American professor gives talk at NMMU on the Legacy of Fidel Castro
Known famously as the long-time leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro died at the age of 90 in November 2016, nearly sixty years after leading the 26 July Movement in 1953 to overthrow the Batista dictatorship.
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) held a lecture on Friday led by Professor Gary Prevost on the Legacy of Fidel Castro, and what his movement did for the people of Cuba.
Professor Prevost hails from the College of St Benedict and St John’s University in Minnesota, United States.
“I made my first research trip onto the island of Cuba in 1983, from there I have made 16 subsequent visits to the island and have established a collaborative relationship with professors at the University of Havana who have helped me to navigate the situation and to gain a better understanding of what is happening in that very interesting place,” said Professor Prevost.
The talk explored Fidel’s legacy with the main focus being on what he accomplished from the revolution he led for more than forty years, the impact on Cuba itself, and the impact the revolution had on the rest of the world, especially Africa.
“It was Fidel, who believed that the success of the revolution and the marker of their achievement would be the physical and emotional health of the Cuban people. And so they set about building a revolutionary health care system,” said Professor Prevost.
“Now in 2017, Cuba has health indicators equal to any country on the planet. Life expectancy in the low 80’s, infant mortality rate under five, those being some of the key marks.
“Cuba basically has the same indicators as Europe, the United States, Japan, and ironically they get their by spending far less on money and resources.
“Cuba, with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) was one of the primary countries that provided doctors in West Africa at the height of the Ebola epidemic.”
Professor Prevost concluded his lecture by stating that thanks to their medical system Cuba has managed to ‘inject’ itself into the world economy and is able to bring money into the country with their doctors in order to fund their medical research.
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