Angolans remembered Fidel Castro on Saturday, some calling him the “son of Africa”, a day after the revolutionary Cuban 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.
The leader of Angola’s ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), Juliao Mateus Paulo “Dino Matross” 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.
“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,” he added.
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 held 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 a son of Angola, is a son of Africa. He helped a lot this country, a lot,” said Pedro Nulasco a Luanda resident.
“Nobody is happy with death of Fidel Castro. It is very sad,” Another Luanda resident, Fernando Abel.
Castro had been in poor health since an intestinal ailment nearly killed him in 2006. He formally ceded power to his younger brother, Raul, in 2008.