The African National Congress (ANC) has congratulated Cuban politician and revolutionary, Fidel Castro Ruz on his 90th birthday.
Fidel Castro, born August 13, 1926, is one of the world’s last Cold War leaders. He governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008.
Speaking in a statement today, the ANC recalled that: “Comrade Castro is a longstanding supporter and friend of the ANC and the South African people, and remains a global icon for his commitment to the internationalism and solidarity of the nations of the Global South.”
Castro’s role during apartheid can never be undermined as under his leadership‚ the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people showed support to South Africa’s struggle for liberation; lending various forms of material and political support to the liberation forces during the dark days of apartheid.
The ANC added:
“Today the ANC reaffirms our solidarity with the Cuban people‚ who continue to suffer as a result of an illegal and inhumane commercial‚ economic and financial embargo stretching over 5 decades.”
Fidel Castro Ruz’s Visit To South Africa
In September 1998‚ the legendary leader made an official visit to South Africa, as invited by former president Nelson Mandela. During the remarkable visit, Castro held a special meeting with the National Assembly.
In 2010, Zuma visited Cuba; where he received Cuba’s highest award. The award, bearing the name of Cuba’s national hero Jose Marti, was presented to Zuma by Castro himself.
Though Castro has now retired from public life, he remains influential to socialist hardliners, especially those kicking against recent changes on the island. Recently the elder statesman of Cuban politics appeared to bid the Communist Party congress goodbye.
Prior to his birthday, the elder statesman met with the Communist Party congress delegates in a meeting:
During the meeting, Fidel Castro Ruz said:
“Soon, I’ll be turning 90 years old. It’s something I’d never imagined would happen. It wasn’t the fruit of any labour, but rather a whim of destiny. Soon I’ll be like all the others; to all of us, our time must come. But the ideas of the Cuban communists will live on.”
Cuba celebrates Fidel Castro’s most audacious moment every July – which is the 1953 attack on the Moncada barracks, the start of the Cuban revolution.