President Robert Mugabe has left Harare for Havana, Cuba this Monday evening to attend the funeral of the late Cuban leader and nationalist, Fidel Castro (90) who died in Santiago de Cuba Province on Saturday.
The President was seen off at Harare International Airport by the two vice presidents, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa and Cde Phelekezela Mphoko, several government ministers and service chiefs.
Zimbabwe and Cuba share close ties that were born during the time of the liberation struggle for Zimbabwe when the Caribean island provided moral, material and military support to the cadres waging the liberation struggle.
Cuba was also very supportive of the just cause for the struggle internationally and played a huge role in helping end Portuguese colonisation in Angola and Apartheid in South Africa.
After the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe, Cuba under Castro played a huge role in educating local science and maths teachers for the massive new education system.
This programme later migrated to present day Bindura University of Science Education.
Zimbabwe at independence and up to date continues to benefit from the recruitment of Cuban medical doctors some of whom are in specialised such as oncologists, anaesthetists, gynaecologists and others.
The human resource capacitation programme from Cuba has benefitted many other countries including South Africa, thanks to the love and generosity of Castro who was ready to help those fighting imperialism in Africa.
Castro, a Marxist-Leninist and Cuban nationalist, governed Cuba for 47 years, from 1959 to 1976 as prime minister and then as president from 1976 to 2006.
He transformed Cuba into a one party socialist state under which industryÂÂ and business were nationalised and state socialist reforms were implemented throughout society.
President Castro is revered not only in Africa, but in other Latin American countries like Colombia and Venezuala, whose former leader, Hugo Chavez viewed Castro as his mentor and father figure.