The Bihar Post

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro dies, President Mukherjee condoles death

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Havana: Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former president and the last of the icons in post-war Communist world, has died aged 90, Cuban state TV said.

“The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening (03:29 GMT Saturday),” President Raul Castro has been quoted as saying.

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Fidel Castro ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost 50 years before relinquishing power  owing to a surgery due to intestinal bleeding.

His brother Raul took over from him in 2008.

Castro made his final speech to Cuba’s Congress in April this year, telling the assembled politicians that he would die soon but that the revolution’s ideals would live on.

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Castro’s long rule defied the hostile foreign policy of ten US Presidents, while he survived a staggering number of assassination attempts and steered the island nation through a tumultuous period that witnessed crippling embargoes imposed by America.

Castro’s reign was also marked by the CIA.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later that looked like nearing a nuclear war.

His supporters said he had given Cuba back to the people, transforming it from a playground of America into a symbol of resistance, but critics accused him of suppressing opposition.

President Pranab Mukherjee condoled his death.

Calling him a friend of India, the President’s tweet read, “Heartfelt condolences on sad demise of Cuba’s revolutionary leader, former President & friend of India, Fidel Castro #PresidentMukherjee”

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