On Friday, Nov. 25, Cuban revolutionary and decades-long oppressive dictator Fidel Castro died at the age of 90, bringing an end to his nearly 60-year reign at the top of the Cuban government (though his younger brother Raul has been the country's official head-of-state since 2008). His death sparked a tremendous amount of conflicting responses from within the United States and around the world, between those who viewed him as a bloody and evil ruler, and as a revolutionary champion of the far-left. Here are several reactions to Castro's death from throughout social media, hammering home the disagreement, tumult, and intense feelings that have been whipped up in his wake.
Make no mistake, you won't find many deaths of high-profile international figures that cause more contention and vehemence than this one, largely because of the wide gulf between how left-wing and right-wing observers of history have judged Castro's legacy. This isn't a uniform view, obviously ― Castro's oppression of gay and lesbian Cubans and violent quashing of political dissent are more than enough to make a liberal's blood run cold, at the same time as he was on the right side of history on some things, such as opposing the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela, and apartheid in South Africa.
It's a fraught conversation, in other words, and one that's resulted in the range of reactions to Castro's death being, well, a lot rangier than most. Here are 13 such examples, representing some very different views of the late dictator.
1. Important To Recognize Both
2. We Are Grateful
3. Castro Was All Of These
4. Positive Changes For Cuban People
5. My Deepest Condolences
6. His Countless Victims
7. Someone Else's Jailer, Murderer, And Oppressor
8. Mandela On Castro
9. He Was No Hero
10. Castro Imprisoned Homosexuals
11. R.I.P Fidel Castro
12. Icon Of Communist Revolution
13. My Castro's Death Tweet
Suffice to say, there's no shortage of heated opinion about the late Cuban leader, and that's going to be as true in death as it was in life. Perhaps someday, a consensus opinion of his time at the helm of the Cuban state will emerge, one that's able to reconcile some of the historically positive aspects of his legacy with the undeniable repression and despotism of his rule. For now, however, it seems that division and discord will continue to rule the day.