Man behind Castro's Granma yacht lost for words over death

Man behind Castro's Granma yacht lost for words over death

Following his death, many Cubans on the island described Fidel Castro as a towering figure who brought Cuba free health care, education and true independence from the United States, while saddling the country with an ossified political and economic system that has left streets and buildings crumbling and young, educated elites fleeing in search of greater prosperity overseas.

Blocked from ending the United States embargo on the island by a Republican-controlled Congress, he pushed reforms through by using executive authority.

On Saturday the brash billionaire, who takes office on January 20, called Castro a "brutal dictator who oppressed his people for six decades" but made no mention of his earlier threats to reverse the historic rapprochement. "As a way of paying homage to the memory of President Castro, the strong bonds of solidarity, cooperation and friendship that exist between South Africa and Cuba must be maintained and nurtured", Zuma said.

Jorge Enrique González Pacheco, a 47-year-old Cuban-born poet who lives in Seattle, spoke of a mixed reaction to Castro's death among fellow expatriates and family in Cuba.

Many other exiles believed they would never be free under Castro and his communist regime.

"This may be one place where his business interests prod him to take a more pragmatic course, even if that angers the hard-core, anti-Castro elements of both parties", the official told Reuters. Moscow stores were filled with green Cuban oranges that were next to impossible to peel and had so many pits they all but rattled.

"The question now is what human rights will look like in a future Cuba", Erika Guevara-Rosas, the Americas director for Amnesty International, said Saturday.

He said he hopes Castro's death will result in a "free government".

Having won the presidency, it is hard to know what Trump's approach to Cuba will be. Moakley and Castro first met in 1995 at the United Nations, then again in 1996 on more volatile terms after Cuba downed two American planes that were releasing leaflets over Cuban territory.

Fidel Castro, a figure who shaped history and is known for bringing the world to the edge of nuclear warfare, has died at the age of 90.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Castro was "A brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for almost six decades". "Fidel Castro's legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights". US-Cuba diplomatic relations remained frozen since 1961 but President Barack Obama embarked on reviving the ties in 2015. The executions coincided with a crackdown and stiff prison sentences of up to 28 years for 75 of the government's most vocal critics charged with receiving money from and collaborating with USA diplomats to undermine Cuba's leadership.

He called Castro "larger than life" and "a legendary revolutionary and orator".

For Cubans off the island, Castro's death was cause for celebration. - October 14, 1991, to Communist Party congress as Cuba felt first effects of waning Soviet trade.

Castro and the United States harboured mutual hatred of one another until his death today at the age of 90.