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Former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro Dies

Saumya Jain

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[ot-caption title=”Cuba’s Former Leader Fidel Castro has died.” (via Agencia Brasil, Wikimedia)”]

On November 25, 2016, Fidel Castro died in his home country of Cuba at the age of 90. He had governed Cuba for 49 years as first the Prime Minister and later as the President.  He changed Cuba in both good and bad ways, and will always be remembered as a controversial leader. Then in 2008, he handed his power over to Raúl Castro, his younger brother. Fidel’s death was received with mixed emotions from people worldwide. [spacer height=”20px”]

In Miami and its surrounding cities, this news was received with joy and led to celebrations in the street. Many locals saw it as the death of a tyrant from their home country.  Many either fled to Miami from Cuba or their parents did, so for both first and second generation Cubans in Miami, his death was seen as a victory.  However, in the Cuban capital, Havana, the streets were empty and quiet for hours after they received the news; it took the people some time to digest the information, and some were not as happy as Cubans in Miami. [spacer height=”20px”]

Political figures around the world reacted to the news of Castro’s death. President Obama offered his condolences to Castro’s family and also offered “a hand of friendship” to the Cubans. He stated how “history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure.” Senator Marco Rubio, however, stated that Obama didn’t “mention of the thousands he [Fidel Castro] killed and imprisoned. India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted how “Fidel Castro was one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century…”. Pope Francis offered his prayers for Fidel Castro. The mixed emotions on Castro’s influence on the world are shown being shown globally and locally including here at Pine Crest. Sophomore Shayne Pollock expressed her personal opinion on Castro’s death: “I think that Fidel Castro is seen as a controversial leader. Many Americans look down upon him as a communist, but many Cubans revered him during his rule since he carried Cuba through some very difficult times.” [spacer height=”20px”]

Castro’s death seems to mark the end of an era, but Cubans are unsure and hopeful of the future. Castro’s brother, Raúl, has said that in 2018, he plans to step down leaving uncertainty at the top of the political system in Cuba.  The death of Fidel Castro will continue to be controversial worldwide due to his vast political influence in Cuba and his impact on international politics. [spacer height=”20px”]

Sources: Washington Post, Fox News, CBS News, CNN, New York Times, Bloomberg

Photo Source: Agencia Brasil

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Former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro Dies