Fidel Castro at 90 thanks Cuba, slams Obama
HAVANA — Fidel Castro has written a long letter thanking Cubans for their support on his 90th birthday and once again criticising US President Barack Obama.
In the letter in state media on Saturday, Castro relays “my deepest gratitude for demonstrations of respect, greetings and praise that I’ve received in recent days, which give me strength to reciprocate with ideas that I will send to party militants and relevant organisations”.
Castro accompanies his thanks with reminiscences about his childhood and youth.
He returns at the end to a critique of Obama, who appeared to anger the revolutionary leader with a March trip to Cuba in which he called for Cubans to look toward the future.
Castro also criticises Obama for not apologising to Japan during a trip to Hiroshima in May.
Meanwhile, the ANC sent felicitations to Cuban leader Fidel Castro for his 90th birthday on Saturday.
“The African National Congress (ANC) joins the peoples and revolutionary movements of the Global South in celebrating the 90th birthday of the great Cuban Leader and Revolutionary, Commandate Fidel Castro Ruz,” said Edna Molewa, who chairs the party’s NEC sub-committee on international relations.
Molewa referred to the long relationship between southern globe and South Africa, and Cuba, in the time of liberation wars from colonialist rule and racist administrations, and Cuba’s training of doctors for South African hospitals.
“Under [Castro’s] leadership, the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people were among the strongest supporters of South Africa’s struggle for liberation, lending various forms of material and political support to the liberation forces during the dark days of apartheid.
“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 five decades.”
Molewa said South Africa and Cuba have had formal country-to-country relations for the past 20 years, with party-to-party relations between the ANC and the Communist Party of Cuba going back further.
In September 1998, Castro addressed the National Assembly during the Nelson Mandela administration, but the sitting was boycotted by the Democratic Party (now the Democratic Alliance) at the time.
— AP —
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