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  • The Cuban National Ballet expressed its gratitude towards Fidel Castro and his support for art.

    The Cuban National Ballet expressed its gratitude towards Fidel Castro and his support for art. | Photo: Reuters

Fidel transformed the now internationally acclaimed Cuban National Ballet as part of his "arts and culture revolution."

Following the death of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, members of the Cuban National Ballet signed a statement in which the cultural institution pledged to remain fully committed to the Cuban Revolution.

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Alicia Alonso, a former "prima ballerina" of the Cuban Ballet and widely considered to be one of the greatest dancers of all time, signed the statement at the Casa del Alba Cultural, remembering Fidel's unconditional support for the institution.

"I will always remember his kind voice, asking about my artistic work and details about the activities of the Cuban National Ballet, its achievements and needs," the 95-year-old ballerina said in a statement.

"The historic legacy that he leaves is overwhelming and it's also represented in Cuban culture. That's why, now and forever, we say: thank you Fidel!"

Alonso added that the Cuban Revolution introduced for the first time cultural policies that supported the arts in the Caribbean nation.

In 2000, Fidel Castro gave Alonso the Order of Jose Marti, one of the greatest acts of state recognition on the island. 

Alonso retired from dancing in 1995 but has led the Cuban National Ballet, which has produced some of the world’s most talented ballet dancers, since 1955. It is expected to perform in Baja California, Mexico, on Dec. 7.

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