One of the World’S Longest-Serving and Most Iconic Leaders, Fidel Castro Died at 90 (Download PDF)

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Cuba’s former president Fidel Castro, one of the world’s longest-serving and most iconic leaders, has died aged 90. Castro toppled the government in 1959, introducing a Communist revolution. He defied the US for decades, surviving many assassination plots. He had given Cuba back to the people.

Cuban revolutionary icon Fidel Castro died in Havana

Cuban Revolutionary Icon Fidel Castro Died in Havana

Cuban revolutionary icon Fidel Castro died in Havana

Table contain shows Fidel Castro’s key dates

Table contain shows Fidel Castro’s key dates

Fidel Castro’s key dates


Born in the south-eastern Orient Province of Cuba


Imprisoned after leading an unsuccessful rising against Batista’s regime


Released from prison under an amnesty deal


With Che Guevara, begins a guerrilla war against the government


Defeats Batista, sworn in as prime minister of Cuba


Fights off CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles


Sparks Cuban missile crisis by agreeing that USSR can deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba


Elected president by Cuba’s National Assembly


Reaches an agreement with US over Cuban refugees


Hands over reins to brother Raul due to health issues, stands down as president two years later

Special Period of Most Iconic Leader Fidel Castro

  • When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, an isolated Cuba fell into an economic crisis that lasted for years known as the “special period. ” Food, transport and basics such as soap were scarce and energy shortages led to frequent and long blackouts.
  • Castro undertook a series of tentative economic reforms to get through the crisis, including opening up to foreign tourism.
  • The economy improved when Venezuela’s late socialist leader, Hugo Chavez, who looked up to Castro as a hero, came to the rescue with cheap oil.
  • Aid from communist-run China also helped, but Venezuelan support has eased since Chavez’s death in 2013.
  • Plagued by chronic economic problems, Cuba’s population of 11 million has endured years of hardship, although not the deep poverty, violent crime and government neglect of many other developing countries.
  • Cubans earn on average the equivalent of $20 a month and struggle to make ends meet even in an economy there education and health care are free and many basic goods and services are heavily subsidized.
  • For most Cubans, Castro has been the ubiquitous figure of their lives.
  • Many love him and share his faith in communism, and even some who abandoned their political belief still respect him.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 27, 2016

International Relations/Organizations

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