Namibia's President Hage Geingob has declared three days of national mourning beginning this Friday in view of the death of former Cuban president and commander of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Geingob announced this during a memorial service held in Havana on Tuesday. Castro died last Friday at the age of 90. His remains were cremated on Saturday and will be interred Sunday. Castro took power in a 1959 revolution against former dictator Fulgencio Batista and ruled Cuba for 49 years.

The three days of mourning will see all Namibian flags being flown at half-mast. A memorial service will be held in Windhoek on Tuesday.

In his speech in Havana, a copy of which was made available to Nampa, Heingob said Castro's legacy is one which will would never die. "True to his revolutionary heart, Castro had no interest other than the liberation of our people," Geingob said.

He added that Castro had no interest in the vast natural resources of a free Namibia and that Cubans did not come to collect gold or diamonds; all they wanted was to return the remains of their fallen comrades.

Castro's rescue operation during the attack on the Namibian refugee camp in Cassinga, Angola, by South African troops in 1978 and the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale are some of his memorable contributions to Namibia's liberation struggle.

After the Cassinga attacks in 1978 the group of survivors went to Cuba in 1979.

The president said the Namibian people are reminded of Castro by the 3,000 Namibian children from Cassinga who grew up in Cuba, speak fluent Spanish and now occupy positions throughout the public and private sectors.

He added that Namibia still has a lot to learn from a man who lived and died on his own terms, in a time when global politics are no longer clear-cut; when alliances are falling apart and people are losing faith.

According to Geingob, this is a time that needs the razor sharp clarity of mind and purpose which characterised the life of Castro.

"May his revolutionary spirit consume all of us so we may continue to resist neo-colonialism and remain united," he concluded.

Geingob, Namibia's founding president, Sam Nujoma, former president Hifikepunye Pohamba, and some Cassinga massacre survivors attended the memorial service in Cuba.