After years of rumors surrounding his health, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, has died.Castro's brother Raul, the President of Cuba, announced his death on Cuban state TV, proclaiming, "Toward victory, always!" The saying is a popular revolutionary statement.Castro will go into history books as one of the most schismatic political figures in modern history. For many of his supporters, he was a great figurehead, one of the last true marxists, defending the socialist ideal from the slow advance of capitalism. For others, he was a totalitarian dictator that oppressed those he ruled over with an iron fist. For America, he was an antagonist until the end.Castro lived long enough to witness a historic change in relations between the US and Cuba (many people did observe, however, that he remained silent on that change even as his brother announced it). In 2015, President Barack Obama visited the island, and diplomatic relations between the countries began to shed their formally cold silence.
Castro had lead the original Cuban Revolution to overthrow an unpopular dictator in 1959. His followers at that time believed in his promises to end oppression and the establishment of democracy. History has a way of repeating itself; instead, Castro held power for nearly 47 years. Only after contracting a severe illness of the intestines did his brother Raul take over.In his time in power, Castro became close with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, earning his country an embargo that would affect Cuba for the rest of his life. He survived multiple assassination attempts, illness, and outlived several of our own Presidents. And through that time, he did not give up on his socialist economic ideals or the idea of a one-party ruled country.One man, on an island 90 miles away from the underbelly of this country, made a large impact on history, on his country, and on the world.Watch the official announcement from Raul Castro below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBV88edVd-c