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Fidel Castro 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 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,” he said.

There is to be several days of national mourning on the island.

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Fidel Castro

Raul Castro ended the announcement by shouting the revolutionary slogan: “Towards victory, always!”

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.”

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Fidel Castro died on Friday night.

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 outlasted 10 US presidents and survived scores of attempts on his life by the CIA.

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

But in Miami, where there is a large Cuban community, there have been celebrations in some parts of the city.

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

 

Source: BBC

16 Responses to Fidel Castro dies at 90

  1. Joerg Zindler
    Joerg Zindler November 26, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Rest In Peace!

    Reply
  2. Goody Smarts
    Goody Smarts November 26, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Fidel Castro was a true hero who stood up to the bully USA and said, you will not scare me. I take my hat off to him. That’s my hero.

    Reply
    • Brien King
      Brien King November 26, 2016 at 8:21 am

      It’s a pity the same U.S. operates a prison in his back yard all this time, things to make you go hmmmm.

      Reply
    • Goody Smarts
      Goody Smarts November 26, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is us property, and that’s where the prison is located.

      Reply
      • Phil November 26, 2016 at 10:26 am

        Guantanamo Bay is US property Because they say so. According to the Shiprider’s agreement which is really US law, Every country except China and Russia is US territory. That includes Barbados whether we like it or not. If you doubt me, wait till Trump get into the Oval office.

        Reply
    • Brien King
      Brien King November 26, 2016 at 9:51 am

      The point here is that, all the fronting that gives various impressions, the proverbial enemy is operating in your back yard. Am I the only one understanding this ??

      Reply
    • Goody Smarts
      Goody Smarts November 26, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Brien King so where do you expect the enemy to operate, if the land is theirs then they have a legal right to operate on it no matter who it offends.

      Reply
    • Goody Smarts
      Goody Smarts November 26, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Brien King dont you think that if Fidel Castro didn’t understand this he wouldn’t aggregate for its removal long ago.

      Reply
    • Brien King
      Brien King November 26, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Understand the power of big bullies, they will eat your lunch in front your face and you can’t do nothing about it. Enjoy themselves with your wife and you can’t do nothing about it, dictate how you run your business and you can’t do nothing about it, take away what you have and ……… I think or hope you get the point.

      Reply
    • Goody Smarts
      Goody Smarts November 26, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Yup I got you.

      Reply
    • Diane Elaine Dias
      Diane Elaine Dias November 26, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      I never understood that either. They had economic sanctions against Cuba , but operating a prison there…. Seems like words and figures differ .

      Reply
  3. Alex Alleyne November 26, 2016 at 8:31 am

    He will be missed. 2 and3 hour long speeches, The world’s longest serving Leader.
    RIP

    Reply
  4. Maaz A Love
    Maaz A Love November 26, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Rest in power comrade!!

    Reply
  5. Sheron Inniss November 26, 2016 at 11:10 am

    When sanctions are put in place against another country the masses suffer; not the top dog.

    Reply
  6. Hal Austin November 26, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Are our political leaders waiting for instructions from the US embassy before sending their condolences to the Castro family? If so they should have a look at CNN to see the verminous Cuban-Americans, not a back one in site, celebrating like the Hitlerites they are.
    This is the true American spirit.

    Reply
  7. jrsmith November 28, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    People of the world all seems to be confused everything is pushing as to failure , if have the real fix for our black people , in Guiana their is a black pope , so we have a black Jesus (Nelson Mandela) and the world is even…

    Reply

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