Cuba’s former president Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz – popularly known world over as Fidel Castro – has died aged 90 on Saturday and an era has come to an end with it.
“The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening (03:29 GMT Saturday),” Cuban President and the revolutionary leader’s younger brother Raul Castro said while announcing his death on national television in a late night broadcast.
Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959 after toppling American backed Batista government through armed communist revolution and held on to power till 2008 before handing it over to his younger brother.
That makes him the longest serving non-royal ruler of a country in the 21st century.
His critics, mostly US and its allies, thought of him as a ruthless despot.
But he was known all over the world for his revolutionary zeal, defiance to American imperialism, creating world’s best welfare model in health and education and making Cuba self-sufficient, self-reliant and strong in the face of American embargo.
Fidel Castro also survived several assassination bids on him allegedly plotted by America’s CIA.
After handing over power to Raul Castro, he almost retired from public life.
But in April he delivered a speech at Cuba’s Communist Party Congress. “I’ll soon be 90. Soon I’ll be like others,” he said, suggesting that he would not live forever.
Here are 10 quotable quotes from Fidel Castro, who was known for his powerful speeches that mesmerized people for hours:
1. “A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.”
2. “The revolution is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters.”
4. Capitalism is using its money; we socialists throw it away.
5. “They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?”
6. “The revenues of Cuban state-run companies are used exclusively for the benefit of the people, to whom they belong.”
7. “One of the greatest benefits of the revolution is that even our prostitutes are college graduates.”
8. “Men do not shape destiny. Destiny produces the man for the hour.”
9. “I think that a man should not live beyond the age when he begins to deteriorate, when the flame that lighted the brightest moment of his life has weakened.”
10. “Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me”