Angolans remember ‘son of Africa’ Fidel Castro

Angola remembers Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary who died on Friday aged 90.

LUANDA, ANGOLA (NOVEMBER 26, 2016) (REUTERS) – Angolans fondly remembered Fidel Castro on Saturday (November 26), some calling him the “son of Africa”, a day after the Cuban revolutionary leader passed away at the age of 90.

Castro helped Marxist guerrillas and revolutionary governments around the world, sending troops to Angola in the 1970s to support a left-wing government over the initial objections of Moscow.

Cuba helped defeat South African insurgents in Angola and win Namibia’s independence from South Africa in 1990, adding pressure on the apartheid regime.

After Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in 1990, he repeatedly thanked Castro.

The leader of Angola’s ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) said Castro was like Mandela.

“In the world, from time to time, there will be individuals like this who appear, be it in science or politics. These individuals are like our Mandela… and when they leave us, they, leave us with a gap, emptiness and longing,”said Juliao Mateus Paulo “Dino Matross”.

A towering figure of the 20th century and Cold War icon, Castro built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States and for five decades defied U.S. efforts to topple him.

He stuck to his ideology beyond the collapse of Soviet communism and remained widely respected in parts of the world that struggled against colonial rule.

In the streets of Luanda, many Angolans said they were saddened by the news of Castro’s passing.

“Fidel left a gap and emptiness. Fidel Castro is son of Angola, is son of Africa. He helped a lot this country, a lot,” said Pedro Nulasco.

Castro had been in poor health since an intestinal ailment nearly killed him in 2006. He formally ceded power to his younger brother, Raul, two years later.