Cuba decrees nine day mourning for Fidel Castro

Havana,Nov26: Cuba decrees nine days of mourning for FidelCastro . His funeral is kept on December 4th.

Cuban state media provided no further details about the death of the 90-year-old leader of Cuba’s Communist revolution.

Fidel Castro ruled Cuba for almost 50 years before handing over the powers to his brother Raul in 2008.

It was Raul Castro who announced late Friday on state television that his brother had died.

Fidel Castros’s commitment to socialism was unwavering, though his power finally began to fade in mid-2006 when a gastrointestinal ailment forced him to hand over the presidency, provisionally at first and then permanently. His defiant image lingered long after he gave up his trademark Cohiba cigars for health reasons and his tall frame grew stooped.

Castro’s speeches, lasting up to six hours, became the soundtrack of Cuban life and his 269-minute speech to the U.N. General Assembly in 1960 set the world body’s record for length that still stood more than five decades later.

By Cuban count, he was the target of more than 630 assassination plots by militant Cuban exiles or the U.S. government.

As the end of the Cold War eased global tensions, many Latin American and European countries re-established relations with Cuba. In January 1998, Pope John Paul II visited a nation that had been officially atheist until the early 1990s.

Aided by a tourism boom, the economy slowly recovered and Castro steadily reasserted government control, stifling much of the limited free enterprise tolerated during harder times.

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