Fidel Castro Dead at Age 90

Fidel Castro, the infamous leader of Cuba and famed revolutionary died at age 90 last Friday.

Castro has long been the face of communism in the West. As the primary leader of the Cuban Revolution, Castro overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and established the first and only communist government in the western hemisphere. Cuba and the U.S. have improved their relationship immensely since the U.S. first ended diplomatic relations in January 1961. It was only last year in July 2015 that the two nations restored their diplomatic ties, which lead to a historic visit by President Obama earlier this year.

Fidel Castro relinquished power of the island to his brother Raul Castro eight years ago after Fidel fell ill. The last 60 years in Cuba have been controlled by a member of the Castro family, a reign that has lasted through 11 United States Presidents. Fidel Castro outlived six of those presidents, including John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

Views of Castro’s impact on Cuba are mixed, as evidenced by the different attitudes of his own people. Cuban exiles in Little Havana of Miami, Florida celebrated Saturday, while in Havana, Cuba the mood was much more somber.

"I say to the people of Cuba, with profound pain I come here to inform our people, our friends of America and the world, that today, 25 November, 2016, at 10:29 pm, died the chief commander of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz," Raul Castro said in a televised statement broadcast to Cubans.

Not all remember Castro fondly though. Among the celebrations in Miaimi, a Cuban-American man said, "This is a celebration, but not a celebration of death, but a beginning of liberty that we've been waiting for many years. The hope is ... that it opens up Cuba a little bit more."

Regardless of opinion, Fidel Castro was a historic figure of the 20th century, and his impact on Cuban and American life has been felt by many. His death is the end of an era for Cuba, and what happens next could be as historic as when Castro first rose to power almost 60 years ago.