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World leaders mourn Fidel Castro's death

LEADERS, renowned people around the world on Saturday mourned the death of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and offered condolences to his family and the Cuban people.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Saturday called Castro "a great figure of our times," saying that he "will be remembered by history and people."

"The death of Fidel Castro has made the Chinese people lose a close comrade and sincere friend. His glorious image and great achievements will go down in history," Xi said in a message of condolences to his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro. "The great Comrade Fidel Castro will be forever remembered."

Castro died late Friday at the age of 90.

"The name of this outstanding statesman is considered to be a symbol of an entire era in modern world history. A free and independent Cuba built by him and his colleagues has become an influential member of the international community and served as an inspiring example for many countries and nations," Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying in a Kremlin statement.

Vietnam also sent condolences to Cuba, saying the Vietnamese leaders and people were deeply mournful about the passing of Castro. It called Castro a great leader of the Cuban people, and an unyielding communist and revolutionary leader of Latin American nations, who struggled for peace and national independence, freedom and socialism.

Brazilian President Michel Temer said Saturday that Fidel Castro was a "leader of convictions," who "marked the second half of the 20th century with the firm defense of the ideas in which he believed."

Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff lamented Castro's death in a statement, calling him a "visionary" and "one of the most important political contemporaries."

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, another former president of Brazil, said losing Castro was like losing an older brother.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Saturday called on the people of the world "to rediscover" themselves following the example of Fidel Castro.

Bolivian President Evo Morales called Castro "a giant of history and humanity."

On Saturday morning, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa took to Twitter to lament the death of a close political ally. "A great man is gone. Fidel has died! Long live Cuba! Long live Latin America!" he wrote.

Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica on Saturday highlighted Fidel Castro's courage, saying he was "someone who lived as he thought."

Condolences also came from Western countries.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remembered Fidel Castro Saturday as a "remarkable leader" who will be mourned by Canada.

"Fidel Castro was a larger-than-life leader who served his people for almost half a century," Trudeau said in a statement. "A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and health care of his island nation."

U.S. President Barack Obama said "history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure (Fidel Castro) on the people and world around him."

French President Francois Hollande on Saturday mourned the passing Castro and paid tribute to a "major figure of the 20th century," who offered "Cubans an opportunity to be proud of freedom from foreign rule."

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also sent his condolences to Cuba on Saturday.

"On finding out that the former head of state in Cuba, Comandante Fidel Castro, has died, I want to express my sincere condolences to President Raul Castro Ruz and to the Cuban people," he said in an official statement on his website.

The United Nations (UN) also offered condolences to Cuban people and gave affirmative judgment to the revolutionary leader.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday that he was saddened by the death of Fidel Castro.

In a statement released by his spokesperson, Ban said: "President Fidel Castro will be remembered for his leadership of the Cuban revolution and for advances in Cuba in the fields of education, literacy and health."

Castro's "legacy" and "his example in Latin America is going to serve as an incentive for today's generation to continue to struggle for a Cuba that is free, sovereign, independent, and free of the embargo," said Venezuelan economist and political analyst Vladimir Adrianza, who teaches at the Bolivarian Military University of Venezuela (UMBV) in Caracas.

Despite its improved relations with Washington, Havana continues to be constrained by a vast net of economic and financial sanctions imposed by the long-running U.S.-led trade embargo.

According to Jhonny Garcia, coordinator of the Cuba-Venezuela Solidarity Movement, "the Cuban people ... will know how to honor the effort, the bravery and courage, the dignity and morals, of a man of Fidel's stature."

"Fidel, along with (the late Venezuelan reformist leader Hugo) Chavez, will continue to guide along the routes marked by these revolutions," said Garcia.


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