When Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in 1990, one of the first things he did was visit Cuba to express his respect and admiration for the island's leader Fidel Castro.
According to The Huffington Post, Castro and Mandela developed a very close relationship. The triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 inspired Mandela, and he later credited Cuba's military support to Angola in the 1970s and 80s with playing a role in debilitating South Africa's government enough to result in the legalization of his party, the African National Congress, in 1990.
When Mandela met with Castro after his prison release he said, “You have not come to our country -- when are you coming?" Castro responded, "I have not visited my homeland South Africa, but I love it as if it were my homeland."