Fidel Castro's Death Kofi Annan hails Castro for securing the welfare of Cubans

Castro died in Havana aged 90, his brother, President Raul Castro, announced on national television.

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Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan has expressed his sympathy after he heard of the death of his friend Fidel Castro.

The former UN Secretary-General in a Facebook post said that irrespective of his ideologies he was ready to secure the independence of his nation.

“Today I mourn the loss of a friend, the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Securing the welfare of the Cuban people and ensuring the independence of his nation shaped much of Fidel Castro's thinking and many of his actions.”

“Whether one shared his political views or disagreed with them, Fidel Castro was one of Latin America's most remarkable leaders. In the course of his long life, he overcame countless adversities and rarely chose the easy and comfortable path.”

Castro came to power after overthrowing corrupt American-backed Fulgencio Batista.

Castro died in Havana aged 90, his brother, President Raul Castro, announced on national television.

READ ALSO: Gorbachev hails Castro for 'strengthening' Cuba

"The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening," the president announced on national television.

Havana plunged into mourning Saturday and celebrations erupted in Miami at the death of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, whose iron-fisted rule defied the United States for a half century.

One of the world's longest-serving rulers and among modern history's most striking personalities, Castro survived 11 US administrations and hundreds of assassination attempts.

Castro crushed opposition at home from the moment he took power in 1959 to the day he handed over to his younger brother Raul in 2006 amid a health crisis.

READ ALSO: Cubans surprised at the death of Fidel Castro

For defenders of the revolution, he was a hero who protected ordinary people from capitalist domination.

To opponents, including thousands of Cuban exiles living in the United States, he was a cruel communist tyrant.

After surviving the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, a suffocating US embargo and the Cold War itself, Castro lived to see the restoration of diplomatic ties with Washington last year.

But he never stopped railing against the American "empire."

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