Fidel Castro dead: Former President of Cuba used final speech to tell Cuba he would die soon

Leader of the Communist revolution in Cuba who transformed island into one-party state emerged from seclusion in April to deliver a sober speech 

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Fidel Castro survived 10 administrations and multiple assassination attempts on his life, becoming an invincible figure. But in a rare address in April the former President of Cuba, appearing frail but healthier than he had been ten years before, told the Communist party congress he understood that his speech would be one of his last.

Dressed in a blue tracksuit, he delivered a sombre farewell speech, telling Cuba he would die soon and using it to reinforce the Communist party ideology. 

“Soon I will be 90 years old,” he said. “Soon I will be like all the rest. Everybody's turn comes,” he told congress.

“Perhaps this will be one of the last times I speak in this room.”

“The ideas of Cuban Communists will remain,” he continued, “as proof that on this planet, if you work hard and with dignity, you can produce the material and cultural goods human beings need.”

“The time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain as proof on this planet that if they are worked at with fervour and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we need to fight without truce to obtain them.” 

The once seemingly immortal leader finally succumbed to years of ill health on Saturday. News of his death demonstrated what a truly polarising figure the man who transformed Cuba into a Communist one-party state was, with reactions split between celebrations spilling out onto the streets and mournful tributes from world leaders and his supporters. Nine days of national mourning will be held in Cuba to mark his death, during which “informative, patriotic and historic” programmes will be broadcast on radio and television. 

His brother Raul Castro delivered the news of his death to the world in a broadcast on state media. Shaking, he ended his message with the revolutionary slogan: “Towards victory, always!”