Palestinian Leaders Express Their Condolences on the Death of Fidel

Palestinian leaders expressed their condolences on the death of the Cuban leader and revolutionary, Fidel Castro, who passed away late Friday at the age of 90, and recalled his staunch support for the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom and independence.

 Fidel Castro with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat

Fidel Castro with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (Photo: Prensa Latina)

President Mahmoud Abbas ordered on Sunday, November 27, flags to be flown at half mast to mourn the death of Castro. On Saturday, President Abbas sent Cuban President Raúl Castro his condolences on the death of Fidel, describing the late Cuban leader as a person “who spent his life fighting for the causes of his country and people and the causes of right and justice in the world.” Abbas described the Cuban people as “friends” of the Palestinian people. In a statement, the head of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), Salim al-Zanun, highlighted the historic relationship between the Palestinian struggle and Cuba, and referred to late President Yasser Arafat’s relationship with the deceased Cuban leader.

Al-Zanun added that Cuba today still believes in the justice of the Palestinian cause and continues to support the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, return, and an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.  The Communist Palestinian People’s Party “sadly received the news of the death of revolutionary Fidel Castro, leader of the Cuban Revolution and leader of the Republic of Cuba for nearly half a century. The Palestinian people appreciate the consistent position of Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution and in particular his fight against imperialism, the most virulent form being that of American imperialism, and his determination to protect the freedom and independence of his country.”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) eulogized the late leader in a statement, underscoring that Castro had “consistently stood with the oppressed peoples of the world in their confrontation with imperialism, Zionism, racism, and capitalism.”  The PFLP celebrated the Cuban revolution, which ousted the US-backed Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, saying that the revolution “belonged to the entire people,” and united workers and peasants to ensure the victory of their revolution, adding that Cuba has remained “an example of the nationalization of production, the redistribution of wealth, and the construction of exceptional free education and health care systems.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Democratic Union also expressed sadness over the death of the celebrated Cuban leader, with the group’s Secretary General, Zahira Kamal, saying that Castro’s death was a significant moment for the Palestinian people, and extended his organization’s condolences to the Cuban people and all of his supporters around the world. Similarly, Secretary-General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Nayif Hawatmeh, said that “the departure of the comrade, the leader, the friend, the great revolutionary, the patriot, and the nationalist Fidel Castro is a great loss for all revolutionaries and nationalist forces around the world.”