Kiska: Nowhere Have I Seen So Many Sad People as in Cuba

Children's messages next to a picture of Cuban communist revolution leader Fidel Castro at an exhibition in 2014. (Photo by AP)

Bratislava, November 27 (TASR) – The legacy of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro should be evaluated by the Cuban people, Slovak President Andrej Kiska wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.

“The rest of us can only wish them to see Cuba as a happy country and a real island of freedom one day,” wrote Kiska.

The Slovak president further wrote that he visited this country 13 years ago. “The teaching salary was $9 per month at the time. Chicken meat was raised only for tourists, while only chicken necks were available for the locals. There was a concert with 30 performers and four people in the audience,” Kiska recalled some of his experience.

He borrowed a car in Cuba and travelled with his wife across the country with a local guide for three weeks. “Probably nowhere have I seen so many sad people – intelligent and desiring for freedom and a normal life,” wrote Kiska.

There were differing opinions of Fidel Castro at the time. “Some people were awaiting his death eagerly – there were already rumours of his poor health – and they were looking forward to seeing freedom. Others, mainly people in the countryside, were full of praise for him. They got land to work on. They might have had a house without glass windows, but they had a modern TV set in the living room. Fidel the leader had just decided to give presents to some families,” recalled Kiska.

Speaking to a senior Cuban Government representative earlier this year, Kiska attempted to explain to him with Slovakia as an example the role of democracy and the possibility of expressing one’s opinion freely. “We all make mistakes and any reasonable person should want to see their mistakes pointed out to them by others without them being afraid that they’ll go to jail for their opinion,” added Kiska.