World leaders send birthday wishes as Fidel Castro turns 90
/ Sunday 14 August 2016
Agencia de noticias China
As Cuba’s revolutionary leader and former President Fidel Castro turned 90 on Saturday, well wishes and gifts for him have poured in from around the world.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a long-term ally of Castro, arrived in Havana to take part in the official celebrations, accompanied by over 50 traditional Venezuelan folk singers who will perform a concert on Sunday to honor the Cuban leader.
The visit "showed the excellent and brotherly relations which exist between the peoples and governments of Cuba and Venezuela," said Cuba’s official daily Granma.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message to Cuba, wishing "his dear friend" Castro a happy birthday, and "good health, longevity, vitality and prosperity."
"You (Castro) enjoy deep respect in Russia as an outstanding statesman who has devoted his entire life to serving the people of Cuba," reads the statement posted on the Kremlin’s website.
Putin and Castro last met in 2014 during the Russian leader’s state visit to Cuba.
Bolivian President Evo Morales also sent his best wishes through Twitter, calling Castro’s entire life "admirable and unachievable." Castro beat foreign domination with strength and perseverance, Morales said.
"The Cuban Revolution is the mother of the Latin American revolution, with united people mobilized to beat the North American imperialism," he added.
The African National Congress (ANC), the Republic of South Africa’s governing party founded by Nelson Mandela, celebrated Castro’s birthday and hailed him for being "among the strongest supporters of South Africa’s struggle for liberation."
"Today, the ANC reaffirms our solidarity with the Cuban people, who continue to suffer as a result of an illegal and inhumane...embargo," said the ANC.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), an insurgent group involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict, dedicated the peace process in Colombia to Castro.
"We would like to offer peace in our country, as the best birthday present. Thank you for existing, Commander," the FARC said in a statement released in Havana, where the guerrilla group is conducting peace talks with the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.
The FARC leadership also recognized the important role played by Castro in bringing about a political ending to the decades-long civil war between the FARC and the Colombian government.
In November 2008, Castro published "Peace in Colombia", a text in which he revealed the content of various negotiations between Cuba and successive Colombian governments on a range of subjects, including the Colombian peace process.
With Cuba and Norway acting as guarantors, the Colombian government and the FARC are close to a final peace agreement. The government and the insurgent group have made ongoing negotiations in Havana since November 2012.