Fidel Castro speaking at a rally. The Cuban revolutionary leader died at the age of 90. | Photo: Reuters
telesur | 27 November 2016 — Algeria became the first nation to receive internationalist military aid from Cuba, following a brigrade sent to Chile in 1960 after an earthquake.
Following suit with many world leaders expressing their condolences and admiration for Fidel Castro and his internationalist, anti-imperialist solidarity, Algerian authorities have declared eight days of mourning in his honor.
Declaring it a “great loss for the Algerian people” in a written statement, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika expressed his gratitude for the key role that Fidel and the Cuban army played in the Algerian Liberation War against French colonizers between 1954 and 1962.
“I salute him as an authentic defender of the values of peace, respect and national sovereignty, and of his uncompromising struggle for the rights of people to self-determination,” President Bouteflika said in a statement quoted by Xinhua news agency.
In 1961, Cuba began its first internationalist mission by providing assistance to Algeria’s National Liberation Front rebels fighting against French colonialism.
By 1962, Algeria had gained its independence and soon after entered into diplomatic relations with the Caribbean island. It didn’t take long for Algeria’s first prime minister, Ben Bella, to define his country’s struggle as Castro-style socialism after a visit to the island in 1962.