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World Leaders React to Fidel Castro’s Death

November 26, 2016

Flowers at Cuban Embassy in Moscow in memory of Fidel CastroFlowers at Cuban Embassy in Moscow in memory of Fidel Castro
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 26, 2016: Flowers at the Cuban Embassy in Moscow in memory of Cuba's revolutionary leader and former president Fidel Castro. Castro died aged 90 on November 25, 2016. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom GeodakyanTASS via Getty Images)Artyom Geodakyan Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

World leaders on Saturday reacted to the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, even as many Cuban-Americans in Miami celebrated the news in the streets of Little Havana.

President-elect Donald Trump reacted with a simple announcement on Twitter on Saturday morning. “Fidel Castro is dead!” he said. President Barack Obama has not yet publicly commented on Castro’s death, which was announced late Friday by Castro’s brother, Cuban President Raul Castro.

“Free and independent Cuba, which he (Fidel Castro) and his allies built, became an influential member of the international community and became an inspiring example for many countries and nations,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a telegram to Raul Castro, according to the Associated Press. “Fidel Castro was a sincere and reliable friend of Russia.”
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said on Twitter: “Fidel Castro was a friend of Mexico, promoting bilateral relations based on respect, dialogue and solidarity,” according to an AP translation.

“Fidel Castro was one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century. India mourns the loss of a great friend,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter. “I extend my deepest condolences to the Government & people of Cuba on the sad demise of Fidel Castro. May his soul rest in peace.”

Pope Francis sent a telegram to Raul Castro offering “my sense of grief to your excellency and family” and signed it himself, the AP reported.

“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement, calling him a “legendary revolutionary and orator.” “While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.’”

In a message read on state broadcaster CCTV, Chinese President Xi Jinping praised Fidel Castro’s “immortal historical contributions to the development of socialism around the world,” the AP reported.

“With his death, the Chinese people have lost a close comrade and a sincere friend. His glorious image and great achievements will be recorded in history forever,” Jinping said.

U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called Fidel Castro a “huge figure in our lives,” according to the BBC.

“For all his flaws, Castro’s support for Angola played a crucial role in bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa and he will be remembered both as an internationalist and a champion of social justice,” Corbyn said.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called him a “historic, if controversial figure,” the BBC reported. He said Fidel Castro’s death marked “the end of an era for Cuba and the start of a new one for Cuba’s people.”

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