New York

26 November 2016

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the death of Fidel Castro Ruz

The Secretary-General was saddened to learn of the death of Fidel Castro Ruz, former President of Cuba.  An emblematic figure of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro was prominent in Latin America and influential in world affairs.  As Prime Minister, President, Commander of the Cuban Armed Forces and First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, his role at the helm of Cuba spanned nearly 50 years, during which he left a major imprint on his country and on global politics.

President Fidel Castro will be remembered for his leadership of the Cuban revolution and for advances in Cuba in the fields of education, literacy and health.  His revolutionary ideals left few indifferent.  He was a strong voice for social justice in global discussions at the UN General Assembly and international and regional forums.  The Secretary-General vividly recalls meeting him during a visit to Cuba in January 2014, and was impressed by the former President’s passion and lively engagement on a wide range of issues.

The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the Cuban people and to the family of the former President, particularly to President Raul Castro.  

The Secretary-General hopes Cuba will continue to advance on a path of reform, greater prosperity and human rights.  At this time of national mourning, he offers the support of the United Nations to work alongside the Cuban people.