Live updates

Advertisement

  1. National

Lord Hain pays tribute to Fidel Castro

Lord Hain. Credit: PA

The former Labour Cabinet minister and anti-apartheid leader Peter Hain, now Lord Hain, has paid tribute to former Cuban president Fidel Castro, who has died aged 90.

He said: "Although responsible for indefensible human rights and free speech abuses, Castro created a society of unparalleled access to free health, education and equal opportunity despite an economically throttling USA siege.

"His troops inflicted the first defeat on South Africa's troops in Angola in 1988, a vital turning point in the struggle against apartheid."

Cardiff journalist recalls Fidel Castro calling her his 'Celtic cousin'

Lila Haines, an independent journalist based in Cardiff, has spoken to ITV News about meeting Fidel Castro in the 1990s.

Lila Haines meeting Fidel Castro in the 1990s Credit: Lila Haines

The former Cuban leader's death was announced by his brother, Raul Castro, the incumbent Cuban president, on state television late on Friday.

Fidel Castro's death has been announced by his brother Credit: TNS/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Ms Haines lived and worked in Cuba in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and met the leader several times.

He called her a 'Celtic cousin', and told her that he always had to remind his people that Wales is not England.

Listen to Lila Haines talk about meeting Fidel Castro:

A divisive figure, Fidel Castro was seen as both pariah and people's champion.

He built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States and defied US efforts to topple him for five decades.

The former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, now Lord Hain, said: "Although responsible for indefensible human rights and free speech abuses, Castro created a society of unparalleled access to free health, education and equal opportunity despite an economically throttling USA siege."

Advertisement

Load more updates