President, PM send condolences

Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to Cuba's President Raul Castro to convey their condolences over the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

The Cuban revolutionary leader died last Friday, aged 90.

"On behalf of the people of Singapore, I offer our deepest condolences to you and the people of the Republic of Cuba," Dr Tan wrote.

In his letter, Dr Tan paid tribute to the late Mr Castro's significant contributions to Cuba and its people during his time as prime minister and then president, particularly in the provision of public healthcare and education.

"His patriotism and single-minded dedication to Cuba never faltered. His passing is a deep loss to the people of Cuba," wrote Dr Tan.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Cuba during this period of national mourning."

PM Lee, in his letter, noted Mr Fidel Castro "led Cuba for five decades with unwavering dedication and commitment" and was "a patriot who shaped the history of Cuba".

"Despite facing many challenges, he embarked on an education and health programme to uplift the lives of his people; in the process, he completely transformed his country," Mr Lee wrote.

"Today, Cuba has achieved high standards of medical services and become renowned for its advancements in biotechnology."

He noted that internationally, Mr Castro "was one of the icons of the 20th century and has earned a place in history". "His contributions to Cuba will be long remembered by the Cuban people."

Joanna Seow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2016, with the headline 'President, PM send condolences'. Print Edition | Subscribe