FIDEL CASTRO, the man who ruled Cuba for half a century, died at the age of 90. The Island of Cuba declared 10 days mourning period that ended with the urn carrying his ashes being placed inside a room at the Armed Forces Ministry in Havana.
One of the incidents that stunned everyone is the announcement by the Cuban President Raul Castro, the brother of Fidel, about the late Castro’s intention to submit a bill to the Parliament not to put his name on any national monument on the island.
Fidel until the last hours of his life insisted that none of the monuments on the island should bear his name and that included yards and gardens or avenues or streets or any other public site or his statue should be erected in any public place.
We hope our well guided government and the Municipality will be infected with the Fidel Castro mentality because we sleep in our homes for a night on the name or number of the Avenue which we knew about decades ago, and wake up from our sleep as if the old name or number was removed and replaced by another name of a person who we never heard of or knew about his exploits or solemnity except for his immediate relatives who had attained a certain level of prominence.
This was the good enough reason for our authorities to change the name and numbers of our streets overnight to immortalize people we don’t know but was done just because he had access to some relatives of those who are in charge of naming them.
Now we will have to be familiar with this name for the rest of our lives without our guilt or sin which we have not committed.
We understand the switch in names of people who were the apple of the eye when they were alive and have distinguished themselves in their work and served the people of Kuwait, but the competition has not become frenetic as we see the names of deceased people on streets which were named after poets or writers or politicians or prominent clerics for decades. This scenario is unpalatable.
So please reconsider what we are doing to change the names and numbers of our streets suddenly and without prior notice. Follow the example of the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
There’s no strength except with Allah Almighty.
By Ali Ahmad Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil