Venezuela’s Maduro Pays Homage to Fidel Castro in Havana

Speaking before nearly a million Cubans in Havana Tuesday, Maduro underscored Venezuela’s historic debt to Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution.

By Lucas Koerner
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President Maduro addresses nearly a million Cubans in Havana's Plaza of the Revolution. (Prensa Presidencial)
President Maduro addresses nearly a million Cubans in Havana's Plaza of the Revolution. (Prensa Presidencial)

Caracas, November 30, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) –Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro joined other world leaders in Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution Tuesday to pay his respects to the late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro who died on Friday at the age of 90. 

Speaking before nearly a million Cubans, Maduro underscored Venezuela’s historic debt to Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. 

“Without the support of the Cuban Revolution and its example of struggle and immense capacity for solidarity, our path would have been much harder, our young revolution advancing much slower,” he declared 

“Fidel,” he continued, “didn’t leave, he remains undefeated, absolutely absolved by the motherland and remains infinitely with us,” referring to Castro’s iconic closing remark in his 1953 trial by the Batista regime.

During his speech, the Venezuelan president was interrupted multiple times by the multitudinous crowds, who chanted, “Long live Chávez, Long live Fidel,” in memory of the late leaders of both nations.

Maduro joined delegations from over 50 countries in paying tribute to the Cuban guerrilla leader, including Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Greece, Russia, China, Vietnam, South Africa, Namibia, Algeria, Iran, among numerous others. 

In the course of the ceremony, Maduro held meetings with Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao, the president of the Russian Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, and Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang. 

He also met with the legendary group of Cuban counter-terrorist agents imprisoned by the US known as the “Cuban Five”, the last of whom was finally released last year.

Following the announcement of Castro’s death on Friday evening, Maduro declared three days of national mourning. 

Cuba has declared nine days of mourning for its late ex-president, whose ashes will be interned at the Santa Ifgenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba on December 4.

A handfull of other nations have also declared official state commemorations of Castro’s legacy, including Nicaragua, Bolivia, Algeria, Vietnam, North Korea, Namibia, among others.  

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