Fidel Castro Passes Away

After years of dealing with failing health, Fidel Castro, leader of the Cuban revolution who steered the country through decades of a US economic blockade, has died, state media report.

Castro died on Friday at 10.29pm local time, Cuban President and brother of Fidel, Raul Castro said.

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926, near Birán, Cuba, was the political leader of Cuba between 1959 and 2008. He transformed his country into the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere. Castro became a symbol of communist revolution in Latin America. He held the title of premier until 1976 and then began a long tenure as president of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers. He handed over provisional power in July 2006 because of health problems and formally relinquished the presidency in February 2008.

Castro failed in his bid to topple the Cuban government of Fulgencio Batista in 1953 at the famous Moncada attack. He was imprisoned and later exiled. He returned with a group including his brother Raul and the Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara in 1956 and began a campaign which ended with the fall of Batista by late 1958. Castro took power in January 1959.

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