Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica is calling for the left to unite and fight back against the rise of the right-wing in Latin America, and has praised Cuba and Fidel Castro as an example for the region.
Mujica pointed to historical examples to emphasize the necessity of a united left front, recalling the long rule of Spanish 20th century dictator Francisco Franco, who "died in bed, of old age, peacefully, because communists, socialists and anarchists dedicated themselves much more to fighting among themselves rather than fighting against fascism."
He said he understands the lesson is a hard one to learn, because "every sect of the left thinks it has the revealed truth," but this mentality ends up destroying possible victories.
"The right united out of interest, but we divide ourselves over ideas," Mujica said.
Mujica was reflecting on the upcoming meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, which is an international unity of Latin American leftist groups.
The former president emphasized the importance of this meeting given the current regional political situation: "It pains me what is happening in Nicaragua, in Ecuador and in Venezuela," Mujica said.
Cuba, and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, are examples to be followed, Mujica said: Cuba is "like a sort of altar in our religion" and Fidel Castro should be "honored daily through our militancy and everyday commitment."