Fidel Castro, former president to Cuba and one of the longest-serving head of state has died at the age of 90.
His death was announced by his young brother and President Raul Castro on state television.
Castro ascended to power in 1959 having overthrown the existing government. His toppling of the government led to the introduction of a Communist revolution. He is known for having defied the United States for decades and having successfully evaded all assassination attempts.
Critics believed that he was a dictator while his supporters held the opinion that he had returned Cuba back to the people.
Mixed Tributes Pour in
With the announcement of the death, different world leaders gave out tributes – both positive and negative. US President-Elect Donald Trump was among the earliest iconic figures to tweet about the death. He simply tweeted: “Fidel Castro is dead!”
This was later on followed by a lengthy tweet in which he said that “Fidel Castro was a brutal dictator.”
He went on to say that it was his hope to see the Cuban people move towards a freer future.
Mr. Trump said via a statement sent to the media houses that: while Cuba remained “a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.”
Tense Relationship with Cuba
The Cuba and US relationship has been rather a tense one. As Cold War tensions rose further, the United States had to cut ties with the country. The superpower placed economic embargo that is still active after about a century.
President Barack Obama’s administration has been working to warm up this relationship and even restored diplomatic ties in 2015.
Mr. Trump has always been critical of Obama’s policies but he did not say anywhere that he would reverse it. He said that he would ensure Cubans could “begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty”.