Georgetown, Guyana – (November 26, 2016) As the Republic of Cuba begins its nine-day period of national mourning for their former leader, Fidel Castro, who died last evening, President David Granger, today, extended condolences to the people of Cuba.

During remarks to members of the media, the President credited Mr. Castro with transforming politics in the Western Hemisphere, adding that he was perhaps one of the best-known Latin Americans in the world. “We are deeply saddened by passing of President Castro. His life was of significance not only to Guyana and the friendship he had with Guyanese leaders but also to the entire Western Hemisphere,” he said.

The President stated that Guyana sees Cuba as part of the Caribbean, as it was 44 years ago that Guyana along with Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica established diplomatic relations with the country. “Since then we have [had] very a cordial, close relationship with Cuba. Right now we have many Guyanese, who are being trained as doctors in Cuba. We have Cuban doctors working here and there have been lots of engagements at different levels; educational levels, technical levels… so we are deeply saddened by the passing of President Castro,” he said.

The President also extended condolences to his family, particularly, his brother, President Raul Castro, as well as the entire Cuban population. “He certainly transformed politics in the western hemisphere and we would like to express our solidarity with the Cuban people in that regard,” he said.

Fidel Castro was the longest serving leader of the 20th Century, after seizing power in 1959 when he overthrew Fulgencio Batista. He was 90 years old.

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