(RNN) – Fidel Castro, who seized power in 1960, killing former politicians and members of the middle class and turning the island of Cuba into a communist country, died Friday.
His brother, Raul Castro, announced the death on state-run media.
He was 90 years old.
According to AFP, the Cuban leader will be cremated on Saturday.
The Cuban government declared nine days of mourning for the death of their former leader.
The mourning period will last from Nov. 26 to Dec. 4.
His ashes will be buried at the funeral on Dec. 4 in Santiago de Cuba.
“During the mourning period, all public events and activities will cease, the national flag will fly at half-mast on public buildings and at military facilities and television and radio will broadcast informative, patriotic and historical programmes,” a statement from the council said.
On April 19, 2016, Castro, 89, told Communist Party members he would die soon and urged them to keep his ideas alive.
“The time will come for all of us,” the Associated Press reported him as saying, “but the ideas of the Cuban Communists will remain as proof on this planet that if they are worked at with fervor and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we need to fight without a truce to obtain them.”
Castro’s appearance was his most extensive in years.
Until then, he had not been seen publicly since January 2014, fueling rumors of his death.
He had been suffering from various health issues, including a hospitalization for abdominal surgery in 2006, and temporarily handed power over to his brother, Raul Castro, while undergoing treatment.
NPR reported that Spanish-speaking newspapers mistakenly published the elderly leader had died when he disappeared from the public eye during his hospital stay.
But his health continued to decline and on Feb. 24, 2008, he resigned as president of Cuba, handing the job over to his brother, Raul, while undergoing treatment for his undefined illness.
On April 19, 2011, he formally gave up his position as head of the ruling party of Cuba, relinquishing power to his brother.
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