#Trending: Arab world bids farewell to Fidel Castro

#Trending: Arab world bids farewell to Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro's death has prompted mixed emotions from Arab twitterati, where the Cuban leader remains a hugely divisive figure.
3 min read
26 Nov, 2016
Fidel Castro died on Friday aged 90 [AFP]
When the death of Cuba's socialist icon Fidel Castro was announced on Saturday, Arab twitterati erupted in reaction.

Castro died on Friday aged 90, after defying the US during a half-century of ironclad rule and surviving the eclipse of global communism. 

One of the world's longest-serving rulers and modern history's most singular characters, he defied 11 US administrations and numerous assassination attempts.

Castro and us

Castro's relationship with the Arab world were long defined by his support for anti-imperialist (US) movements, but also by his own initial identification with pro-USSR governments, as well as communist parties in the Middle East.

The hashtag #Farwell_Fidel_Castro in Arabic quickly gained traction on Twitter.

Among left-leaning Arabs, the socialist icon was mostly remembered for his revolutionary spirit and his much proclaimed anti-imperialism.

[Translation: A 'love for the revolution' united Castro and Algeria as well as the revolutionary Cubans and Algerians…The revolution in Cuban is almost identical to our revolution #Farewell_Fidel_Castro]

[Translation: The enemy of imperialism, the champion of the poor and oppressed he is a role model to free nations. If only your soul can return to live inside the bodies of Arab rulers #Farewell #Castro]

[Translation: A page in history has turned with the death of #Castro… After hundreds of failed assassination attempts by the CIA! He defeated them and lived until he turned 90!]

But other Arabic social media users took to Twitter to rail particularly against "trendy", "champagne socialism".

[Translation: I am not at all a fan of #Castro nor a fan of leftists allied with the Russians, but I respect in him his firm stance in defending his country and his principals.]

[Translation: Let's drink our coffee and listen to how everyone suddenly turned into a socialist this morning.]

[Translation: Some people are odd – they praise #Castro for standing against the American enemy, and they love him for it. But if you ask them to choose between living in Castro's Cuba or the enemy's land, they would choose the enemy's! #Farewell _Castro]

More strident anti-Castro critics pointed towards his authoritarian rule and his legacy of backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his father, Hafez.

[Translation: To those who did not know #Fidel _Castro be careful not to fall behind the trend of glorifying him as a revolutionary. If you are looking for find true revolutionaries, you will find them all over Syria today.]

[Translation: The man who turned his people into refugees and beggars has died. But Asma's husband remains alive #Farewell_Fidel_Castro]

[Translation: Every dictator has a bunch of fans #Castro]

[Translation: Did the revolutionary die or the dictator? #Castro]