Fidel Castro, former president of Cuba, has died aged 90.
The one-time revolutionary and long-time Communist leader of the Central American nation died at 10:29pm local time, according to Castro’s brother and current president Raul.
After fighting with Che Guevera against dictator Fulgencio Batista’s government in the Cuban Revolution, Castro lead the nation for nearly fifty years.
In that time, the cigar-puffing, drab-clad chief of Cuba’s Communist Party became a pinko thorn in the United States’ side.
“Highlights” of his reign include egging on the Cuban Missile Crisis by allowing the USSR to park nukes a stone’s throw from US soil, and side-stepping the CIA’s fruitless assassination attempts like they took place in some kind of Cold War Roadrunner / Wile E Coyote episode.
via David Hume Kennerly / Getty.
Make no bloody mistake, the bloke wasn’t universally liked, as many Cubans saw their revolutionary fervor turn into outright rejection of the man.
The cultural influence of the States – combined with some fairly dismal conditions brought about by economic sanctions – also encouraged many Cubans to flee his reign during his considerable and debatable tenure.
During his leadership, which formally ended in 2008, Castro watched ten US presidents come and go. FWIW, President Barack Obama only recently thawed relationships between the two nations.
Cuba is expected to undergo several days of national mourning.
Photo: Jose Goitia / Getty.