Pres­i­dent off to Cuba for Cas­tro burial

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Harare Bu­reau

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe left the coun­try yes­ter­day for Ha­vana to at­tend the burial of Cuba’s found­ing Pres­i­dent Fidel Cas­tro Ruz who died last Fri­day at the age of 90.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe who was seen off at the Harare In­ter­na­tional Air­port by his two deputies Cdes Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Cab­i­net min­is­ters, ser­vices chiefs and se­nior Govern­ment of­fi­cials, was ac­com­pa­nied by Health and Child Care Min­is­ter Dr David Parireny­atwa, among other of­fi­cials. VP Mphoko is the Act­ing Pres­i­dent. Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe joins other Heads of State and Govern­ment at­tend­ing the burial of a man who spent decades fight­ing more that 10 US ad­min­is­tra­tions’ eco­nomic em­bargo on the Caribbean is­land.

Cde Fidel, a revered guerilla leader, to­gether with Che Gue­vara and others, led the revo­lu­tion that saw the over­throw of the Batista regime in 1959 and ruled Cuba for five decades.

He died al­most 10 years af­ter step­ping down from power due to poor health and af­ter hav­ing ceded power to de­fence min­is­ter Raul Cas­tro Ruz, his brother.

The late Cuban leader was ad­mired by many African and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries the world over as they saw him as a rev­o­lu­tion­ary who stood up against the United States that bul­lied and vil­i­fied poor coun­tries.

Cde Fidel’s body was cre­mated on Satur­day in line with his wishes: “Ac­cord­ing to the will ex­pressed by com­rade Fidel, his body will be cre­mated in the early hours” of Novem­ber 26, 2016, said Pres­i­dent Raul.

The govern­ment de­clared a nine-day pe­riod of mourn­ing.

His ashes will be buried at the Santa Ifi­ge­nia Ceme­tery in San­ti­ago de Cuba on De­cem­ber 4.

Re­ports say the Cuban govern­ment in­vited peo­ple to Ha­vana’s Revo­lu­tion Square for a two-day cer­e­mony with a thun­der­ous can­non salute that could be heard through­out much of the cap­i­tal.

The world is in­deed mourn­ing the death of Cde Fidel, a rev­o­lu­tion­ary par ex­cel­lence. Al­ge­rian Pres­i­dent Ab­de­laziz Boute­flika on Satur­day de­clared eight days of na­tional mourn­ing in hon­our of one of the 20th cen­tury’s iconic fig­ure.

The Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea also de­clared three days of mourn­ing and said it would keep flags at half-mast to hon­our Cde Fidel, its state news agency KCNA said.

In Ja­pan, Ky­odo said a se­nior law­maker would head to Cuba in lieu of Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe

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