Government offers condolences for Fidel Castro, a great friend of Timor-Leste

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, November 26th, 2016

Government offers condolences for Fidel Castro, a great friend of Timor-Leste

It was with deep regret that the Government of Timor-Leste received news of the passing of Fidel Castro on the 26th of November 2016. The revolutionary leader’s death, at the age of 90, was announced on Cuban state television by his younger brother, President of Cuba, H.E. Raul Castro.

The Government of Timor-Leste on behalf of the Timorese people extend their condolences to President Raul Castro and express their solidarity with the Cuban people.

Fidel Castro was an inspiration for many Timorese people during the struggle for self-determination and was a resolute champion of Timor-Leste’s development after the restoration of independence. In 2010 he was awarded the grand Collar of the Order of Timor-Leste, for Cuban support in health and education. The award was presented in Havana by H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta and received by H.E. Raul Castro on behalf of his older brother.

A meeting in Malaysia in February 2003, including H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, H.E. Dr. Mari Alkatiri and Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, provided the moment in which over a decade of Cuban aid to Timor-Leste was born, consistently characterized by a spirit of mutual respect, friendship and goodwill.

Timor-Leste is extremely grateful to Fidel Castro and the Cuban people for the brigade of health professionals who have provided medical assistance, the granting of 1,000 scholarships to young Timorese to study medicine in Cuba, the provision of technical assistance to eliminate illiteracy and partnerships in sport.

In 2015 Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araujo visited Cuba and expressed Timor-Leste’s gratitude and solidarity to President Raul Castro. Former Prime Minister H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão said that he regarded the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro as a dear and respected friend

The Government honors Commander in Chief Fidel Castro and the Cuban people for their resolute friendship towards Timor-Leste and offers condolences and solidarity at this time.”ENDS