Havana, Cuba.- The willingness of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, to improve relations with the United States as equals, while preserving the country’s sovereignty, was stressed during a panel discussion in Fidel’s honor held in Washington, on occasion the first anniversary of his death on November 25, 2016.

The panel was moderated by Cuban Ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas, and featured U.S. experts who discussed Fidel’s efforts to improve relations with the powerful neighbor to the north.

The ceremony was attended by diplomats from various countries and friends of Cuba in the U.S., among them the executive director of the Inter-religious Foundation for Community Organization/Pastors for Peace, Gail Walker, who spoke about the altruistic nature of the Cuban Revolution and the support offered by the Caribbean state to other nations and peoples in need around the world.

The U.S. activist noted that Cuba had also extended its solidarity to the U.S. following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when Fidel offered to send over 1,500 doctors to treat victims of the disaster, a proposal that was rejected by then U.S. President George W. Bush.

Walker also mentioned the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, where 170 U.S. citizens from under-served communities have been trained so far, as part of an initiative set up by Fidel Castro.

Other tributes to Fidel around the world include the opening of a classroom, which bears the name of the Cuban leader at the A.S. Griboyedov International Law and Economy Institute in Russia.

According to a release on the website of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the new classroom was inaugurated during a ceremony with the presence of the Dean of the Higher Institute, Nikolaiy Pototskiy and Cuba’s Ambassador to Russia, Emilio Lozada, who thanked the attending teaching staff and students for the noble gesture.

Another tribute to Fidel on the first anniversary of his death took place at the State University of the Autonomous Republic of Najichevan, in Azerbaijan, with the presence of students from the international relations and foreign languages schools of the center.

During the tribute, Cuban ambassador in that nation, Alfredo Nieves Portuondo, highlighted Fidel’s legacy in defense of sovereignty and the self-determination of the peoples, his role in the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and his leadership in the anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist battles.

Meanwhile in the Latin American Salon in the Japanese capital, a Seminar on the Foreign Policy of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel and the Validity of His Thinking, was held sponsored by the Cuban embassy there, with the participation of renowned Cuban and Japanese diplomats and academics.

The participants highlighted the struggle of Fidel for world peace not just as a dream but also as an urgent need for humanity to survive.