Decades ago, Fidel Castro told my mentor, Robert Pastor: “I know what your country’s policy towards me is. It’s to wait for me to die. And I don’t intend to comply!”
Eventually, we all comply with that particular policy. Castro indelibly shaped the lives of generations of his fellow citizens in Cuba, sometimes for better by instilling national pride, increasing national independence, and improving health, arts, and education; and often for worse, by hanging onto power for decades, repressing dissent, and pressing on with disastrous policies that maintained state control but impoverished the country. His is a life that historians will debate for a very long time.
Here are some of the first takes of history:
El Universal (Mexico), with the video of Raúl Castro’s announcement on Cuban TV
CubaDebate (nothing from Granma yet)
El Tiempo (Colombia)
El Pais (Spain, with video)