Cuba’s iconic leader Fidel Castro dies aged 90

NEW YORK (TIP): Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former president and leader of the Communist revolution, has died aged 90, state TV has announced. It provided no further details.

Fidel Castro ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost half a century before handing over the powers to his brother Raul in 2008. His supporters praised him as a man who had given Cuba back to the people. But his opponents accused him of brutally suppressing opposition. In April, Fidel Castro gave a rare speech on the final day of the country’s Communist Party congress.

He acknowledged his advanced age but said Cuban communist concepts were still valid and the Cuban people “will be victorious”. “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.

A Timeline

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

1960: 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

2008: Stands down as president of Cuba due to health issues

(Source: BBC)