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Twitter (File photo) / Fidel Castro with samora Machel
Fidel Castro, leader of the Cuban revolution who died last Saturday, is remembered by most Cubans as a hero, by others as a dictator. Mozambicans will remember him for the help he gave the country before and after independence.
Under Fidel Castro’s leadership, Cuba played a key role in providing logistical support and military training to the Mozambican Armed Forces during the national liberation struggle. Thousands of men who fought against colonial rule were educated in Cuba thanks to the good relations between Fidel Castro and then-President Samora Machel.
As head of state, Machel made numerous visits to Cuba, one of them, in October 1977, to inaugurate Mozambican schools in the South American country and to participate in a summit of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries in 1979. His last visit was in the 1980s, on a trip to Latin American countries as well as destinations such as Jamaica and Nicaragua.
Education, one of the Cuban leader’s passions, was one of the areas in which Cuba made a notable contribution in Mozambique. Since independence, more than 20,000 Mozambicans have been trained in a variety of areas, crucial at a time when Mozambique was experiencing a difficult transition aggravated by the flight of expertise with many Portuguese technicians leaving Mozambique.
In the health sector, for example, after 1975, Mozambique had under 20 doctors and the country faced a malaria epidemic. Many Cuban doctors, including volunteers and special envoys from President Fidel Castro, came to Mozambique to train medics and help with the pandemic in an effort to close the gap left by the Portuguese.
There are still Cuban doctors in the country participating, for example, in the campaign to remove cataracts.
On the day of Fidel Castro’s death, Cuban Vice-Minister of Education Cira Alonso was meeting in Maputo with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Nyeleti Mondlane. At the end of the meeting, both expressed a desire to maintain bilateral cooperation focused on education, given the history of relations between the two countries.
Fidel Castro embraced the nationalist cause of African countries in the fight for independence
He made international solidarity an essential pillar of Cuba’s foreign policy. Havana offered support to many revolutionary and pro-independence movements in Africa and elsewhere. In 1961, Algeria was the first country to benefit from Cuban aid, when Castro responded to the National Liberation Front call and sent arms to the independentistas.
Similarly, Cuba played a key role in the fight against apartheid, sending about 300,000 troops to Angola between 1975 and 1988 to deal with the South African army aggression. The decisive moment that put an end to the racist regime supported by the western powers was the resounding defeat of the South African army in Cuito Cuanavale in southeastern Angola by Cuban troops in January 1988.
South Africa, under the leadership of the white minority, also waged a similar war against Mozambique, in which the country also had Cuban support to fight the Renamo-led war.
Castro has always made international humanitarian solidarity a fundamental pillar of Cuba’s foreign policy. For decades, Cuba has been the sanctuary of revolutionaries from around the world, who were trained, formed and improved on the island.
Castro welcomed from all quarters political exiles persecuted by military dictatorships supported by Washington. The Caribbean island also became a refuge for political activists persecuted in countries under colonial rule.
“El comandante” survived more than 600 assassination attempts
fter numerous alleged assassination attempts, Fidel Castro died at the age of 90. Although the exact number is not agreed, the Daily Mail reports that the leader of the Cuban Revolution managed to escape 638 CIA assassination attempts. Fabian Escalante, the man who protected Fidel, concurs.
But in the end, Fidel Castro, who was born on 13 August 1926 in Biran, died a natural death at the age of 90.
During his 47 years in power, Fidel Castro was a unique figure in Cuba and the world. “El Comandante,” as he was known, was only 32 years old when he overthrew the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, transforming Cuba into an icon of communism and becoming a myth himself.
The historic leader of the 1959 revolution was to hand over power to his brother Raul in 2006 after suffering intestinal bleeding. The last protagonist of the Cold War, he ruled the country with an iron fist for 47 years, but he continued to be the leading leader and ideological guide of the regime practically until his death.
During his last decade, Fidel made few public appearances, and was pronounced dead several times on the Internet and social networks. His last public appearance was on his 90th birthday, on the 13th of August. He met Pope Francis on September 19, the Japanese Prime Minister on September 23 and Portuguese president on October 26.
The death of Fidel Castro, one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, ends an era at a time when relations between Cuba and the United States have resumed. The two countries signed a historic agreement, announced last December by Barack Obama, and reopened their embassies in Washington and Havana.Source: O País