The Cuban government will observe a three-day mourning period beginning Tuesday to honor the death of North Korean autocrat Kim Jong Il.
For the duration of the mourning period, public buildings and military installations will fly the Cuban flag at half-mast, according to Cuban state media.
As two of the few remaining Communist countries, Cuba and North Korea maintain close ties based on shared ideology.
On Monday, the day after news of Kim Jong Il’s death of a heart attack at age 69 was reported, the United Nations General Assembly voted 123 -16 to criticize what it referred to as North Korea’s “systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights” — violations that allegedly include public executions, arbitrary detention, the use of the death penalty for political reasons and restrictions on the right to travel within the country.
Cuba was one of the 16 countries to vote against the non-binding resolution. There were 51 absentions.
The leftwing Daniel Ortega administration in Nicaragua did not go so far as to declare an official period of mourning, but did offer its condolences to the fallen Communist leader.
“We have wishes for the continuity of the process that the Korean people and its government are living, a process to further build peace and prosperity for all families in that country,” Nicaraguan government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said, according to Prensa Latina, Cuba’s state-run wire service.
Image: Kim Jong Il Looking at Things.