Havana, Cuba, fidel castro

Young people participate of an act to honor late Fidel Castro at Habana University on November 26, 2016, in Havana, Cuba.

photo: Getty

Fidel Castro is dead. 

Cuba's infamous former leader died on November 25 at the age of 90, according to The New York Times. His brother, Raul Castro, announced his passing on Cuban news television on Friday. 

Castro controversially led Cuba for five decades, so many people in Miami's Little Havana celebrated his death. However, all Cubans didn't have the same reaction.

On Saturday, November 26, Cuba began a national nine days of mourning — and many native Cubans are expressing profound sadness about his death. 

Some people are also using the hashtag #HastaSiempreComandante to fondly remember Castro. The hashtag translates to "until forever commander."

People also paid their respects to Castro at the University of Havana, where he attended law school 70 years ago. They placed flowers and images of him on the school's steps.

He's even received love from political leaders who aren't Cuban.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau received major backlash for calling Castro "remarkable" and a "larger than life leader who served his people" in a statement about his death.

People on social media came down hard on Trudeau.

"No @JustinTrudeau, Castro was not a 'remarkable leader,' he murdered and imprisoned thousands of men, women and children," Canadian citizen Lisa Raitt tweeted. 

Trudeau defended his comments in a November 27 press conference. He said that Castro had a deep and lasting impact on the Cuban people, though he also had his flaws.

"He certainly was a polarizing figure, and he was certainly significant concerns over human rights," Trudeau said. "But on the passing of his death, I expressed a statement that highlighted the deep connection between the people of Canada and the people of Cuba."

Many Cubans agree.

Elián González's mother drowned while attempting to flee Cuba with him in 1999. However, he told a Cuba news station that he's mourning Castro's passing.

González, 22, who returned to Cuba in 2000, called Castro a father figure.

"He is a father to me and, like my father, I wanted to show him everything I achieved," González told a Cuban news station.

He said he last spoke to Castro after he finished high school a few years ago. 

"There are still things I wanted to show him, to make him feel proud," he said.

González added that Castro positively impacted Cuba.

"Fidel’s legacy is each Cuban and person in the world who has been touched by the revolution," he said. "Fidel’s legacy is in each person affected by our programs, in every life saved from Ebola, in every Haitian saved with our missions, in every Latin American who has had eye surgery."

Cuban resident Maria Silvita tweeted that Castro's legacy will go on.

She tweeted that Castro "created millions of commanders-in-chief."

Despite these emotional responses, many see Castro's death as the beginning of a free Cuba. After all, The National Review reports that Castro is responsible for the deaths of thousands

Yet, as the nine days of mourning show, loyalists will be eternally grateful to Castro for all he did for them and Cuba. 

Castro's remains will make a cross-country tour from Havana to Santiago. He will be laid to rest on December in a Santiago cemetery.