Roosevelt Skerrit Prime Minister of Dominica, left, and Cuban President Fidel Castro shake hands Friday Feb.18, 2005 at the Revolutiuon Palace in Havana, Cuba.  Skerrit starts  today his second visit to the Island. (AP Photo/Jose Goitia)

Roosevelt Skerrit Prime Minister of Dominica, left, and Cuban President Fidel Castro shake hands Friday Feb.18, 2005 at the Revolutiuon Palace in Havana, Cuba. Skerrit starts today his second visit to the Island. (AP Photo/Jose Goitia)

 
It was with sadness that I received the news of the passing of Comrade Fidel Castro, the former President and the Revolutionary Leader of the Cuban Revolution, the Cuban people. Fidel Castro was somebody who had a very long and positive impact on the entire world having served for several decades. 
 
But it is not only about his long-standing leadership of Cuba that is of note, but his generosity to the world and the impact which Cuba made on Freedom for many countries. In South Africa, Cuba was very instrumental with the ANC in fighting for the equal rights of people of colour. Also in many African countries, Cuba played a very critical role in the freedom of black people, African people. 
 
In terms of health care and education, I believe that every country in this world would have been impacted upon by the generosity of the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. He was a well respected world leader. In Dominica, in every sphere of our society has been impacted by the generosity of Fidel Castro.
 
We will certainly miss him a lot and miss his presence in the world. We wish to extend our sincere condolences from the Government and people of Dominica, and my own behalf and that of my family, to the Government, his brother Raul, and to the Cuban people, and the Cuban Ambassador resident here in Dominica – our sincere and deepest condolences on the passing of Fidel.
 
I have had the occasion over an extended period of time to interact with him. I consider him to be a mentor, I consider him to be a friend. I have learned quite a bit from him in terms of his leadership and how he views world issues.
 
In recognition of his life and his contribution to Dominica and the Caribbean region, our flags in Dominica will be flown at half staff until the day after his burial as a sign of our respect, admiration, and appreciation for his contribution to Dominica.
 
Fortunately for us, we had the opportunity to bestow upon him a few years ago, the highest national award of our country in recognition of not only his contribution to Dominica but his contribution to the region.