Cuban revolutionary icon Fidel Castro died late Friday in Havana aged 90, his brother, President Raul Castro, announced on national television.
“The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening,” the president announced on national television.
Raul Castro, who took power after his older brother Fidel was hospitalized in 2006, said that the revolutionary leader’s remains will be cremated early on Saturday, “in compliance with his expressed will.”
Raul Castro made the announcement just after midnight Friday (0500 GMT Saturday).
One of the leading world figures in the second half of the 20th century, Fidel Castro had outsized influence given the size of his small Caribbean island.
He was said to have survived countless US assassination attempts.
The guerrilla revolutionary and communist idol was a holdout against history who turned tiny Cuba into a thorn in the paw of the mighty capitalist United States.
The former Cuban president said he would never retire from politics.
But emergency intestinal surgery in July 2006 drove him to hand power to Raul Castro, who ended his brother’s antagonistic approach to Washington, shocking the world in December 2014 in announcing a rapprochement with US President Barack Obama.