Zimbabwe War Veterans salute Fidel Castro
HARARE- The Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association has reflected on the life of Fidel Castro whom they described as a critical contributor to the emancipation of Zimbabwe and Africa.
The war veterans’ leader, Christopher Mutsvangwa chronicled the assistance Zimbabwe received from the late Castro whom he remarked as a Pan-Africanist par excellence.
“As war veterans we want to pay homage to Castro- true bred Pan-Africanist who had Africans at heart,” he said.
He said that Cuba was a brothel of the Americans but Castro managed to change that history and freed the Cubans. Mutsvangwa added that Castro was one of the first leaders to support the African cause.
“He went out of his way to take sides with the blacks at a very dangerous time when the continent was still under colonialism. When Angola gained independence the whites who were then based in South Africa vowed to overthrow the new Angolan black leadership but Castro mobilised his resources and sent his army which later defeated the whites in Angola.
“What moved us is that he did not assist the Angolans to get anything in turn .He did that entirely for free,” said Mutsvangwa.
The war vets chief added that Castro helped Zimbabwe and many other African countries to gain independence by seconding his army general to assist in training the first African soldiers.
He noted that the current high literacy levels being enjoyed by Zimbabwe were also owed to Castro’s benevolence.
“In 1980 President Mugabe came up with the idea to educate all Zimbabweans but he did not have funding. Financiers like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund scoffed at the plan because they saw it as too ambitious.
“However Castro took it upon himself and offered assistance which saw the first creed of teachers being trained in Cuba,” he said.