Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday sent a letter expressing condolences to Cuba President Raul Castro on behalf of this country on the death of his big brother Fidel.
"On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, it is with great sadness that I extend deepest condolences to the Government and people of Cuba and to his family on the passing of former President, Fidel Castro, who was one of the world's longest serving leaders," Rowley said.
Rowley said Fidel Castro's death signalled the "end of an iconic period of history."
"The people of Trinidad and Tobago, and indeed many of our Caricom nations, have long enjoyed cordial diplomatic relations with Cuba. The passing of Fidel Castro marks an end of an iconic period of history not only for the Caribbean and Latin American Region, but also for the world," Rowley said.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar described Castro as a "political colossus."
"Castro's life and his control over Cuba, his personal efforts at improving the lives of his people and his role on global stage have already engaged the attention of historians of different social and political stripe," Persad-Bissessar said.
"The enduring legacy of the man who featured in some of the world's most iconic dramas will no doubt live on in history and in legend. Today I join the Cuban people and the world in mourning the passing of this political colossus, Mr Fidel Castro. May his soul find eternal peace," she said.
"Today we mourn the passing of a small man who became the greatest leader in the western hemisphere. We send condolences to the Government and people of Cuba and all those whose lives President Castro touched. ..He was a Caribbean man like we are. His message of equality will endure forever," Persad-Bissessar said.
History will absolve him
Head of the Caribbean Collective for Justice Nazma Muller met Fidel Castro when she went to the Cuba-Caricom summit in Havana in 2003 as a journalist.
"When I finally met Fidel in 2003, I had one question to ask: 'What is your message to the youth of the Caribbean?' He thought for a few seconds and then he said, 'We have so much talent and resources in the region, that if we work together in solidarity and brotherhood, the future is ours. The youths hold the future in their hands. We must believe in them and give them the tools to change the world'," she said.
"I truly believe history will absolve him," she said.