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Voa (File photo) / Joaquim Chissano
Former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano has described Fidel Castro as “a man of good” who did “great things” for Mozambique, Angola and many African countries.
Chissano said that if relations between the state and the Church improved in Mozambique and the country altered its constitution in 1990, it was much influenced by advice that he had received from the charismatic Cuban leader.
Joaquim Chissano had been to Cuba several times as president of the republic, and, on one occasion, was hospitalised for a month. Castro visited him several times and the two discussed various matters, Chissano receiving much advice.
One subject, Chissano told the VOA, had to do with the relationship between the state and the Church, a relationship that changed radically after his visit to Havana in the late 1980s.
After 16 years of civil war, Mozambique reached peace in 1992 and the mediators of the talks that helped end the armed conflict were religious people, with whom Joaquim Chissano had very good relations.
In fact, the former Mozambican president and his wife, who are Roman Catholic, almost never miss Mass.
But it is not only because of the advice he received from Fidel Castro that Chissano admires him, but for all that he did for Mozambique after independence in 1975.
Chissano recalls the decision taken by ‘El Comandante’ to open doors for the training of Mozambican students and the sending of Cuban doctors and teachers to Mozambique.
Another issue not to be forgotten, Chissano adds, is the sacrifice of the Cuban people fighting in against the occupation of Angola by the forces of the apartheid regime.
The former Mozambican statesman said he believed that Fidel Castro did much for his and other countries in the world, and should also be remembered for the important role he played in the diplomatic rapprochement between Washington and Havana during the Obama administration.Source: Voa Portugues
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