Fidel Castro dead: Iconic and divisive former President of Cuba’s life in pictures

Castro survived multiple attempts on his life to become one of the world’s longest-serving leaders

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The Independent Online

Fidel Castro, the iconic and divisive former president of Cuba, has died aged 90, almost six decades after leading a Communist revolution and engendering the birth of a one-party state. 

A truly polarising figure, Castro’s supporters praised him as the leader of the revolution who returned Cuba to its people, while his opponents branded him a dictator who surpressed dissidence and the media, and criticised his human rights record. The division he drew was pronounced when Cuban expats in Miami celebrated his death by singing and dancing in the streets, and others in Cuba mourned and reflected on his passing. “It’s a normal life process but its news that no one is ever ready to receive. Even less so, news of the Commander’s death,” one woman in the Cuban capital of Havana told the BBC. Another resident remembered him as someone “everybody loved and respected”. 

He will be cremated in a service later today and his ashes will be laid to rest on 4 December. Nine days of national days of mourning will then begin in Cuba. 

That he lived until 90, having survived a number of assassination attempts, was something he said he “never imagined" when he briefly emerged from seclusion earlier this year. “Soon I’ll be like all the others," he said in one of his final speeches. ‘To all our turn must come.’”