FIREBRAND: Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro made his mark on world history.
FIREBRAND: Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro made his mark on world history. CHARLES TASNADI

Fidel Castro's death sparks mixed reaction

THE death of former Cuban leader and revolutionary Fidel Castro at age 90 has sparked wide reaction from world leaders.

Castro stepped aside as leader 10 years ago after suffering a severe gastrointestinal illness. Before his 90th birthday in August, he told supporters he expected to die soon.

The firebrand leader who headed a rebel army to unlikely victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 US presidents during his near 50-year rule.

The US is said to have spent more than $1.5 billion trying to kill, undermine or otherwise force Castro from power,

US President Barack Obama, who visited Cuba in March, said the United States was extending "a hand of friendship to the Cuban people" in the wake of Castro's death.

President-elect Donald Trump offered a scathing attack, dubbing Castro "a brutal dictator".

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Castro "made immortal historical contributions to the development of socialism around the world". 


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