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Cuba declares 3 days of mourning for Kim Jong Il

Cuba's communist government declared three days of mourning after the death of North Korea's Kim Jong Il.

Kim jong il is dead 2011Enlarge
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il peers out of a car window after a meeting with Russian officials on August 24, 2011. (DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Cuba's communist government declared three days of mourning for North Korea's deceased dictator, Kim Jong Il.

The government's official statement, which was read on state television, also ordered Cuban flags to be flown at half staff, according to the Associated Press. Cuba's mourning period begins Tuesday.

Kim, who ruled North Korea since his father died in 1994, was killed by a heart attack while traveling on a train on Saturday. The North Korean government announced his death in the state press Monday.

More from GlobalPost: Body of Kim Jong Il lies in state ahead of funeral

Venezuela and Nicaragua, also run by leftist governments, have similarly expressed their condolences, AP stated.

Despite the Cuban government's official mourning period, many Cuban dissidents have looked at the situation in North Korea and feared it could be replicated in their own country, Fox News reported. Cubans fear their totalitarian government will continue in their country through generations, it stated.

"Without a doubt, both regimes are similar in concept in that the heirs to both dictatorships end the same way - family dynasties and bloodlines,“ Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sánchez told Fox News Latino.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered her "thoughts and prayers" -- though not her condolences -- to the North Koreans.

"We are deeply concerned with the well being of the North Korean people and our thoughts and prayers are with them during these difficult times," she said in a statement, as reported by Yonhap News.

"The United States stands ready to help the North Korean people and urges the new leadership to work with the international community to usher in a new era of peace, prosperity and lasting security on the Korean Peninsula."

Kim's body was lying in state Tuesday as his son and heir Kim Jong Un and other senior officials paid their respects, AFP reported. Pictures of the dead body of North Korea's "Dear Leader" inside a glass coffin were made public and broadcast on state television.

Kim's funeral is scheduled for Dec. 28.

GlobalPost analysis: Kim Jong Il dead: What's next for North Korea?

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/cuba/111220/cuba-declares-3-days-mourning-kim-jong-il