Reactions from world leaders and U.S. residents started pouring in after news about former Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s death broke early Saturday. Castro died late Friday at the age of 90 due to failing health.
The revolutionary’s death was announced by his brother and Cuban President Raul Castro on state television.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted his condolences calling Castro a “friend of Mexico” and a promoter of bilateral relations.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro addressed “all the revolutionaries of the world,” saying they need to continue Castro’s legacy. He also said that by forming the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America — an intergovernmental organization — and Petrocaribe — an oil alliance of several Caribbean states with Venezuela — Castro and former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez paved the way for the “liberation of our people.”
El Salvador’s President Salvador Sánchez Cerén offered his condolences to Cuba and called Castro a “dear friend.” He also said that the Cuban leader will “live in the hearts of the people” who fight for justice and dignity.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa tweeted, saying, “It was a big one… Long live Cuba! Long live Latin America!”
Manuel Zelaya, former president of Honduras, gave a tribute to Castro, calling him the world’s “greatest revolutionary” against injustice.
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Didier Reynders, also expressed his condolences to Castro’s family. “A page of history turns. Fidel Castro is dead,” Reynders tweeted.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee also tweeted their condolences.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena called Castro an “iconic leader.”
Pakistan’s cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said Castro “liberated his nation from all vestiges of imperialism.”
South African politician Julius Sello Malema tweeted:
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted:
South African President Jacob Zuma thanked Castro for helping and supporting the need to remove apartheid.
“President Castro identified with our struggle against apartheid. He inspired the Cuban people to join us in our own struggle against apartheid. The Cuban people, under the leadership and command of President Castro, joined us in our struggle against apartheid,” Zuma said in a statement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called Castro an “inspiring example for many countries.”
“Fidel Castro was a frank and tried and true friend of Russia,” Putin said in a statement.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, praised Castro’s efforts to push Cuba out of U.S. embargo.
“Fidel held his ground and strengthened his country at the time of the harshest American blockade, at the time of massive pressure on him,” Gorbachev said. “Nevertheless he led out his country from the blockade to the path of self-sustained and independent development.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed grief over Castro’s death.
“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President,” Trudeau said in a statement, which added: “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation… I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”
Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández offered condolences to Cuba and Castro’s brother Raul.
Timoleón Jiménez, aka Timochenko, the current commander-in-chief of Colombian FARC rebels, called Castro one of the “great men of the world. Eternal glory to his memory!”
As tributes poured in over the revolutionary’s death, many Americans expressed joy over the news. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) said the passing of Castro “marks the end of a long, horrifying chapter” in Cuba’s history.
Several tweets also showed people in Florida celebrating Castro’s death.
The Los Angeles Times deleted a tweet that called Castro a “charismatic icon” who ruled Cuba. The newspaper said the tweet “miscast the tone of the story.”