Mao Zedong

Why Castro and Mao never saw eye to eye

In a statement read out by a presenter on Chinese state-TV, Xi praised the founder of Communist Cuba. He said Castro had made "immortal historical achievements for the development of world socialism."

But decades earlier, Fidel Castro himself didn't have such praise for the founder of Communist China.

"I believe that Mao (Zedong) destroyed with his feet what he did with his head for many years. I'm convinced of that. And some day the Chinese people, the Communist party of China will have to recognize that," Castro told American journalist Barbara Walters in May 1977.