Cuba's Fidel Castro dies aged 90

Comrade Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista and established a communist state in Cuba, first in Western Hemisphere.

Nov 26, 2016 12:00 IST
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Fidel Castro, the revolutionary leader of Cuba, died on 25 November 2016. He was 90. News of his death was announced on national television by President Raul Castro.

The former Cuban President and leader of the Communist revolution 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.

Fidel Castro

• Born on 13 August 1926, Fidel Castro governed Cuba as its Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976.

• Politically Marxist–Leninist, Castro also served the country as its President from 1976 to 2008.

• He was the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. He held the post from 1961 to 2011.

• His administration helped Cuba in turning into a one-party socialist state.

• Under him, state socialist reforms implemented throughout society and the industry and business were nationalized.

• In 1959, he along with his brother Raul Castro and Che Guevara overthrew the then Cuban President Fulgencio Batista by leading a guerrilla war against him.

• He, who adopted the Marxist-Leninist model of development, converted Cuba into a one-party socialist state under Communist Party rule, which was first in the Western Hemisphere.

• Reforms introduced by Fidel Castro included

a) Central economic planning

b) Expansion of healthcare and education

c) State control of the press

d) Suppression of internal dissent

• He also survived countless American assassination attempts.

• Being a divisive and controversial leader, Castro was decorated with several international awards, including South Africa's highest civilian award for foreigners, the Order of Good Hope.

Besides, Castro also supported anti-imperialist revolutionary groups across the world. He backed establishment of Marxist governments in Nicaragua, Chile and Grenada. He sent tropps to aid allies in the Ethio-Somali War, Yom Kippur War and Angolan Civil War. From 1979–83, he also led the Non-Aligned Movement and helped in establishing Cuba’s profile on the world stage.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended condolences to the Cuban government and people of the country on the demise of Fidel Castro. In a series of tweets, PM Modi said that Castro was one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century.

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