Sympathy & celebration: Twitterati react to death of former Cuban president Fidel Castro
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.
American history always paints Fidel Castro as a villain. Perhaps it's bc he opposed:— #WillSims (@EdgarAllanRo) November 26, 2016
"I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating... because it causes war, hypocrisy and competition." #RIPCastro— Cam ♋️ (@HarlemCam) November 26, 2016
He survived so many assassination attempts by America and outlived all the presidents responsible for them. A true legend! #RIPCastro— President Vusani (@Vusani_) November 26, 2016
Fidel Castro wasn't perfect, but he stood up to US Imperialism. For that He'll always have my respect— Socrates (@__wali__) November 26, 2016
RIP Castro #Cuba
Overthrow a dictator, survive 683 assassination attempts, and die in your bed at 90! Fidel Castro RIP— Jeanette Findlay (@JeanFind) November 26, 2016
Castro’s death was revealed by his brother on state television after he passed away Friday at 10:29pm local time (3:29am GMT).
On the surface Havana looks like business as usual. 2 things clearly stand out apart from the flags. 1 sales of alcohol have been forbidden. pic.twitter.com/25g3MMIUFh— Andrey Kiyashko (@AndreyKi_RT) November 26, 2016
2 - you can see it in the eyes of some locals. Not in big squares tho, there ppl show u they're taking this with Cuban stoic optimism. pic.twitter.com/V9o2UUFBgj— Andrey Kiyashko (@AndreyKi_RT) November 26, 2016
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.
El exilio cubana en Miami está festejando esta madrugada la muerte de Fidel Castro. Miles de personas pic.twitter.com/i1r1gULEZF— Yusnaby Pérez (@Yusnaby) November 26, 2016
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.
#Cuba Mi madre creció bajo Fidel Castro, yo nací bajo Fidel Castro… mi hijo nació bajo Fidel Castro, mis nietos nacerán sin Fidel Castro— Yoani Sánchez (@yoanisanchez) November 26, 2016
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.
Ha muerto Fidel Castro. Mi recuerdo a tantos miles y miles de asesinados por la criminal dictadura y aquellos que tuvieron que huir de Cuba— Natalia Pastor (@NataliaPastor) November 26, 2016
En 1957 Fidel Castro prometió a los cubanos unas elecciones libres. Lástima que su prematura muerte no le haya permitido cumplir su promesa.— ✠ Cruz Templaria ✠ (@CruzTemplaria) November 26, 2016
If you think gender-specific pronouns are tyranny but a murderous evil Fidel Castro is a "revolutionary" pour gas on yourself and light up.— ¡El Sooopèrr! ن (@SooperMexican) November 26, 2016
I respect everyone's opinion,bt don't be praising Fidel Castro as a good man, when all he did was bring suffering & struggle to us cubans.— Olauraaa (@OlgaLaurax3) November 26, 2016
#Cuba has decided against 2 minutes silence for Fidel Castro as the usual ambient noise covers the screaming of those being tortured.— Lee Hurst (@2010LeeHurst) November 26, 2016
Now would be a good time for publications to run personal stories of the people who lived under Fidel Castro's tyranny.— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 26, 2016
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.
There has been hundreds of attempts on Fidel Castro's life and of course the curse of 2016 is the one to kill him— JC 🇵🇭 🇮🇪 (@JCorregidor0) November 26, 2016
Fidel Castro, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, Prince, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, Phife Dawg, Leonard Cohen, Shawty Lo, Florence Henderson. 2016.— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 26, 2016
David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Harambe, Muhammad Ali, Kimbo Slice and now Fidel Castro.— Derrière Connoisseur (@TheBardockObama) November 26, 2016
2016 is undefeated.
Someone should hilariously tweet that Fidel Castro survived over 600 assassination attempts but couldn't survive 2016— Chris (@Flatus74) November 26, 2016
Some Castro critics pointed out that his death breaks the streak of ‘great’ people dying this year.
So many great people have died in 2016, so let's all be grateful to Fidel Castro for breaking the streak.— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) November 26, 2016
Fidel Castro dying is just a last ditch effort from 2016 trying to get back on our good side— Michael Cella (@mikeVcella) November 26, 2016
Of course, the irony of the communist leader dying on the infamous shopping ‘holiday’ Black Friday has not gone unnoticed either.
Just when you thought 2016 could not get any more ironic, Fidel Castro died on— Tapiwa Varie Zhuwao (@ShandisaBrain) November 26, 2016
Black Friday, the most capitalist day there is.