UK Labour leader calls Castro ‘champion of social justice’
© Getty
The leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party on Saturday said former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro will be remembered as a “champion of social justice.”
 
ADVERTISEMENT
“Fidel Castro’s death marks the passing of a huge figure of modern history, national independence and 20th century socialism,” Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement marking Castro’s death.
 
"From building a world class health and education system, to Cuba's record of international solidarity abroad, Castro's achievements were many,” Corbyn added.
 
“For all his flaws, Castro's support for Angola played a crucial role in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa and he will be remembered both as an internationalist and a champion of social justice.”
 
Raul Castro made a brief appearance on state TV late Friday night to announce his brother’s death
 
The former communist leader's heath had been failing for several years, and his brother took control of the government in 2008. 
 
Fidel Castro led the Cuban Revolution, taking power in 1959.
 
Human rights groups were harshly critical of Castro’s treatment of Cuban citizens. 
 
“Over the past forty years, Cuba has developed a highly effective machinery of repression. The denial of basic civil and political rights is written into Cuban law,” Human Rights Watch said in a 1999 report
 
“Cuba has always used the excuse of the U.S. embargo and restrictions to crack down on dissidents,” a top Amnesty International official said in 2014.
 
Castro was accused of putting citizens to death extrajudicially, imprisoning political opponents in forced labor camps and censoring dissent.