In a letter penned on the evening of July 5, following an overwhelming “No” vote in a referendum on the austerity measures demanded by Greece’s creditors in the Greek referendum, former Cuban President Fidel Castro congratulated Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for his “brilliant political victory.”
Greeks went to the booths on Sunday to decide whether to accept or reject the draft agreement by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The draft agreement was rejected by 61 percent of the voters who voted “No," further straining Greece’s relationship with its creditors.
Saying he followed the Greek referendum closely on the Venezuelan TV station TeleSUR, Castro praised Greece’s significant contributions to humanity’s progress in his letter, published on the official Cuban website cubadebate.cu.
“Greece is very close to the Cubans,” he said. “It taught us philosophy, arts and sciences of antiquity when we were school students and at the same time the most complicated types of human activity, like arts and the science of making politics.”
Castro said Greece’s victory is “especially courageous in the current political setting” and is a source of delight among the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean “who see Greece defend its self-identity and culture in the face of aggression from the outside.”
The 88-year-old former leader wished “the greatest success” to Tsipras, whom he called his “esteemed colleague.”
The Greek referendum result was celebrated by several other South American leaders, including Fidel Castro’s brother and current Cuban President Raul Castro. President Raul Castro sent a message to Tsipras on Sunday saying, “That result demonstrates the majority support by the Greek people of the courageous policy of the government you lead.”
Other leaders who congratulated Tsipras include Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the Argentine President, and Evo Morales, the Bolivian President.