Jamaica's leaders mourn Fidel Castro

In a statement on Saturday morning, Mr. Holness remembered Fidel Castro for his revolutionary leadership and guidance of  the Cuban state. He said many Jamaicans still vividly remember his visits to Jamaica and his passionate speeches in defence of  the right to self-determination.

The Prime Minister said the people of  Jamaica remain deeply appreciative of  the significant contribution that Cuban medical personnel continue to make to Jamaica through technical cooperation, initiated under the leadership of  Fidel Castro.

Opposition Leader

Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller, in her tribute to Fidel Castro, said he was a great leader and consummate friend of  Jamaica, whose legacy will live on.

Mrs. Simpson Miller, in her statement, said despite being born into material comfort, Mr. Castro dedicated his life to the struggle for Cuba’s social and economic revolution and the liberation of  the Cuban people.

She said, through his efforts, Cuba stands as a proud nation, providing quality education and training, a first rate health care system, among other social advances.

She noted that many of  Jamaica’s best medical practitioners were trained free of  cost in Cuba and Cuban doctors, nurses and other health care professionals continue to share their expertise locally.


P.J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, in his reaction to Fidel Castro’s death, characterised him as

“indisputably, one of the greatest political and world leaders of our time.”
Below is the rest of Mr. Patterson’s statement:
Issues of humanity were his primary cause and this he pursued with relentless vigor of mind and body throughout his entire life.
Although his homeland Cuba was where he made his most seminal contribution to government and governance, his life long struggle was not confined to Cuba, but was also manifested in his progressive international foreign policy which impacted numerous countries.
Jam‎aica was a significant beneficiary of Fidel Castro’s and the Government of the Republic of Cuba’s international contribution.
We can be proud of the many Jamaicans who benefited, and continue to benefit from education in Cuba, especially our Cuban trained doctors, the construction of GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport which has produced numerous sport coaches who have helped to shape and harness our athletic talents.
Fidel was, and will always be spoken of passionately, in different ways, by persons across the political, social, economic, religious and cultural‎ divide because he was never ever comfortable with the norm, the status quo. At all times, in life and during his illness, thinking what else can he do on behalf of people, wherever they may be.
I am honored to have personally known him and will always recall with fond memories ‎the numerous conversations we had. He always saw Jamaica as a friend.
I shall miss him. To his family and the people of Cuba, I say, be strong as he played a great innings while he was at the wicket.