World leaders bid farewell to Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro on Tuesday night in a ceremony that filled with the solemn memorial for the Communist leader and criticism on Western imperialism.
Presidents and foreign dignitaries from across the world including Russia, China, Mexico, Iran and South Africa took to a podium in Cuba’s Plaza of the Revolution and hailed Castro as a tireless advocate for the world’s poor and downtrodden.
Iran vice president Majid Ansari said Castro’s name would go down among the most important independence fighters in human history.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described Castro as a father figure who founded his country’s socialist ideals.
“Fidel is more alive than ever, more necessary than ever. He’s alive, vigilant, contemplating our common cause. The Cuban people are stronger than ever and ready to fight imperialism. And the anti-imperialists of the world are united like never before,” Bolivian President Evo Morales said.
South African President Jacob Zuma praised Fidel for his support for the struggle against apartheid regime. He said “Castro will be remembered as a great fighter for the idea that the poor have a right to live with dignity”.
Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua, told the crowd that Castro would live on in all of them.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was the only European leader to attend the ceremony in person; German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, and French President Francois Hollande had all sent representatives, Press TV reported.
Cuban President Raul Castro gave a speech to thank world leaders for their word of praise for El Commandante, who passed away on November 25.