World lead­ers pay trib­ute to Cas­tro Crit­ics la­bel him a ‘tyrant’

Kuwait Times - - OBITUARY -

World lead­ers paid trib­ute yes­ter­day to Fidel Cas­tro, the Cuban rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader who built a com­mu­nist state on the doorstep of the United States, but in death just as in life he di­vided opin­ion, and crit­ics la­beled him a “tyrant”. Cas­tro died on Fri­day aged 90, his younger brother and suc­ces­sor Raul Cas­tro an­nounced on state tele­vi­sion.

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama:

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in a state­ment yes­ter­day of­fered his con­do­lences to Fidel Cas­tro’s fam­ily and added that his­tory would judge Cas­tro’s im­pact on Cuba and around the world. “At this time of Fidel Cas­tro’s pass­ing, we ex­tend a hand of friend­ship to the Cuban peo­ple,” Obama said. “His­tory will record and judge the enor­mous im­pact of this sin­gu­lar fig­ure on the peo­ple and world around him.” Obama added that dur­ing his own pres­i­dency he had worked to “put the past be­hind us,” while work­ing on a fu­ture that was built on those things that were in com­mon.

The leader of the world’s Ro­man Catholics sent a tele­gram say­ing he was “pray­ing to the Lord that he (Cas­tro) may rest in peace”.

UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon:

“Un­der for­mer pres­i­dent (Fidel) Cas­tro, Cuba made progress in the ar­eas of ed­u­ca­tion, lit­er­acy and health,” the UN sec­re­tary-gen­eral told jour­nal­ists.

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin:

“The free and in­de­pen­dent Cuba, built by him and his com­rades, has be­come an in­flu­en­tial mem­ber of in­ter­na­tional so­ci­ety and served as an in­spir­ing ex­am­ple for many coun­tries and peo­ple. Fidel Cas­tro was a frank and tried and true friend of Rus­sia. He has make a great con­tri­bu­tion into es­tab­lish­ing and de­vel­op­ing of Rus­soCuban ties, close strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion in all the spheres,” the Krem­lin said, cit­ing Putin’s con­do­lences tele­gram to Raul Cas­tro.

For­mer leader of USSR Mikhail Gor­bachev:

Mikhail Gor­bachev, the fi­nal leader of the Soviet Union which had long acted as an eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal prop for Cuba, said Cas­tro left a last­ing mark on his coun­try and on world his­tory. “Fidel held his ground and strength­ened his coun­try at the time of the harsh­est Amer­i­can block­ade, at the time of mas­sive pres­sure on him,” Gor­bachev was quoted by In­ter­fax news agency as say­ing. “Nev­er­the­less he led out his coun­try from the block­ade to the path of self-sus­tained and in­de­pen­dent de­vel­op­ment.”

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping:

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said in a state­ment that: “the Chi­nese peo­ple have lost a close com­rade and a sin­cere friend”. Xi hailed Cas­tro for his con­tri­bu­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of com­mu­nism both in Cuba and around the world.

French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande:

French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande mourned the loss of a ma­jor fig­ure on the world stage and wel­comed the rap­proche­ment be­tween Ha­vana and Wash­ing­ton, while not­ing con­cerns over hu­man rights un­der the Cas­tro regime. “Fidel Cas­tro was a tow­er­ing fig­ure of the 20th cen­tury. He in­car­nated the Cuban rev­o­lu­tion, in both its hopes and sub­se­quent dis­il­lu­sion­ments,” Hol­lande said in a state­ment. “France, which con­demned hu­man rights abuses in Cuba, had equally chal­lenged the US em­bargo on Cuba, and France was glad to see the two coun­tries re-es­tab­lish di­a­logue and open ties be­tween them­selves,” added the So­cial­ist party leader. Hol­lande met Fidel Cas­tro in May, 2015 dur­ing the first ever visit by a French head of state to Cuba since the Cuban rev­o­lu­tion.

Span­ish PM Mar­i­ano Ra­joy

The Span­ish prime min­is­ter sent his con­do­lences to Cuba’s govern­ment and peo­ple, via Twit­ter, where he de­scribed Cas­tro as “a fig­ure of his­toric sig­nif­i­cance”.

In­dian PM Naren­dra Modi

In­dia’s prime min­is­ter sent his “deep­est con­do­lences” to Cuba. “May his soul rest in peace,” he tweeted. “Fidel Cas­tro was one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th cen­tury. In­dia mourns the loss of a great friend.”

UK For­eign Min­is­ter Boris John­son:

“The UK ex­presses its con­do­lences to the govern­ment and peo­ple of Cuba, and to the for­mer Pres­i­dent’s fam­ily. Fidel Cas­tro’s death marks the end of an era for Cuba and the start of a new one for Cuba’s peo­ple. Fidel Cas­tro’s lead­er­ship of the 1959 Cuban Rev­o­lu­tion marked him out as an his­toric if con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure. The UK will con­tinue to work with the govern­ment of Cuba on a wide range of for­eign pol­icy pri­or­i­ties, in­clud­ing on hu­man rights.”

EU Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker:

“Fidel Cas­tro was one of the his­toric fig­ures of the past cen­tury and the em­bod­i­ment of the Cuban Rev­o­lu­tion. With the death of Fidel Cas­tro, the world has lost a man who was a hero for many. He changed the course of his coun­try and his in­flu­ence reached far be­yond. Fidel Cas­tro re­mains one of the rev­o­lu­tion­ary fig­ures of the 20th cen­tury. His legacy will be judged by his­tory.”

Venezuela Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro:

In Venezuela, a long-time ally of Cuba and staunch op­po­nent of the po­lit­i­cal stance of the United States, Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro said Cas­tro had in­spired and would con­tinue to in­spire his coun­try. “We will keep on win­ning and keep fight­ing. Fidel Cas­tro is an ex­am­ple of the fight for all the peo­ple of the world. We will go for­ward with his legacy,” Maduro told tele­vi­sion sta­tion Te­lesur by tele­phone.

Bo­livia Pres­i­dent Evo Mo­rales:

In Bo­livia, where Ernesto “Che” Gue­vara died in 1967 in a failed bid to ex­port Cuba’s rev­o­lu­tion, Pres­i­dent Evo Mo­rales said in a state­ment: “Fidel Cas­tro left us a legacy of hav­ing fought for the in­te­gra­tion of the world’s peo­ples ... The de­par­ture of Co­man­dante Fidel Cas­tro re­ally hurts.”

Ecuador Pres­i­dent Rafael Cor­rea:

Ecuadorean Pres­i­dent Rafael Cor­rea said: “A great has left us. Fidel has died. Long live Cuba! Long live Latin Amer­ica!”

South African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma:

South African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma had warm words, thank­ing the Cuban leader for his help and sup­port in the strug­gle to over­throw apartheid. “Pres­i­dent Cas­tro iden­ti­fied with our strug­gle against apartheid. He in­spired the Cuban peo­ple to join us in our own strug­gle against apartheid,” Zuma said in a state­ment.

Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau:

“A leg­endary rev­o­lu­tion­ary and ora­tor, Mr. Cas­tro made sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments to the ed­u­ca­tion and health­care of his is­land na­tion. “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”, Trudeau said in a state­ment.

In a let­ter to the Cuban peo­ple: “In the hour of this in­fi­nite suf­fer­ing, the Com­mu­nists and the peo­ple of Viet­nam again reaf­firm the sol­i­dar­ity and stead­fast fight­ing spirit with the Com­mu­nists and the Cuban broth­ers.” “The bright life and im­mor­tal ca­reer of com­rade Fidel Cas­tro will for­ever live in the glo­ri­ous rev­o­lu­tion­ary mis­sion of the Cuban peo­ple and other na­tions striv­ing to build a fair, civ­i­lized, demo­cratic, pros­per­ous and happy life.”

Syria Pres­i­dent Bashar Al-As­sad:

As­sad said in a tele­gram to the Cuban lead­er­ship: “Cuba, our friend, man­aged un­der his lead­er­ship to with­stand the strong­est sanc­tions and op­pres­sive cam­paigns wit­nessed in our re­cent his­tory, be­com­ing a bea­con of lib­er­a­tion for the peo­ple of South Amer­ica, and the peo­ple of the en­tire world. Fidel Cas­tro’s name will live for­ever in the minds of gen­er­a­tions and will in­spire those as­pir­ing to true in­de­pen­dence and lib­er­a­tion from the yoke of colo­nial­ism and hege­mony.” — Agen­cies

This file photo taken on Jan 26, 2001 shows Cas­tro wav­ing a flag dur­ing a visit to the Ha­vana neigh­bor­hood of San Jose de las La­jas.

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