As the Republic of Cuba begins its nine-day period of national mourning for their former leader, Fidel Castro, who died last evening, President David Granger, today, extended condolences to the people of Cuba, the Ministry of the Presidency said today in a statement.
During remarks to members of the media, the President credited Castro with transforming politics in the Western Hemisphere, adding that he was perhaps one of the best-known Latin Americans in the world. “We are deeply saddened by passing of President Castro. His life was of significance not only to Guyana and the friendship he had with Guyanese leaders but also to the entire Western Hemisphere,” he said.
The President stated that Guyana sees Cuba as part of the Caribbean, as it was 44 years ago that Guyana along with Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica established diplomatic relations with the South American Country. “Since then we have [had] very a cordial, close relationship with Cuba. Right now we have many Guyanese, who are being trained as doctors in Cuba. We have Cuban doctors working here and there have been lots of engagements at different levels; educational levels, technical levels… so we are deeply saddened by the passing of President Castro,” he said.
The President also extended condolences to his family, particularly, his brother, President Raul Castro, as well as the entire Cuban population. “He certainly transformed politics in the western hemisphere and we would like to express our solidarity with the Cuban people in that regard,” he said.
Below is a statement from the Government of Guyana
Statement by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana
on the passing of President Fidel Castro
The government and people of Guyana mourn the death of Dr. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, the late former President of the Republic of Cuba.
Dr. Castro was President of Cuba from 1976 to 2008 and previously Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976, leading Cuba for a total of almost 50 years.
Guyana hails Dr. Castro, globally renowned as ‘El Commandanté’ or, simply, ‘Fidel’ as an outstanding friend and a genuine partner, even before our country attained independence. It was under his leadership that Guyana-Cuba friendly and fraternal relationship hadbeen placed on a solid and unbreakable footing.
When an unjust embargo had been imposed against Cuba to isolate the Castro government, Guyana, in 1972,joined three other countries in our region to establish diplomatic relations with a fellow Caribbean state.
Since that time, Castro embraced our countries as partners and responded to our critical needs, especially in the health and education sectors. To this day Guyana benefits from scholarship and training opportunities afforded to our young people in becoming doctors, engineers and other specialists. We continue to benefit too, from Cuban doctors and medical experts serving our people in our health care system.
Fidel was an exemplar of unparalled generosity, revolutionary commitment, national dignity and unyielding patriotism.
Though he was ailing for many years and had prepared his people for the inevitable, the passing of this colossuswhose greatness is indelibly written in the history of the world across two both the 20th and 21st centuries, will evoke an immeasurable pain and loss in Cuba and beyond. Guyana mourns the death of a dear friend, a revolutionary icon and a giant of international humanitarianism.
The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana conveys to the government and people of Cuba sincere condolences and assures that at this time of collective global grief, the people of Cuba are not alone.