QUITO – Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Saturday that late Cuban leader Fidel Castro inspired the progressive and integration processes in Latin America.
“We’re sad, but at peace, because the commander completed his mission, blazing paths that have inspired many of us who desire a more just, more equitable, more equal Latin America, but also one with more dignity and more sovereignty,” Correa said during his regular Saturday address.
The “best tribute” to Castro, who died on Friday night at the age of 90, “is to continue fighting for that new fatherland, that great fatherland” without living under “colonialism” or being a “vassal,” Correa said.
The president said that the Cuban leader, whom he considered a close friend, was one of those who blazed paths “where there was nothing, he opened paths, set the direction, the vision.”
Castro is one of those figures who “have completed their mission and have the right to rest,” Correa said.
“Cuba is in mourning, Latin America is in mourning” over the death of Castro, who was probably “the most influential Latin American of the 20th century,” Correa said.
The Ecuadorian president called for an end to “the criminal blockade of more than half a century” imposed by the United States on Cuba, acknowledging that there had been “timid advances” in relations between Washington and Havana under the Obama administration.
“Lifting the embargo is not a favor, it’s a matter of justice,” Correa said, noting that no Latin American country could have overcome the embargo resisted by “heroic Cuba.”