Fidel Castro, the controversial former president of Cuba, has died at the age of 90, his brother President Raul Castro announced late last night, according to the Associated Press. The politician and former revolutionary was prime minister of the island nation from 1959 to 1976 and then served as president for 32 years before he was succeeded by his brother Raul in 2008.
Castro was widely considered a dictator, but several countries including the former USSR, Jamaica, Indonesia, Mexico and Spain, honored him for his struggle for freedom and independence. After decades of strained relations with the U.S., President Barack Obama historically lifted the ban for travel and trade imposed on the country.Castro did not meet with Obama during his historic three-day visit to Cuba in March this year, instead writing a 1,500-word letter that declared that Cuba “has no need of gifts from the [U.S.] empire.”
During his rule, more than one million Cubans fled the small island, seeking asylum in the U.S. and other countries. Today, many of those refugees are celebrating in the streets of Miami, where many Cubans resettled, and elsewhere.