Fidel Castro: Cuba's bearded, cigar-smoking romantic revolutionary dies at the age of 90

Cuba is mourning as its revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies late on Friday. Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was born near Birán, Cuba, in 1926. Beginning in 1958 Castro and his forces began a campaign of guerrilla warfare to successfully overthrow Cuban dictator , and Castro became the country's new leader for the next 50 years.

His communist domestic policies and military and economic relations with the Soviet Union led to strained relations with the United States that culminated in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. He was also responsible for fomenting communist revolutions in other countries around the world. Under Castro, improvements were made to health care and education, while civil liberties were severely eroded. However, the 1991 collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and its negative impact on Cuba's economy led Castro to relax some restrictions over time. Amidst failing health, in 2008 Fidel Castro officially handed over power to his brother Raúl Castro, but still wielded some political influence in Cuba and abroad. Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016 at the age of 90.

Interesting Facts about Fidel Castro:

  • He is known for his long beard.
  • He almost always appears in public in green military fatigues. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have fled under Castro's government. Many of them live in Florida.
  • Castro's Cuba relied heavily on aide from the Soviet Union.When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the country suffered as it tried to survive on its own.
  • He was seen for years smoking cigars, but he quit in 1985 for health reasons.
  • He is famous for his long speeches. He once gave a speech that lasted for over 7 hours!