PROGRESSIVE Latin American leaders have slammed US president-elect Donald Trump’s “ignorant” comments about Fidel Castro in which he condemned the late Cuban leader as a “brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.”
The billionaire tycoon tweeted that Mr Castro’s death on Friday gave members of the influential Cuban-American population of Florida “the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”
Mr Trump’s comments were also echoed by mainstream media across the world and thousands of Cuban exiles in Miami took to the streets to celebrate the revolutionary’s death.
While the president-elect promised to reduce heightened tensions in the world and pursue a less interventionist policy in his election campaign, he also played to right-wing Cuban emigres by condemning Cuba and Venezuela.
Bolivian President Evo Morales shot back in a speech on Sunday, saying: “Almost everyone cries but the president-elect of the United States with a group of people are celebrating.
“I cannot understand and I want to tell you: fascism with a lot of cynicism celebrates Fidel’s death.”
Meanwhile Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa tweeted that Mr Trump’s comments were: “The words of an ignorant [person] … an example of what Latin America can expect.”
And the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Latin America Director Alexander Schetinin said such remarks were “disrespectful” and driven by “desires to backbite.”
He said Mr Castro was “a great politician of our time” who is “worthy of everyone’s respect.”
Public tributes to “El Comandante” began in Havana’s Revolution Square yesterday morning after the government declared nine days of national mourning to culminate with his funeral and cremation on Sunday.
Mourners gathered at the square’s Jose Marti memorial to pay their respects as a 21-gun salute sounded at 9am.