our efforts would have been resolutely directed, along with the conquest of public liberties and political democracy".(2)

As early as March 13, 1960, Fidel expressed:(3) "Only a Revolution that has the majority of the people can defend itself against such powerful adversaries. (…). We have to maintain that majority of the people; we have to maintain that majority of the united people, as an essential matter; and for this reason we must know how to energetically reject everything that tries to weaken the forces of our people. Because the battle that the nation is waging is a national battle; the fight our people are waging is a fight against powerful forces. (…). The strength of the people is in their union; the strength of the people is in its majority; that majority that, as I said, today decides their destinies and that decides according to their own interests, following their own path".

On November 27 of that same year, Fidel Castro called for the people to unite to defeat external aggressions:(4) "Now, we are going to mobilize all the people so that the world knows how the Cuban people unite against the aggression, mobilizes against the aggression, protests against the aggression, and presents its truth to the whole world". In his speeches he continually resorted to the idea of uniting the people to fight the battle against everything that could affect the normal course of the Revolution. He considered national unity essential to face the transformations that the construction of a socialist society requires. Even today, in this unit, the role of health professionals in the communities is elementary; its action in close connection with the people is a basic component for the tasks that would be carried out as part of the process of transformation of public health.

In his advance towards the construction of socialism, he was a tireless fighter for the ethics that should characterize the health professional and advocated for his leading role in the community; becoming an important soldier of the Revolution. He urged them to work with feelings. "…you have to work with the maximum of responsibility, but there is nothing as sensitive to the human being as the issues that refer to health".(5)

The confrontation with COVID-19 and the complexities of the new world scenario demanded the consolidation of national unity. It is atop priority for all health professionals, including the new generations in the process of training, to unite, involving other social actors to achieve the final victory over the pandemic.

Although Fidel is not physically present today when the Cuban people fight COVID-19, these phrases pronounced on June 10, 1968, affirm his enormous social work and his purpose of achieving unity to overcome any task: "This gives us an idea of the enormous transformation that has taken place in Cuban society and how, (...) it is possible to create in the people a similar unity as the one that exists today in our country...".(6)

In the help provided to care for vulnerable people, in the emergence of activists in the communities who seek medicines for the elderly, the consolidation of national unity is appreciated, reflected in the role played by political organizations and masses, being the Communist Party of Cuba the leading and supervisory force of each task that was carried out from the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, the Federation of Cuban Women, the Young Communists league and the defense zones. All of them, together, played an important role in the investigations, in cleaning the stables in each quarantine area, in the vaccinations. Various sectors have worked closely together: tourism, popular courts, the education system, transporters, self-employed workers, -mainly those linked to food production-. Without the support displayed by them, who have cooperated with health professionals, the positive results that have been achieved would not be possible. Joint action has been necessary to fight the invisible enemy that humanity faces today.

Martínez Neyra et al.(7) affirm that in the confrontation with the COVID-19 pandemic in Cuba, the thought and work of Fidel Castro became a premise and strength in that great battle, and they base it on the system of health devised by him, the development of science, the production and use of medicines generated in Cuban laboratories: Recombinant Human Interferon Alpha 2b, Biomodulin T, Itolizumab Monoclonal Antibody demonstrated their efficacy against COVID-19; They, together with the development of vaccine programs, meant help and a brake on the contagious virus; On the other hand, the solidarity and medical collaboration conceived by Fidel and manifested at that moment of urgency in other countries, where dozens of health professionals were sent to share their experiences directly facing the pandemic in various scenarios, have the Fidel's imprint.

Health promotion was erected as a culture to prevent. It was a way to transmit spirituality and at this stage there were many initiatives that were developed both from cultural institutions, the media, and artists in connection with the community. But, above all, the unity of the Cuban people, as a bulwark. On November 12, 1971, the Cuban leader confirmed unity as the strength of the Revolution: "In our country, the strength of the Revolution is in unity...".(8)

The Cuban people continue to face the same enemies, the same threats, the same restrictions in the midst of the pandemic, which have affected, together with the blockade, the Cuban economy. The current president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, recalls Fidel's imprint related to the need for unity, when the remembered Commander in Chief, in one of his Reflections, wrote: "Unity means sharing the combat, the risks, the sacrifices , the objectives, ideas, concepts and strategies, which are arrived at through debates and analysis".(9)

In the political thought of Fidel Castro Ruz, his ideas on national unity can be appreciated at different moments of the revolutionary struggle and in the period of construction of the socialist system; they constitute a model to follow and a strong inspiration to face the challenges imposed by the existence of COVID-19.



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2. Castro Ruz F. La Historia me absolverá. La Habana: Editorial Ciencias Sociales; 2007.

3. Castro Ruz F. Discurso pronunciado en el acto celebrado en la escalinata de la Universidad de La Habana, en la conmemoración del 13 de marzo, el 13 de marzo de 1960. La Habana: Departamento de versiones taquigráficas del gobierno revolucionario; 1960.

4. Castro Ruz F. Discurso en la escalinata universitaria, el 27 de noviembre de 1960. La Habana: Departamento de versiones taquigráficas del gobierno revolucionario; 1960.

5. Beldavrain Chaple E. Apuntes sobre la medicina en Cuba. Historia y Publicaciones. La Habana: Editorial Ciencias Médicas; 2005.

6. Castro Ruz F. Discurso pronunciado en el Instituto Tecnológico "Rubén Martínez Villena" con motivo de graduarse alumnos de este instituto tecnológico y de la Escuela "Ilya Ivanov", el 10 de junio de 1968. La Habana: Departamento de versiones taquigráficas del gobierno revolucionario; 1968.

7. Martínez-Neira X, Leal-García E, Orizondo-Crespo C. El legado de Fidel Castro como premisa y fortaleza para el enfrentamiento a la COVID-19. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2022 [citado 05/10/2022];14:[aprox. 5 p.]. Disponible en: /view/e2214/html

8. Castro Ruz F. Discurso pronunciado en la plaza de Antofagasta, Chile, el 12 de noviembre de 1971. La Habana: Departamento de versiones taquigráficas del gobierno revolucionario; 1971.

9. Castro Ruz F. Reflexiones de Fidel. Lula (I parte). Cubadebate [Internet]. 2008. Disponible en:



Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



Contribution of the authors

Mayra de los Ángeles Rodríguez Fernández and Lariza Pérez Machado: they conceptualized the idea, analyzed the bibliography and wrote the research paper report.
Bárbara Esperanza Larrondo Castañeda and Dora Lidia Arencibia Zamora: located and analyzed the bibliography associated with the subject, delimited it by vancouver and reviewed the wording of the article.

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