Local Cubans and others online are remembering Fidel Castro, the controversial former leader of Cuba, with mixed emotions.
“He was a strong leader,” said Julio Fonseca, president of the Association of Cubans in Toronto.
“As a Cuban he was the best we have produced.”
Fonseca said he was heartbroken to learn of Castro’s death but understands how some welcome his passing.
“People in Miami are celebrating in the streets. Those who were the Cubans who fled the revolution after Fidel took power, these were the people who lost properties and had higher standards of living different from the average Cubans,” he said.
Eder Maltez works at Azucar, a Cuban restaurant in Toronto, and said despite the controversy Castro helped bring free health care and education to his country.
“People who do live in Cuba come here on vacation and end up saying that they wouldn’t change Cuba for anything. Their education is free and their health care system is free,” he said.
Online reaction was mixed.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the former leader but others were not as kind.