Castro, as seen by friends and foes
"From its earliest days, the Cuban revolution has been a source of inspiration for all those who value freedom. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of the vicious imperialist and orchestrated campaign to destroy the awesome force of the Cuban revolution. Long live the Cuban Revolution! Long live comrade Fidel Castro!"
"It didn't take much to prompt me to join any revolution against a tyrant, but Fidel struck me as an extraordinary man ... He had exceptional faith that once we left for Cuba (from Mexico) we would arrive. That once we arrived we would fight. And once we fought we would win. I shared his optimism. I had to, to fight, to achieve. Stop crying and fight."
Ernesto "Che" Guevara
"Fidel, for me, is a grand master. A wise man should never die; a man like Fidel will never die, because he will always be part of the people."
"Fidel Castro is there to win. His attitude in the face of defeat, even in the most minimal actions of everyday life, would seem to obey a private logic: he does not even admit it, and does not have a minute's peace until he succeeds in inverting the terms and converting it into victory."
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"On December 18, 1956, Fidel and I were in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra, in a place called Cinco Palmas. After our first hug his first question was: 'How many rifles do you have?' I answered five. And he said, 'I have two. That makes seven. Now we can win the war."
Cuba President Raul Castro
"Fidel Castro had Americans murdered illegally, and that was wrong, too. And I'm proud that we have a blockade against people who kill innocent Americans."
Former US president Bill Clinton
"I remember Herbert Matthews' reports on Castro before he came to power, calling him a democrat and the hope of Cuba. And to some of you who are really too young to remember this, even people around our country were calling him the George Washington of Cuba, and George rolled over in his grave."
"Castro is not just another Latin American dictator, a petty tyrant bent merely on personal power and gain. His ambitions extend far beyond his own shores."
John F Kennedy
"Whatever we may think of him, he is going to be a great factor in the development of Cuba and very possibly in Latin American affairs generally. He seems to be sincere. He is either incredibly naive about communism or under communist discipline -- my guess is the former, and as I have already implied his ideas as to how to run a government or an economy are less developed than those of almost any figure I have met in 50 countries."