The Socialist Party (Zambia) joins the progressive world in mourning Diego Maradona.
Maradona, anti-imperialist, socialist and arguably the greatest football player of all time passed away yesterday at the age of 60.
Maradona was a leftist on the football fields and also in politics. As a football player he tirelessly fought against corruption in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), which he compared to a mafia.
He struggled to unionize football players and in the late 90s, Maradona, with other prominent stars, formed the International Association of Professional Football Players to defend players’ rights.
Maradona, also known as “El 10”, openly showed his support to left-wing, socialist and progressive movements and governments in the world and specifically in Latin America. He also openly defied imperialism and colonialism and was a firm supporter of the Palestinian cause saying, “In my heart I am Palestinian. I am a defender of the Palestinian people, I respect them and sympathize with them, I support Palestine without fear.”
He proudly wore a Che Guevara tattoo on his arm and a Fidel Castro one on his leg. He was a close friend and supporter of Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Fidel Castro among other socialist leaders. He once said, “I believe in Hugo Chávez. I am Chavista. Everything that he and Fidel do, from my point of view, is the best.”
As a socialist and anti-imperialist Maradona remained a committed supporter of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution and progressive social movements across Latin America, never losing hope in the poor and the oppressed to emancipate themselves.
Maradona said, “I am from the left in the sense that I am for the progress of my country, to improve the life of poor people, so that we all have peace and freedom. We cannot be bought, we are lefties on the feet, we are lefties on the hands, and we are lefties on the mind. That has to be known by the people, that we say the truth, that we want equality, and that we don’t want the Yankee flag planted on us.”
Rest in anti imperialist and socialist power, Diego Armando Maradona!
Issued by Fred M’membe, President, on behalf of the Politburo of Socialist Party (Zambia)
Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali