World

Fidel Castro Dies At Age 90

| by Sean Kelly

Fidel Castro, the controversial former Cuban president and one of the longest serving world leaders, died at the age of 90 on Nov. 25. 

Raul Castro, current Cuban president and Castro's brother, announced his death, which has been both mourned and celebrated since it was announced. 

Supporters of Castro praised him, saying he gave the country back to its people after toppling the government in 1950. Others, however, criticized him as a dictator.

“I always said it couldn't be,” one woman told the BBC of the leader’s death. “Even though they said it now, I say it can't be."

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In Little Havana, the Cuban community within Miami, Florida, there were reports of celebrations over Castro’s death, and an exile group said his legacy was “intolerance.”

President-elect Donald Trump chose to celebrate Castro’s passing, tweeting simply, “Fidel Castro is dead!” on Nov. 26. He subsequently released a statement calling Castro a "brutal dictator," according to USA Today.

Castro’s successor was not immediately as popular as his brother, but made international headlines when he struck a deal with President Barack Obama that normalized relations between the two countries for the first time in decades, according to The New York Times. Castro responded to the historic developments in a letter to students at the University of Havana.

“I do not trust the politics of the United States, nor have I exchanged a word with them, but this is not, in any way, a rejection of a peaceful solution to conflicts,” he wrote in January 2015.

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“The grave dangers that threaten humanity today have to give way to norms that are compatible with human dignity," he continued. "No country is excluded from such rights. With this spirit I have fought, and will continue fighting, until my last breath.”

Castro made his final public appearance in April, speaking at the Seventh Congress of the Cuban Communist Party and looking frail and elderly.

“Soon I will be like everybody else,” he said in his speech. “Our turn comes to us all, but the ideas of Cuban communism will endure.”

Sources: BBC, The New York Times, Donald Trump/Twitter, USA Today / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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