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Cuba declares official mourning for N. Korea's Kim

20 december 2011, 13:38
0
Cuba's President Raul Castro shakes hands with North Korea's Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun in Havana. ©REUTERS/Handout
Cuba's President Raul Castro shakes hands with North Korea's Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun in Havana. ©REUTERS/Handout
Cuba declared three days of mourning Monday for North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, a reliable ally as Havana has grown increasingly isolated since the end of the Cold War, AFP reports.

"Cuba's Council of State has declared official mourning due to the passing of comrade Kim Jong-Il," an official statement said, noting that Cuba's flag would be flown at half staff Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Cuba and North Korea are among the world's five communist nations. And Cuba is the only one-party Communist regime in the Americas.

Elizardo Sanchez, who leads the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation rights watchdog, told reporters defiantly that he would not be mourning Kim, calling him a "bad man" who "committed horrible crimes against his people."

"Let's not open the way on this island... to a (multigenerational) dynastic regime" as in North Korea," Sanchez added.

Revolutionary icon Fidel Castro, 85, and his brother President Raul Castro, 80, "right now for some time have been feeling tempted to do what the Kim family is doing. But that is not viable in Cuba," he said.

On North Korean state television Monday, a tearful announcer delivered the news of Kim's demise at 69 from a heart attack.

Pyongyang urged service personnel and citizens to rally behind Kim's youngest son Jong-Un, who is in his late 20s. Last year, he was made a four-star general and given top ruling party posts despite having had no public profile.

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