The death of the Cuban dignitary brings both joy and grief.
Fidel Castro, the Cuban despot that nearly pushed the world into nuclear war, died in Havana, Cuba yesterday (Nov. 25). He was 90.
In a televised statement, Cuban President Raúl Castro, who’s the younger brother of Fidel, announced the passing of his brother at 10:29 pm EST last night.
“With profound pain I share with our people and the friends of America and the world that today, on the 25th of November at 10:29 p.m., the head commander of the Cuban Revolution, the companion Fidel Castro Ruz died. In following the wishes expressed by Fidel, his remains will be cremated.”
He continued, “In the early hours of tomorrow, Saturday the 26th, the funeral organizing commission will provide the people detailed information about the organization of a posthumous tribute to the founder of the Cuban Revolution. Towards victory forever.”
As one of the most polarizing figures in modern history, some viewed Fidel Castro as a revolutionary hero and others viewed him as a egotistical tyrant that caused Cuba’s economic ruin. Castro lived through the 10 American Presidents determined to overthrow him, which included President John F. Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and President Ronald Reagan and the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963 which almost led to World War III.
From his ascent into power in 1959 until he ceded his presidency in 2008, Castro’s tenure as Head of State was second only to Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned for more than six decades.
The legacy of Fidel Castro is to be determined by the proverbial eyes of the beholder. Foreign leaders such as Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto stated Castro was “A friend of Mexico,” while Venezuela’s President implored “revolutionaries of the world must follow his legacy.” And then, there’s President-elect, Donald Trump, who eloquently expressed himself in four words: Fidel Castro is Dead!
Fidel Castro is dead!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2016
With its former president being laid to rest December 4 and the current President Castro planning to step down in 2018, many wonder what happens to Cuba next. As of today, while nine days of mourning have commenced on the Caribbean isle, Cuban-Americans celebrate in the streets of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, shouting “Libertad” (the Spanish word for freedom) with exuberance.