The African National Congress (ANC) extended its best wishes to Fidel Castro on his 90th birthday on Saturday.
“Comrade Castro is a longstanding supporter and friend of the ANC and the South African people‚ and remains a global icon for his commitment to the internationalism and solidarity of the nations of the Global South‚” the ANC said in a statement today.
According to a report by the BBC‚ Castro’s birthday was marked with a 90-metre cigar.
“A veteran Cuban cigar-maker rolls what is believed to be the world’s longest cigar to mark the 90th birthday of Fidel Castro‚” the report read.
The South African ruling party went on to express their appreciation for the role that Castro played during apartheid.
“Under his leadership‚ the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people were among the strongest supporters of South Africa’s struggle for liberation; lending various forms of material and political support to the liberation forces during the dark days of apartheid.
“Today the ANC reaffirms our solidarity with the Cuban people‚ who continue to suffer as a result of an illegal and inhumane commercial‚ economic and financial embargo stretching over 5 decades.”
In September 1998‚ Castro‚ invited by President Nelson Mandela‚ visited South African‚ where he addressed a special sitting of the National Assembly.
In 2010 President Jacob Zuma visited Cuba and pledged a R350 million economic assistance package to the country.
“As President Nelson Mandela said at the time of Comrade Castro’s visit to South Africa: ‘we would not enjoy freedom today were it not for Cuba’s selfless support for the struggle to free all of South Africa’s people and the countries of our region from the inhumane and destructive system of apartheid’‚” the statement added.[Source: Times Live]