Thursday, February 21, 2008

ANC & SACP Statements on the Resignation of President Fidel Castro of Cuba

ANC Statement on the retirement of Fidel Castro as Cuban President

20 February 2008

As Fidel Castro steps down as President of Cuba, we in the African National Congress pay tribute to a living legend.

The leadership of the ANC drew great strength from the commitment that Castro showed to the liberation of countries on the African continent and the eradication of poverty, hunger and disease all over the world.

The Cuban people under the leadership of President Castro have displayed selfless internationalist commitment to the liberation of the oppressed people of Africa broadly and South Africa specifically.

As the African National Congress, we remain deeply indebted to the Cuban people for their unflinching sacrifices in the struggle against apartheid.

Not only have they contributed to the transformation of our country but have continued to support our reconstruction and development efforts in South Africa by sending their doctors to work among our people particularly in the rural areas.

Cuba's selfless support for the struggle against the apartheid regime saw them deploy over 300,000 troops to Angola to battle alongside the Angolan army and Umkhonto weSizwe against the SADF. This battle, which saw the defeat of the apartheid forces, became known as the Cuito Cuanavale Battle.

The victory of Cuito Cuanavale was a turning point in the struggle for the liberation of the oppressed majority in South Africa.

In his resting years, we wish comrade Fidel health and happiness.

Issued by African National Congress
For more information, contact Jessie Duarte on 079 506 6756.

SACP statement on the resignation of Cde Fidel Castro

19 February 2008

The SACP has received the news that Cde Fidel Castro will not be available for the next term of office as President of Cuba and Chief Commander of the Cuban Armed Forces.

We wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Cde Fidel Castro for having been an exemplary revolutionary who led one of the most the inspiring revolutions in the 20th century against the dictatorship of Batista.

Furthermore Cde Fidel and the Cuban people in general led a feisty battle to defend the revolution against the nearly fifty years of aggression from US imperialism through amongst other, hundreds of attempted assassination by the US government and the criminal blockade against Cuba.

The Cuban revolution has been successful and achieved a lot for the Cuban people. This is the revolution that has attained free education for the Cuban people, free access to health care and ensured that no Cuban goes to bed hungry.

The SACP also wishes to salute Cde Fidel Castro for his exceptional example in internationalism. The Cuban people sacrificed their lives struggling in the trenches with many liberation combatants in many parts of the developing world.

Cuba, under the leadership of Fidel, also continued with this internationalism primarily through the services offered by many Cuban health and other professionals working in the poorest sections society in many developing countries.

It would therefore be proper that as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola – a battle that laid the basis for the liberation of Namibia and our own country – we also celebrate the life, contributions and internationalism of this great revolutionary!

Cde Fidel Castro led a revolution that still provides proof and an inspiration that there is indeed an alternative to the barbarism of capitalism and that, that alternative is socialism.

We are proud that in honour of Cde Fidel and the Cuban people, the SACP, at its 12th Congress in 2007, conferred upon this hero our highest honour, the Chris Hani Peace Award for his contribution to a just, equitable and caring world order.

The SACP remains confident that the Cuban revolution has produced enough leaders of Fidel’s calibre and that the Cuban revolution remains in safe hands.

Like we said to our Nelson Mandela on his retirement, Cde Fidel’s retirement is well-earned and well-deserved. We wish him all the best!

Issued by the SACP.
For information Contact:
Malesela Maleka
SACP Spokesperson -082 226 1802

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