Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Simpson Miller deeply saddened by Fidel Castro's Death, pens tribute

Published:Saturday | November 26, 2016 | 11:47 AM
Simpson Miller ... "Fidel’s passing represents the end of an era and the triumph of hope over despair, service to the people over self and the victory of the human spirit of kindness and love over selfishness and hate."


The Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller has extended condolences to Cuba's President Raul Castro, his other relatives and the country's people on the passing of former President Fidel Castro.

Simpson Miller says "Fidel’s passing represents the end of an era and the triumph of hope over despair, service to the people over self and the victory of the human spirit of kindness and love over selfishness and hate".

She says she is "deeply saddened by his death but remain eternally inspired by his example of greatness and selfless service to the Cuban people and to humanity".

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I join the world in saluting the former President of the Republic of Cuba Fidel Castro Ruz – a great leader and consummate friend of Jamaica, whose legacy will live on well beyond the 90 years of his life.  One of the great honours of my life was knowing Fidel and I will never forget our conversations and his words of wisdom.

Fidel Castro, despite being born into material comfort, dedicated his education, training and indeed his whole life to the struggle for Cuba’s social and economic revolution and the liberation of the Cuban people from poverty, landlessness, housing insecurity, ignorance and ill-health. Through his efforts, today Cuba stands as a proud Caribbean beacon of quality education and training of an entire nation and a first rate health care system, among other social advances.

Despite the injustice of a decades-old economic embargo, Fidel Castro steered his country towards economic self-sufficiency and boldly asserted Cuba’s political independence and national pride. He embodied the energy, resilience, creativity and kindness of the people of Cuba.

Possibly Fidel’s most lasting monument will be his undying internationalism and the willingness of his Government and the Cuban people to share their modest resources and social successes with the rest of the world, in particular, other less developed countries in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa. Jamaica has been among those nations, which have benefitted immensely from the kindness of the Cuban people under the leadership of former President Fidel Castro.

IN PHOTO: A woman cries next to a Fidel Castro banner displayed outside Cuba's embassy in Santiago, Chile on Saturday.  

Many of our best medical practitioners were trained free of cost in Cuba and countless numbers of Cuban doctor, nurses and other health care professionals have continued to share their expertise in Jamaican hospitals, health centres and communities.

Jamaicans can also be grateful to the former Cuban leader for the important transfer of technology in engineering and agriculture even as educational institutions such as the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education, Jose Marti High and Garvey Maceo High Schools and the Montpelier school (now the Montpelier campus of the Anchovy High School) remain lasting reminders of the fraternal kindness of Fidel Castro and the Cuban people.

Fidel’s passing represents the end of an era and the triumph of hope over despair, service to the people over self and the victory of the human spirit of kindness and love over selfishness and hate. I am deeply saddened by his death but remain eternally inspired by his example of greatness and selfless service to the Cuban people and to humanity.

I send my sincere condolences to President Raul Castro, his other relatives and the Cuban people.

Walk good my friend, El Comandante Fidel. Viva! Aluta continua!

Victoria acerta!


Portia Simpson Miller ON, MP