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Fidel Castro, Cuba’s leader of revolution, dies at 90

Cuba's former president Fidel Castro, one of the world's longest-serving and most iconic leaders, has died aged 90. His younger brother and successor as president Raul Castro announced the news on state television. Castro toppled the government

Cuba’s former president Fidel Castro, one of the world’s longest-serving and most iconic leaders, has died aged 90.

His younger brother and successor as president Raul Castro announced the news on state television.

Castro toppled the government in 1959, introducing a Communist revolution. He defied the US for decades, surviving many assassination plots.

His supporters said he had given Cuba back to the people. Critics saw him as a dictator.


Ashen and grave, President Castro told the nation in an unexpected late night broadcast on state television that Fidel Castro had died and would be cremated later on Saturday.

“The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening (03:29 GMT Saturday),” he said. “Towards victory, always!” he added, using a revolutionary slogan.

A period of official mourning has been declared on the island until 4 December, when his ashes will be laid to rest in the south-eastern city of Santiago.

Barring the occasional newspaper column, Fidel Castro had essentially been retired from political life for several years.

In April, Fidel Castro gave a rare speech on the final day of the country’s Communist Party congress.

“I’ll soon be 90,” the former president said, adding that this was “something I’d never imagined”.

“Soon I’ll be like all the others, “to all our turn must come,” Fidel Castro said.

Castro was the longest serving non-royal leader of the 20th Century.

He temporarily handed over power to his brother in 2006 as he was recovering from an acute intestinal ailment. Raul Castro officially became president two years later.

News of his death left some in Havana stunned.

“I always said it couldn’t be,” said one woman, a government employee. “Even though they said it now, I say it can’t be.”

How he defied the US

Throughout the Cold War, Fidel Castro was a thorn in Washington’s side.

An accomplished tactician on the battlefield, he and his small army of guerrillas overthrew the military leader Fulgencio Batista in 1959 to widespread popular support.

Within two years of taking power, he declared the revolution to be Marxist-Leninist in nature and allied the island nation firmly to the Soviet Union.

Yet, despite the constant threat of a US invasion as well as the long-standing economic embargo on the island, Castro managed to maintain a communist revolution in a nation just 90 miles (145km) off the coast of Florida.

Despised by his critics as much as he was revered by his followers, he maintained his rule through 10 US presidents and survived scores of attempts on his life by the CIA.

He established a one-party state, with many political opponents executed or imprisoned. The independent media was suppressed. Thousands of Cubans fled into exile.

How has the world reacted?

Latin American leaders have been quick to pay tribute.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Castro was a “great friend” of Mexico, while to El Salvador’s President Salvador Sanchez Ceren he was an “eternal companion”.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said “revolutionaries of the world must follow his legacy”.

The Soviet Union’s last leader Mikhail Gorbachev said: “Fidel stood up and strengthened his country during the harshest American blockade, when there was colossal pressure on him”.

Vladimir Putin described him as a “reliable and sincere friend” of Russia.

For French President Francois Hollande Castro embodied Cuba’s revolution in both its “hopes” and its later “disappointments”.

In Miami, where there is a large Cuban community, there have been celebrations in some parts of the city, with people banging pots and cheering.

A Cuban exile group, the Cuban Democratic Directorate, said Castro left “legacy of intolerance” and had set up a “vicious totalitarian regime”.

Fidel Castro’s key dates

  • 1926: Born in the south-eastern Oriente Province of Cuba
  • 1953: Imprisoned after leading an unsuccessful rising against Batista’s regime
  • 1955: Released from prison under an amnesty deal
  • 1956: With Che Guevara, begins a guerrilla war against the government
  • 1959: Defeats Batista, sworn in as prime minister of Cuba
  • 1961: Fights off CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles
  • 1962: Sparks Cuban missile crisis by agreeing that USSR can deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba
  • 1976: Elected president by Cuba’s National Assembly
  • 1992: Reaches an agreement with US over Cuban refugees
  • 2006: Hands over reins to brother Raul due to health issues, stands down as president two years later


Review overview
  • Samson Agazi November 28, 2016

    Fascist Italian created Eritrea (and savage evil moslem Arabs poisoned corrupted it) by an act of Surgery;
    by severing it’s different peoples from those with whom their past had been linked by grafting the amputated
    remnants to each other under the fake alien title of Eritrea.
    Evil Ghedli may have surely won a battle of “amputating Eritrea” from its mother Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and siblings,
    but the war for lasting control of the Habesha pure Christian world is yet to be won.
    Let the fire burn! Let the humiliation explode on Eritrea.
    Out of the ashes of incinerated evil-ghedli madness shall rise a revitalized and truly great new Habesha Agazi nation. God bless the kind and peaceful Christian Habesha people of Agazi & Ethiopia.

  • ሞት ሕጹይ November 28, 2016

    Samson Agazi & Zeray,

    I am honored

    • zeray November 28, 2016

      We are the ones who should be honored to have you back our truly great” shukorino” uncle.
      Please continue as much as you can with your positive and great contributions kubur haw M.
      As for the deki evil negis Mohammed Arab slave dogs, once again
      Rot in your evil moslem hell where you lot truly belong, deki Halima, deki Fatima goHafat.

  • Gedem November 28, 2016

    A lot can be said about the late Fidel Castro who was a typical creation of his generation. Had it not been for the interventions of the Yankees everywhere in Latin and Central America, we wouldn’t have been talking about him.
    He made and created the Cuba that can punch way beyond its weight.
    Nobody would deny the fact that Fidel never ever bowed to anyone, as some elite leaders still bow, bend and slave as Abeeds to others.. Fidel did not burn his own languages, identity and history to become an Abeed slave of others. Never!

    • Selam November 29, 2016

      Brother/sister Gedem
      Excellent points and very well said brother/sister.
      I could not put it any better or any more clear for others to understand.
      I expect they will come to deny and use their normal weak and pathetic arguments.
      Or their childish outdated cheap attacks of agame, go to Tigraionline and NEFAHITO claims.

  • adhanom November 29, 2016

    We will never be distructed by pfdj korakur. Ur days are numbered. Cout ur days one by one. U can not win against the people. Awet nihafash endabelka sheket kulu ertrawi felituwas zihshisha sieina dukankin kesiraya.exewa dukankin. Hizbi gosikinn nieikinn kemzeytieweta zihalefe 25 amet mihirukin eyu.