President Thabo Mbeki’s Letter of Condolence to President Raul Castro Ruz

26 November, 2016.

H.E. President Raúl Castro Ruz,

Office of the President,

Havana.

Republic of Cuba.

Comrade President,

It was with great sadness that we heard the news that the outstanding revolutionary leader, steadfast internationalist and our highly esteemed comrade-in-arms, Fidel Castro Ruz, has passed away.

We will always remember Comrade Fidel as a towering figure in the international revolutionary movement who stood and fought for all the oppressed throughout the world.

He served as a powerful inspiration to a number of generations in our own country, South Africa, as we engaged in struggle to end apartheid tyranny and build a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist country.

The liberated Cuba he led has played a vital role as an active and selfless partner for the victory of our national democratic revolution.

She opened her doors for the training of both our armed cadres and the professionals, like medical doctors, which liberated South Africa needs.

History will never forget the immense contribution revolutionary Cuba made to the defence of the independence of Angola and the related subsequent independence of Namibia, through the defeat of the apartheid army of aggression which had invaded Angola from occupied Namibia.

Those historic victories opened the way to the liberation of our own country, South Africa, and therefore the final liquidation of the system of colonialism and white minority rule in Africa.

Personally, I will forever recall with great fondness and emotion the unforgettable times I spent with Comrade Fidel both in Cuba and in South Africa.

These were moments which enabled me to access Comrade Fidel’s accumulated wisdom and experience as a revolutionary activist and leader.

I am certain that I and many others certainly in South Africa and the rest of our Continent, Africa, will continue to engage the challenge of the total emancipation of our peoples, inspired by the undying example set by Comrade Fidel.

Thus will we celebrate the heroic life which Comrade Fidel led, and continue to strive to be true to the vision he upheld and fought for throughout his years, of a better life for the working people of the world.

Please accept, Your Excellency, our heartfelt condolences to you, the Government and sister people of Cuba as well as the rest of the Castro family.

Please also accept, Your Excellency, the assurance of our highest esteem.

Thabo Mbeki.

Patron.

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