The current President, younger brother and successor, Raul Castro has announced the death of Cuba’s former president Fidel Castro, one of the world’s longest-serving and most iconic leaders on state television.
Castro toppled the government in 1959, introducing a Communist revolution. He defied the US for decades, surviving 638 assassination plots, some plotted by the United States CIA. His supporters said he had given Cuba back to the people but critics saw him as a dictator
Ashen and grave, President Raul Castro told the nation in an unexpected late night broadcast on state television that Fidel Castro had died on Friday 25th November, 2016 and was cremated later on Saturday 26th November, 2016. He said, “The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening (03:29 GMT Saturday),”. “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.
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,” Fidel Castro said, suggesting his “turn” to pass away was coming.
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 and unbelievable. Reports received states, “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.” Castro is really dead.