People are crying tears of joy over this news. The country of Cuba is in a MANDATORY mourning period (yay communism) but just looking at how Cubans in the US are celebrating. If the people of Cuba had freedom, just think about what they would be doing right now.
Longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the bearded, cigar-smoking Communist revolutionary who infuriated the United States, inspired both loyalty and loathing from his countrymen and maintained an iron grip on Cuban politics for almost 50 years, died Friday. He was 90.
Hours after his death President Obama issued a statement, saying that at “this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people.”
“We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation” Obama said. “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”
Castro, the only leader most Cubans ever knew, outlasted 11 US presidents since he first took power in 1959.
Castro’s health had declined in recent years but not enough to stop him from spewing his anti-American rants, almost until the end.
In October, 2014, Castro reprinted a New York Times editorial in state-run media that argued that the U.S. embargo on Cuba should end. The editorial ran almost verbatim, omitting one line about Cuba’s release of political prisoners.
Two years earlier he wrote an opinion piece for a state-run media outlet in which he branded the Republican presidential primary race “the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance” the world has ever seen.
And just to show how much his volatile presence lingered in American politics, despite officially handing over power to his brother Raul in 2008, Castro was the subject of a question during a Republican candidates’ debate in Tampa, Fla. the same month the piece ran.
When Mitt Romney was asked what was the first thing he would do as president if he found out Castro was dead, he replied, “Well first of all, you thank heavens that Fidel Castro has returned to his maker and will be sent to another land.”
When it was his turn to answer, Newt Gingrich said, “I don’t think that Fidel is going to meet his maker. I think he’s going to go to the other place.”
The lawyer, revolutionary and political leader who triggered such visceral reactions was born August 13, 1926 out of wedlock to a Cuban sugar plantation owner and a servant in his home. (They eventually married.) He was not formally recognized by his father until he was 17, when his surname was changed to Castro from Ruz, his mother’s name.