Many Africans (But Not All) Recall Fidel Castro as a True Friend of the Continent

Fidel Castro with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni. Photo shared by Yoweri Museveni on Twitter.

Fidel Castro with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni. Photo shared by Yoweri Museveni on Twitter.

Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader who died on Friday November 25 at the age of 90, is arguably one of the most beloved world leaders in Africa.

This is mainly due to Cuba's contribution during anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggles in African countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. In addition, Cuba trained many African doctors and sent its own doctors into African countries. The most recent example of Cuban doctors helping out in Africa was during the Ebola crisis when the country sent about 300 doctors.

Immediately after the official announcement of his death, African leaders and ordinary citizens took to Twitter to pay tribute to the communist icon.

Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari wrote:

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta noted:

Tanzanian professor of law Issa Shivji tweeted, referring to Castro's own pledge that “history will absolve me“:

Prince Maphosa took note of the fact that he died on a Black Friday, which marks the beginning of Christmas shopping season.

Luka was surprised that he was still alive:

Siame shared a popular lament:

In a tweet that seems to be making reference to the surprise election of Donald Trump as the next US president, Ory Okolloh Mwangi, the co-founder of Ushahidi, remarked:

Mohamed Harith in Kenya explained what Castro taught him:

Betty Waitherero, a Kenyan researcher, offered the following advice to Africans:

Dr. Majak D'Agoot, South Sudan's former deputy defense minister, tweeted:

Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa:

Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, wrote:

A South Africa tweep observed:

Ghanaian rapper Ko-Jo Cue sent the following message to Castro:

Acknowledging Castro's faults, Nii Sarpei Hornsby, a Ghanaian lecturer, said:

Miss Hamalwa wrote:

However, not all Africans who took to Twitter showered Castro with praises. For example, Yasmin Yonis wrote:

Yonis is from Somalia, a country where Cuba sent troops to help to fight alongside the Ethiopian army during the Ethio-Somali War over the disputed Ethiopian region of Ogaden from July 1977 to March 1978.

Oluwasenyi Karimu drew a comparison between Castro and the 92-year old Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe:

While Peter Kamalingin called the death of Castro the “end of an error”:


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