HAVANA — World leaders bid farewell to Fidel Castroon Tuesday night in a ceremony filled with solemn memorial for the fallen communist dictator and collective admonishment of imperialism and the United States.

Presidents, prime ministers and diplomats from Ecuador to China to South Africa took to a podium in Cuba’s Plaza of the Revolution, where Castro himself had delivered so many of his hours-long, fiery speeches before massive crowds of Cubans.

Castro was hailed as the father of Cuba’s communist revolution, who brought health care, education and military might to his people.

Majid Ansari, vice president of Iran, said Castro’s name would go down among the most important independence fighters in human history. Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, described El Comandante as a father figure who founded his country’s socialist ideals.

Bolivian President Evo Morales hailed Castro for successfully fighting back the United States and leaving the “anti-imperialist” people of the world ready to continue the fight.

“Fidel is more alive than ever, more necessary than ever. He’s alive, vigilant, contemplating our common cause,” Morales said. “The Cuban people are stronger than ever and ready to fight imperialism. And the anti-imperialists of the world are united like never before.”

For more information, visit www.usatoday.com.

Image from www.cnn.com.

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