Mandela Foundation extends condolences to Cuba

2016-11-26 14:50
 Former Cuban president Fidel Castro casting his vote at a polling station in Havana. (Marcelino Vazquez Hernandez, AIN/ AFP)

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro casting his vote at a polling station in Havana. (Marcelino Vazquez Hernandez, AIN/ AFP)

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Cape Town - The Nelson Mandela Foundation joined the outpouring of sympathy to Cuba after the death of its former leader Fidel Castro at the age of 90 on Friday.

"On behalf of our Chairman, Trustees and Staff, the Nelson Mandela Foundation would like to send our deepest condolences to the people and government of Cuba on the passing of Fidel Castro," the foundation said on Saturday.

Former president Mandela and Castro were known to be so close that those who criticised Mandela's relationship with Cuba and Libya were told to "jump in the pool," the foundation recalled.

It quoted Mandela discussing Cuba in a documentary in 1990.

"The first country we approached was the United States of America. We could not even succeed to come close to the government, and they refused to assist us," Mandela had said.

"But Cuba, the moment we appealed for assistance they were ready to do so and they did so," he said. 

"Why would we now listen to the Western world when they say we should have nothing to do with Cuba? It is just unreasonable."

The foundation said of Castro: "May he rest in peace".

Mandela visited Cuba in 1991 and nagged Castro to visit South Africa.

Castro visited in 1998 and addressed a joint sitting of Parliament on September. 4

When Mandela died in 2013, Cuba declared three days of mourning. Castro's brother Raul came over for Mandela's funeral.

Read more on:    nelson mandela foundation  |  fidel castro  |  cuba

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