The Canadian Network On Cuba sends the deepest condolences on the death of Nelson Mandela to his family and to the people of South Africa. Mandela made many sacrifices in the fight against apartheid, but when he became South Africa's president he never sacrificed his friendship with those countries that had stood with the South African people during their long and arduous struggle for freedom, especially Cuba. Cuba was the first country outside of Africa that Mandela visited after he was released from 27-years of imprisonment.
Nelson Mandela's friendship with and admiration for Fidel Castro was forged in Cuba's crucial contribution to the dismantling of the racist South African regime, particularly the 1987-88 battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola. This decisive defeat of the racist South African armed forces played a critical role in bringing apartheid to an end. As South Africa and the world marks the passing of this profound symbol of the struggle for equality and justice, Cuba also says farewell one of its best friends.