Former Croatian President Mesić Remembers Fidel Castro

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Former President Mesić has kind words for the late Cuban leader.

The death of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro is the main news of the day, and reactions are coming from all sides. One of those who had an opportunity to personally meet and talk with Castro is former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić, reports on November 26, 2016.

“I have personally met Fidel Castro, but I heard about him for the first time when he led the revolution in Cuba, when he confronted a dictatorship which had external support, the support of the United States of America. He had a very well organized army, which had the support of the people, which is the reason why he was able to win without many losses. He was very organized and he had the help of the entire population”, said Mesić.

“Clearly, he introduced a system that was not supported by the United States, which led to isolation of Cuba. The country was blocked and isolated, but otherwise it is a beautiful county, full of natural beauties, which spring and summer as the only seasons. However, their economic system could not guarantee further development, especially with the fierce blockade. After Raul Castro came to power, they have tried and executed several private initiatives, mainly in the small trade sector, with the possibility of expansion to medium-sized businesses. I think Cuba has a chance to develop further”, added Mesić.

“I visited Cuba when I was invited to come there, to open the market to Croatian businesspeople, but also to open our market for Cuban companies. However, in Croatia I was heavily criticized at the time. Now, after the US lifted the blockade, and now that the new president of the United States has announced that America will not impose its system to anyone, would talk with Russia instead of starting wars and pushing us into a new Cold War, now my critics are silent. And I said at the time that we should seize the opportunity, because they wanted us there on their market. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of progress”, said the President, talking about his visit to Cuba in 2009, when he also met with Fidel Castro.

“When I met him, he showed signs of fatigue. At least at the time I thought so, but he was probably ill. He was very quiet in the conversation, it was hard to hear what he was saying. However, when he was speaking at a podium, then he was very loud. He would make long speeches, sometimes 4 to 5 hours long. Castro will always be respected in one part of the world, and probably in Cuba as well. First of all, he will be respect in Africa, in all countries which liberated themselves from colonialism, since he used to help them. Cuba helped them financially and with education of experts. Also, medicine was very significant, since many people from African countries studied medicine in Cuba”, concluded the former President.


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