The Americas

World leaders react to Fidel Castro's death

Though often referred to as a tyrannical dictator, millions of Cubans considered Castro the charismatic leader who brought education and medicine to the masses


World leaders reacted Saturday to the death of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

Pope Francis (in a telegram to Raul Castro)

“I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation.”

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter:  

“We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country."

Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“This strong and wise man always looked with confidence to the future. He embodied high ideals of a politician, citizen and patriot, was sincerely convinced of the rightness of the cause, to which he gave his whole life. His memory will live forever in the hearts of Russian citizens.”

Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev:

“Fidel held his ground and strengthened his country at the time of the harshest American blockade, at the time of massive pressure on him. Nevertheless he led out his country from the blockade to the path of self-sustained and independent development.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping:

“The Chinese people have lost a good and true comrade. Comrade Castro will live forever.”

French President Francois Hollande:

“Fidel Castro was a towering figure of the 20th century. He incarnated the Cuban revolution, in both its hopes and subsequent disillusionments.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving president… We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro:

“We will keep on winning and keep fighting. Fidel Castro is an example of the fight for all the people of the world. We will go forward with his legacy.”

South African President Jacob Zuma:

“President Castro identified with our struggle against apartheid. He inspired the Cuban people to join us in our own struggle against apartheid.”

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa:

“A great has left us. Fidel has died. Long live Cuba! Long live Latin America!”

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi

“We stand in support with the Cuban Government and people in this tragic hour. Fidel Castro was one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century.”

Iran’s Ayatollah and supreme leader Seyed Ali Khamenei:

“I extensively talked with #FidelCastro in person, it is his personality to believe and rely on people.”

Former Sweden Prime Minister Carl Bildt:

“With his revolution in 1959 Fidel Castro set up a still struggling Communist dictatorship. Neither a political nor an economic model. RIP”