The news of Cuba’s former president and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro’s death, which broke late Friday night, has elicited a mixture of grief and jubilation.
The Cuban dictator ruled over the only Communist government in the Western Hemisphere for nearly five decades, keeping the country in poverty and nearly sparking a nuclear war. But Hollywood creatives were at times drawn to his revolutionary ideals.
President-elect Donald Trump tweeted early Saturday morning the abrupt announcement, “Fidel Castro is dead!”
Trump later issued a more thoughtful statement that said, “The world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”
Sitting President Barack Obama, who has worked to restore U.S. relations with Cuba, also commented on Castro’s death in a statement that concludes, “Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.”
Members of Hollywood also chimed in, while celebrations broke out in Miami among Cuban refugees who escaped the country’s harsh conditions.
Comedian Patton Oswalt joked, “Florence Henderson and now Fidel Castro. Weird how the stars of I LOVE LUCY passed away so close together,” referring to the recent death of the “Brady Bunch” mom.
“RIP to everyone’s favorite television mom, Fidel Castro,” Billy Eichner fired off on a similar note.
“R.I.P. Fidel Castro. The honorable Minister @louisfarrakhan has stories of how you wanted to empower people. Thank You,” TV personality Charlamagne Tha God posted on social media.
YouTuber Kathleen Fuentes wrote, “Fidel Castro dies at 90. Wow. I wonder how Cuba feels tonight.”
“There is a reason they celebrate,” Cuban actor Laz Alonso captioned a photo of the Miami celebrations. “Unless u lived it, are related to those that did or lost relatives that did, u do not know.”