Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fidel Castro 'dismayed' by Garcia Marquez's death

Posted on Friday, 04.25.14

Fidel Castro 'dismayed' by Garcia Marquez's death

HAVANA -- Fidel Castro was hit hard by last week's death of longtime
friend and Nobel Prize-winning Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia
Marquez, Cuba's No. 2 leader said Friday.

Speaking in Havana as he signed a book of condolences at the Colombian
Embassy, Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel said Castro was
left "dismayed."

"Fidel is a man of great human sensibility, so he feels the loss of his
friends," Diaz-Canel told reporters. "But he is also a man who is very
seasoned by all the battles he has had to fight ... he also has a
resilience for such problems."

Castro has not commented publicly on Garcia Marquez's passing, though he
sent a floral arrangement to a memorial ceremony in Mexico City, where
the author lived the final three decades of his life.

The two were close for years after Garcia Marquez came to Cuba to work
for Prensa Latina, the state news agency founded by guerrilla leader
Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

Castro's silence fueled yet another round of rumors on social media
about the health of the 87-year-old former leader, who was forced from
office in 2006 by a near-fatal intestinal illness.

He also kept mum for days after the deaths last year of two others he
considered close friends: Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Hugo Chavez
of Venezuela.

Castro, 87, retired from the Cuban presidency for good in 2008 and
rarely appears in public now. Last year, he all but stopped writing
once-regular opinion pieces that were carried across Cuban state media.

"His health is very good. He is working intensely," Diaz-Canel said.

The vice president saluted Garcia Marquez for his "literary greatness,"
his support for the Cuban Revolution and his friendship with Castro.

Diaz-Canel is the first high-level Cuban official to speak publicly
about Garcia Marquez since the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude"
and other renowned novels died April 17 in Mexico City at age 87.

Andrea Rodriguez on Twitter:

Source: HAVANA: Fidel Castro 'dismayed' by Garcia Marquez's death -
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