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HAVANA, December 4. /TASS/. Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro had a particularly warm attitude towards the peoples of the USSR and Russia, Cuban state TV anchorperson, Daisy Gomez, told TASS.
"Fidel had special admiration for the Soviet and Russian peoples, and this feeling was reciprocal," said Gomez who covered the work of the legendary leader, including his visits to the USSR, for many years. "During Castro’s visits to the USSR people in that country expressed their love to him. When I worked as a correspondent of the Cuban state television and radio in Moscow, many people I met asked me questions about Fidel."
According to the journalist, she was able to see with her own eyes the warm meeting organized by Muscovites for the Cuban leader in 1986 during his stroll around Arbat, a street in the historical center of Moscow. "We made a documentary about that visit. When Fidel was strolling around the street, an elderly man asked him, "When will you be awarded the rank of Marshal?" Castro answered that he would always be "Comandante", that it is the rank he had during the struggle in the Sierra Maestra mountains. However, if someone prefers to address him as Marshall, he has nothing against that," she recalled.
She added that Castro admired Soviet soldiers’ heroism during the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. "Some time ago, one of Fidel’s comrades-in-arms who fought in Sierra Maestra with him recalled that several members of his unit argued who the best soldiers in world history were. Some of them said those were the Japanese, someone said the Romans and someone else - the Germans. But Fidel approached them and argued that the best soldiers were Soviet people who were not only famous for their gallantry and good military training but were also faithful to their ideals, which helped them fight and defend their country," the journalist said.
Fidel Castro passed away on November 25 aged 90. The Cuban government declared a nine-day national mourning following his death.