briefly pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war.
Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died Friday. He was 90.
His death was announced by Cuban state television.
In declining health for several years, Mr. Castro hadorchestrated what he hoped would be the continuation of his Communist revolution, stepping aside in 2006 when he was felled by a serious illness. He provisionally ceded much of his power to his younger brother Raúl, now 85, and two years later formally resigned as president. Raúl Castro, who had fought alongside Fidel Castro from the earliest days of the insurrection and remained minister of defense and his brother’s closest confidant, has ruled Cuba since then, although he has told the Cuban people he intends to resign in 2018.
He made very few public appearances after stepping down. He was reportedly battling Diverticulitis -- a swelling of the colon -- at the time of his death.
Castro had ruled the Caribbean island since the 1959 revolution. He was at the helm when Russia and the U.S. went to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, after Russians used the island to train nuclear weapons on the U.S.
Castro lived to see re-established relations between America and Cuba. President Obama made an official state visit to the island in Spring 2016, but never met face-to-face with Castro. He did meet Raul.