TRIBUTE TO FORMER CUBAN PRESIDENT, FIDEL CASTRO: BY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION OF BARBADOS

(Friday) night the world lost one of the most iconic leaders of the 20th century.

Fidel Castro was a great man who exhibited courage against decades of efforts to remove him by any means necessary. To stand up against the most powerful nation in the world 90 miles away for decades is an unbelievable feat.

Whatever view one may have of his ideological stance, the fact is under his leadership the Cuban people enjoyed unprecedented development in health and education. The fact is that Castro’s leadership on education and health gave millions of his people and his country a platform that defined him more than any single act as President. Many in the Americas have benefitted from this investment that he made. In addition, President Castro’s willingness to play a major role in the fight against colonialism and apartheid in Southern Africa will forever be remembered and places him in the pantheon of those global leaders who helped in the liberation of oppressed people.

(FILE IMAGE) I regard my meetings with him where I had the honour to sit next to him both at lunch in Barbados when he visited us to unveil the Cuban monument and participate Emancipation celebrations and dinner in Havana for the Iberian Ministers of culture as some of my most cherished memories in public life from which I learnt. His passion in recounting the challenges he experienced transcended the language barrier. Such was the force of his presence and personality.

(FILE IMAGE) I regard my meetings with him where I had the honour to sit next to him both at lunch in Barbados when he visited us to unveil the Cuban monument and participate Emancipation celebrations and dinner in Havana for the Iberian Ministers of culture as some of my most cherished memories in public life from which I learnt. His passion in recounting the challenges he experienced transcended the language barrier. Such was the force of his presence and personality.

The Caribbean remained on the world stage for decades in no small measure due to President Castro’s courage, principles and leadership.

For us in the Barbados Labour Party under many of our leaders, President Castro was a good friend.

On behalf of the Barbados Labour Party we would like to extend our condolences to the Cuban people. Our prayers are with the Cuban people at this time.

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