The former President of Cuba Fidel Castro has died aged 90, according to Cuban state television reports.
Castro ruled Cuba from 1959 to 2008 before handing power to his brother Rául, who is the current president. Castro stepped down as president due to illness.
The self described Marxist has prevailed as one of the most divisive and controversial ideological figures of the 20th Century. He survived numerous assassination attempts and was involved in the most pivotal moments of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the U.S.
Under Castro's leadership, Cuba became one-party communist state after overthrowing U.S. supported dictator Fulgencio Batista. At age 32, waged in guerrilla warfare against Batista with the world's most recognised revolutionary icon Ernest "Che" Guevera.
The swift nationalisation of all privately owned industry after Castro became leader of Cuban led to the exile of thousands of Cubans to the U.S. -- creating a powerful Cuban community in Florida.
The largest dispora of Cuban exile live in Miami and the news of Castro's death has sparked celebrations.
Starting to be a real crowd outside Versailles in Little Havana, cars stopping to honk and cheer "Cuba Libre!" (And "el viejo murió!") pic.twitter.com/pzBvC4fdNV— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) November 26, 2016
In the 1960's -- in response to creating a communist regime on their door step -- the U.S. imposed an economic embargo against Cuba. In a historical move, the embargo was lifted last year when the Obama administration sought to repair divides between the two nations.
Castro's Cuba was widely criticised as a ruthless dictatorship, oppressive and actively violating human rights. In his death, Castro proves to divide the political sphere.
Fidel Castro was one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century. India mourns the loss of a great friend.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 26, 2016
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted "I lament the passing of Fidel Castro Ruz, leader of the Cuban revolution and a symbol of the 20th Century."
Lamento el fallecimiento de Fidel Castro Ruz, líder de la Revolución cubana y referente emblemático del siglo XX.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) November 26, 2016