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President Buhari Commiserates with Cubans over Death of Castro


President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the people of Cuban on the death of their former revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro.
The President said in statement by the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Saturday that he received the news of Castro with profound sadness.
Buhari said: “On behalf of the Federal Government, President Buhari offers deepest condolences to Cuban President Raul Castro, and the people of Cuba on the passing early Saturday of the legendary leader, who passionately served his people for almost half a century.”
He assured Cubans of the sympathy and solidarity of all Nigerians as they mourn the exit of “this remarkable leader who against all odds stirred uncommon development in sports, education and healthcare sectors of his nation, even to the benefit of other nations”.
President Buhari said he was delighted that Castro lived to see his country’s improved ties with the United States.
“As a great friend to Africa, countries in the Global South and the Non-Aligned Movement, President Buhari believes that Castro’s place in history is assured, given his sustained successful commitment and towering role in the liberation and anti-colonialism struggles in Africa,” the statement said.
Castro who died on Friday at the age of 90 years is to be created by December 4 in accordance with the deceased’s wishes, President Raul Castro, who is Fidel’s brother, said.
Fidel Castro in his more four decades in power saw off 10 U.S. Presidents in the process.
He remained a force behind the scenes after bowing out of day-to-day politics for health reasons in 2006.
Castro was born in Biran in eastern Cuba on 26 July 1926.
He was said to have found the gap between rich and poor in his country to be unacceptable even in his youth.
As a young lawyer, he took up the fight against the regime of dictator, Fulgencio Batista.
Following several years in exile, he landed in Cuba with 80 revolutionaries in late 1956. His troops entered the capital Havana and their way to the seat of power in January 1959.
An agricultural reform and the nationalisation of formerly owned concerns put him on a collision course with Washington which imposed a trade embargo that would last decades.
The revolutionary leader built a Communist state on the doorstep of the United States.
Castro, for almost five decades, defied U.S. efforts to topple him.
Castro had been in poor health since an intestinal ailment nearly killed him in 2006 and he formally ceded power to his younger brother, Raul, two years later.
It was Raul who announced his brother died on Friday evening.
Castro ruled Cuba with a mix of charisma and iron will, creating a one-party state and becoming a central figure in the Cold War.
He was demonized by the United States and its allies but admired by many leftists around the world, especially socialist revolutionaries in Latin America and Africa.
Castro transformed Cuba from a playground for rich Americans into a symbol of resistance to Washington.
He fended off a CIA-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 as well as countless assassination attempts.
His alliance with Moscow helped trigger the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, a 13-day showdown with the United States that brought the world the closest it has been to nuclear war.
He swept away capitalism and won support for bringing schools and hospitals to the poor.
He also created legions of enemies and critics, concentrated among Cuban exiles in Miami who fled his rule and saw him as a ruthless tyrant.
In the end, it was neither the efforts of Washington and Cuban exiles nor the collapse of Soviet communism that ended his rule.
Instead, illness forced him to cede power to his younger brother Raul, provisionally in 2006 and definitively in 2008.

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