Fidel Cas­tro at 90 thanks Cuba, slams Obama

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Feature/worldwide -

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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