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World reacts to Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro’s death

As the Cuba’s iconic revolutionary leader Fidel Castro died at the age of 90 on Saturday morning, the world reacted to his death.

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Castro as the “symbol of an era”.

The government of El Salvador has expressed “eternal gratitude” to Castro and the Cuban people for help “in the most difficult times.”

A statement said Castro’s “example will live forever in our struggles and will flower in the noble ideas of new generations.”

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has hailed Castro for “strengthening” his island nation. Interfax news agency quoted Gorbachev as saying: Fidel stood up and strengthened his country during the harshest American blockade, when there was colossal pressure on him and he still took his country out of this blockade to a path of independent development.

In the past years, even when Fidel Castro was not formally in power, his role in strengthening the country was huge.”

Gorbachev added that Castro would be remembered as a “prominent politician” who managed to leave a “deep mark in the history of mankind.”

Hage Geingob, the president of Namibia, has tweeted: “The death of #Fidel signals the end of an era. Our comrade is no more but his revolutionary legacy will remain with Namibia forever.”

Former UK trade minister Brian Wilson said Castro had sent out a “beacon of hope” to Latin America. “He educated his people and he gave them healthcare they had never had before, and you can admire all of that without being an uncritical supporter, believe me, but do not lose the bigger picture – that Fidel Castro, for his region and for oppressed people throughout the world, sent out a message of hope.”

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone has said Castro was an “absolute giant of the 20th century” and blamed the US for the restrictions on civil liberties under his leadership. Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Livingstone said: “I’m sure they will, over time, move towards something like a traditional west European democracy. It could have happened a lot earlier if you hadn’t had, the entire time, a blockade by America, attempts to overthrow the regime, eight assassination attempts authorised by American presidents.”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has sent its condolences to the people and government of Cuba. Remember, Mandela said the Cuban revolution was “a source of inspiration for all those who value freedom”. “We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of the vicious imperialist and orchestrated campaign to destroy the awesome force of the Cuban revolution,” he said. “Long live the Cuban Revolution! Long live comrade Fidel Castro!”

The Spanish government expressed its condolences to Cuba. In a measured statement released this morning, the foreign ministry said: “A figure of great historic importance has gone, a man who brought about a turning point in the country’s evolution and whose great influence was felt across the region. As the son of Spanish parents, former President Castro always maintained strong links with Spain and was bound by ties of blood and culture.”