Sympathy & celebration: Twitterati react to death of former Cuban president Fidel Castro

Cuban president Fidel Castro 08 January, 1989 © Rafael Perez
The death of former, long-term Cuban President Fidel Castro has drawn a huge response on Twitter, with many remarking on his record of standing up to successive US presidents – and his remarkable feat of surviving hundreds of assassination attempts.

As world leaders expressed their condolences on the 90-year-old revolutionary leader’s passing, many of those who lived under his rule find it challenging to join the online chorus due to continued internet restrictions in the country.

Castro’s death was revealed by his brother on state television after he passed away Friday at 10:29pm local time (3:29am GMT).

READ MORE: Fidel Castro, Cuba’s longtime leader, dies at 90

The overwhelming reaction on social media to his death, however, has been one of celebration, as Cubans living in Florida share images and videos of celebrations in the wake of the news.

A journalist based in Havana posted a photo of dawn breaking noting it was the first one she has experienced without Castro in her life.

Others remembered the thousands who were killed or forced to flee Cuba under Castro’s rule, which has been widely criticized for human rights breaches.

The fact that Castro died in 2016, joining a long list of recently-deceased famous figures, including David Bowie, Prince, and Muhammad Ali, has not escaped the attention of the Twitterati.

Some Castro critics pointed out that his death breaks the streak of ‘great’ people dying this year.

Of course, the irony of the communist leader dying on the infamous shopping ‘holiday’ Black Friday has not gone unnoticed either.