Fidel Castro, Cuban revolutionary, dictator and one of the longest reigning modern politicians, has died at the age of 90. He was reportedly suffering from Diverticulitis, which is the swelling of the colon, at the time of his death.
Castro had recently turned leadership of Cuba over to his younger brother, Raul Castro, who became President in 2008.
Fidel was the former leader of Cuba’s communist revolution and had ruled since 1959. On January 1st, 1959, Castro and his revolutionary forces overthrew the former dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Shortly after gaining reign of Cuba, he visited the United States on invitation from The American Society of Newspaper Editors, though the American government was wary. Castro spewed much anti-American rhetoric and was friendly with numerous leftists (including Che Guevara), but the media was enamored with him.
While in the United States, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower (current President at the time), declined to meet with Castro. During Castro’s talk at the Council on Foreign Affairs (consisting of a mix of former government officials and private citizens interested in U.S. international relations), he expressed he would not grovel to receive economic assistance from the United States. A few years later, he would come frightengly close to nuclear war with the U.S. during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
After decades of tension, including a trade and travel embargo between the U.S and Cuba, relations began to recently improve in the last year or so, with the embargo becoming more relaxed.
President Obama and his family even made an official visit to Cuba this past Spring. While he reportedly never met Fidel, he did meet Raul Castro.
But while things have improved in terms of international relations, not everyone could forgive Fidel Castro. Reportedly, Cuban-American people have taken to the streets in Miami, celebrating the former dictators’ passing.
Police had to block off areas in Little Havana.
Fidel Castro is survived by approximately 9 children and an unconfirmed number of grandchildren.