Fidel Castro dies: Donald Trump reacts to death of former President of Cuba in shocked tweet

America’s President-elect later adds statement calling Castro a 'brutal dictator'

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The Independent Online

World leaders continue to pay tribute to Fidel Castro, the late former President of Cuba and leader of a Communist one-party state that remains in place after almost six decades. 

Donald Trump, meanwhile, was initally - and for once - apparently lost for words on Saturday when he shared his initial reaction - where else - on Twitter. 

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn declared Castro “a champion of social justice” and “a huge figure of modern history”. President Francois Hollande was more reserved in his praise, remembering him as “towering” figure who “incarnated the Cuban revolution, in both its hopes and subsequent disillusionment”. 

The South African president Jacob Zuma praised Castro for supporting the country’s struggle against apartheid. 

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad sent his condolences to Castro's brother Raul and commended him as an “inspiration”. Conversely,  Ed Royce, chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, was unequivocal in his criticism: “His legacy is one of repression at home, and support for terrorism abroad.”

However, Mr Trump said that Castro was a 'brutal dictator' who 'oppressed his own people. He added that while Cuba was still a 'totalitarian island' he hoped the Cuban people could now live in 'freedom'

Cubans around the world react to death of Fidel Castro

Castro will be cremated this afternoon in Cuba, where nine days of national mourning have been declared. 

That Castro lived until 90, having survived multiple attempts on his life, was something he said he “never imagined“ when he briefly emerged from seclusion earlier this year to deliver a farewell speech. “Soon I’ll be like all the others,” Castro said. "To all our turn must come.”