Fidel Castro, the most iconic Cuban revolutionary leader, and former President passed away on November 25, 2016, in Santiago de Cuba. Castro held power for the longest time among any 20th century rulers, with the exception of monarchs, from 1976 to 2006.
According to reports from BBC News, the cause of death has not been made public yet. But, Fidel Castro had already been in declining health since 2006 when he nearly succumbed to an intestinal illness. Due to his poor condition, he transitioned the position to his younger brother, Raúl. After two years, he formally resigned as president of Cuba and left the responsibility of continuing the Communist revolution to his brother.
There are contrasting reactions regarding Castro's death like in Little Havana in Miami, home to Cuban exiles, people partied and celebrated the passing of a person, who they blame for their circumstances. President-elect Donald Trump echoed this mood by noting Castro's brutality and dictatorship. In contrast, supporters in Cuba were somber and in mourning for losing their beloved leader. BBC reported various reactions from numerous world leaders who have been known to favor Castro, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recognized Castro's remarkable leadership despite all the controversies.
In his beginnings and subsequent rose to power in 1959, he ushered in a Communist revolution. His goals were mainly to reform the social order in Cuba, which was corrupt and uneven; to gain independence from the United States.
According to the New York Times, his supporters believe that he returned Cuba to the people and they applauded his stellar social programs, especially on healthcare and education. In the long run, people came to know the leader who rose from guerrilla warfare, has an iron fist. His government does not tolerate opposition and often accused of human rights violation.
Among his many achievements as a leader, he was able to make Cuba fully independent from the United States when the communist government abolished capitalism. New York Times further ventured that Mr. Castro's defiance of American power made him a beacon of resistance in Latin America and of rebellion elsewhere.
Having to have held power for 49 years, his own political and leadership style defined the country itself and with his death, Donald Trump might mend the American relationship with Cuba.
As quoted in The New York Times, his words speak of the enduring legacy of his regime and his stance against what he believed was an oppression of social justice. "Soon I will be like everybody else. Our turn comes to us all, but the ideas of Cuban communism will endure."