A Memoir about Shams-e Al-e Ahmad’s Trip to Cuba

Mahmood Fazeli

Translated by: Mohammad Karimi

In 1985 I had an official trip to Nicaragua in Central America. The dictator of this country had been fallen down some time after the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. This country was considered as a New Leftist pattern for the Latin Americans. During the trip a group of Islamic Consultative Assembly and I had a meeting with Daniel Ortega (the president then and now) who was elected by Sandinistas Revolutionaries.
I visited Shams-e Al-e Ahmad for the first time there; he was calm, dignified and slim and had a low voice. I could hardly hear him. Getting old was clear in his face.
The heavy program of the mission for the trip; several meetings and sessions with officials of that revolutionary country, whom most of them had fought and being imprisoned for long time, did not let me to have more dialogues with Shams.
Shams after a long residence in Managua, the capital, went out toward Havana, Cuba. He had planned this trip quite personally. The matter which is published in some websites that say he was going there to participate in the Cuban Communist Party Congress is baseless. Some even have claimed the he has had visited Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader. Iranian Ambassador at that time there, believes that there has been no such a visit with Castro and emphasizes Shams’s trip was quite personal. His memoirs about this few months trip to these two countries later were published in two volumes.
His membership in the Cuban-Iranian Friendship Association undoubtedly is not unrelated to his trip to Havana to get more familiar with this country. He established this association along with some others in 2002. However, he could not take part in the monthly meetings of this association because of his sickness. This association issued a condolence announcement and called him “Noble and loving Human and Teacher”.
The ones who have seen him during his residence in Havana say that Shams observed the Cuban developments closely. Shams was coming from Nicaragua, one of the poorest Central American countries, to Havana and undoubtedly observed the apparent differences between the two countries. Fundamental measures such as uprooting illiteracy and heath care system development had brought moral credit for Cubans among many political experts and observers. But lack of democracy was the main problem with the Cuban political system during the forty years of Castro’s Revolutionary government as the last Cold War survivor.

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