By Tom Flanagan
Cuban revolutionary socialist and former leader, Fidel Castro, has passed away today aged 90 years of age.
His successor as president and younger brother Raul Castro announced the death of one of the world’s most iconic leaders on state television this morning.
Castro toppled the fascist regime of Batista alongside Che Guevara in 1959 and implemented a socialist system, which due to Cuba’s proximity to the US made him a key player in 20th century international politics and the cold war.
President Castro announced that his brother will be cremated later on Saturday, before adding “hasta la victoria siempre” or “Towards victory, always”.
The country of Cuba will officially hold a period of mourning until next Sunday, where Fidel’s ashes will be laid to rest in Santiago.
Pope Francis, who met Castro, when he visited Cuba in 2015, called his death “sad news” and sent “sentiments of grief”.
The last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, said: “Fidel stood up and strengthened his country during the harshest American blockade, when there was colossal pressure on him.”
US President-Elect Donald Trump simply tweeted “Fidel Castro is dead!”
While his liberal critics decry him as a dictator and human rights abuser, and Cuban-Americans have taken to the streets of Miami to celebrate, his supporters will remember him as a hero of the revolution and a man who stood up to US power. To them, Castro is Cuba, and Cuba is Castro.