Famed Cuban folk singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, who turns 70 today, has paid tribute to late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, calling him “one of the most extraordinary human beings of all time."
Fidel: A Revolutionary Life
“Eternal glory to Fidel. My deep condolences to his relatives, to the people of Cuba, to the world and to the whole universe for the loss of one of the most extraordinary human beings of all time,” said Rodriguez in a blog post upon hearing of Fidel's death.
The prolific musician, who has released more than 20 albums, never denied support for Fidel and the Cuban Revolution and he recently condemned the blockade imposed by the United States.
Rodriguez formed part of Latin America’s socially conscious Nueva Trova songwriting movement in the 1960s.
In his hit “Cancion del Elegido” or “Song of the Chosen,” he refers to “an exceptional man” — which could easily be interpreted as either Fidel or Ernesto Che Guevara — who “found out there had been a coup … and understood that war was the peace of the future.”
“Fusil Contra Fusil” pays homage to Fidel's comrade Che Guevara following his death in 1968: “The man of the century was lost, his name and last name are 'gun against gun!'"
When Rodriguez wrote “El Necio” in 1992, he was thinking of Fidel but also, in part, himself, Rodriguez told La Tercera, “What drove me was the ideological atmosphere at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, the collapse of the socialist side.”
He explained that the idea for the song came after Cuban workers at Miami airport broke his guitar because he was wearing a sticker of Fidel. Necio means “idiot” in Spanish.
“Todo el Mundo Tiene Su Moncada” refers to the 1953 assault of the Moncada Barracks, Fidel's first battle against the Batista dictatorship and the first armed action of a process that would culminate many years later in the Cuban Revolution.