Fidel Castro's death Rawlings pays tribute to Castro

Cuba is observing nine days of national mourning for former President Fidel Castro.

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Former President Jerry John Rawlings has paid tribute to former Cuban president Fidel Castro, who died at the age 90.

He said, "Words cannot describe the worth of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. He was proud yet humble, poor materially but rich in spirit, affable yet courageous and a great warrior of unimaginable proportions."

A statement from the office of Mr Rawlings said, "Arguably the greatest hero of the 20th Century, Fidel joined forces with like-minded legends including Che Guevara to create a new, resilient Cuban society that withstood decades of economic embargo and blatant aggression by the United States and its allies.

Read more: Kofi Annan hails Castro for securing the welfare of Cubans

"Under his leadership and despite the economic hardships imposed upon his country, Cuba was able to build educational and healthcare systems that outperformed those of the so-called advanced countries and to make Cuba a star in the arts and in sports.

"Fidel loved Africa, standing by the continent in the most trying periods of his leadership. The Isle of Youth in Cuba had at its peak 3,000 Ghanaians. Hundreds of Ghanaians were educated in Cuba to become doctors, vets, agriculturists and engineers whilst our hospitals, especially in remote areas, have benefitted from the services of Cuban professors and doctors.

"Cubans laid down their lives in the painful liberation struggles in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent and Africa must forever be thankful for the sacrifices of Castro and the Cuban people.

Related: Gorbachev hails Castro for 'strengthening' Cuba

"Not many nations are able to give so much of themselves and yet receive so little in return.

"Castro epitomised what strong resolve and dedication can achieve. His demise is a loss to the spirit of freedom.

"Our heartfelt condolences to the people of Cuba. Fare thee well, Comrade Fidel Castro!”

Cuba is observing nine days of national mourning for former President Fidel Castro.

The socialist revolutionary's death was announced by his brother, Raul Castro, the incumbent Cuban president, on state television late on Friday.

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