Cuba’s former iconic president and leader of the Communist revolution, Fidel Casto, is dead. He passed away on Friday in Havana at the age of 90.
His death was confirmed and subsequently announced in an unexpected late night broadcast on state television by his brother President Raul Castro.
President Castro said:
“The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening (03:29 GMT Saturday).”
Fidel’s younger brother, President Raul Castro, announced that the revolutionary leader’s remains will be cremated early on Saturday, “in compliance with his expressed will.”
Castro was the longest serving non-royal leader of the 20th Century, having survived countless US assassination plots. He rode out 10 US presidents and also defied scores of attempts on his life by the CIA.
For years, the leadership of the revolutionary leader was lambasted by countless Cuban die-hard critics, he, however, was revered by his mammoth followers.
Life And Times Of Fidel Castro
Former President Fidel Castro was born in the south-eastern Oriente Province of Cuba in 1926. In 1953, he was imprisoned after leading an unsuccessful rising against Batista’s regime.
In 1955, Castro was set free from prison under an amnesty deal. He began a guerrilla war against the government in 1956 with Che Guevara. Remarkably, in 1959 Castro defeated Batista and was subsequently sworn in as prime minister of Cuba.
Fidel Castro, in 1961, fought off CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles. The following year, he consented that USSR can deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba – this decision gave birth to the popular Cuban missile crisis.
On January 8, 1976, the Cuba’s National Assembly towered Fidel Castro to the country’s exalted presidential seat. Years later, precisely in 1992, he successfully sealed an agreement with the United States over Cuban refugees.
Due to complications in his health, Fidel Castro, in 2006; handed Cuba’s leadership to his younger brother Raul Castro. Raul is currently the president of the Caribbean island nation.
Meanwhile, world leaders have continued to pay tribute to the fallen hero. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Castro’s death as shocking.
According to Modi, Castro is “one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century” adding his death is a big loss to India. In his condolence message, Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto remarked that Castro was a “great friend” of Mexico.
Back home, President Jacob Zuma said the former president played important roles towards “our struggle against apartheid. He inspired the Cuban people to join us in our own struggle against apartheid.”
As a way of keeping the memories of the hero alive, Zuma called for continuous peace between Cuba and South Africa.