*It’s time to party! That’s the reaction of a lot of people in South Florida with news of the death of Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro at the age of 90. Castro’s passing triggered celebrations on the streets of Miami where many Cuban exiles have made their home.
Large crowds gathered waving Cuban flags, cheering, dancing and banging on pots and pans late Friday, according to HuffingtonPost.
Castro’s government improved the living conditions of the very poor, achieved health and literacy levels on a par with rich countries and rid Cuba of a powerful Mafia presence. But it came with a price for Cuba’s citizens because he also tolerated little dissent, jailed opponents, seized private businesses and monopolized the media. Castro’s opponents labelled him a dictator and hundreds of thousands fled the island.
— Manny O (@MOJR__) November 26, 2016
— Joey Flechas (@joeflech) November 26, 2016
Many settled in Florida, influencing U.S. policy toward Cuba and plotting Castro’s demise though they never managed to dislodge him.
His death on Friday was announced by his brother Raul to whom he handed over power in 2006. Castro’s remains will be cremated, according to his wishes. His brother said details of his funeral would be announced on Saturday.
Meanwhile, here’s what political and world leaders are saying about Castro’s death on Friday.
In his statement, President Obama offered his condolences to the Castro family and mentioned how his administration has tried to warm relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
Obama statement on Castro’s death pic.twitter.com/7lLuxsRTsH
— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) November 26, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump reacted to the news that Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died at age 90 with a simple tweet. He just wrote, “Fidel Castro is dead!” at 8:08 a.m., offering no other thoughts.
Fidel Castro is dead!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2016
Florida Senator Marco Rubio reminded people that the Castro regime is still in place. Both of Rubio’s parents fled the Castro regime.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 26, 2016
Trump’s statement also pales in comparison to the lengthy one issued by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which made little reference to Castro’s human rights record.
“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,’” Trudeeau said. “I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the Cuban strongman an “inspiring example for many countries” and a “symbol of an era” in a telegram he sent to the former leader’s brother and successor, Raul Castro.
#BREAKING Putin praises Castro as ‘symbol of an era’: Kremlin
— AFP news agency (@AFP) November 26, 2016