Fidel Castro has died at the age of 90, Cuban state television announced on Saturday, ending an era for the country and Latin America.

“The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 10.29 p.m. on Saturday,” President Raul Castro said.

The revolutionary icon, one of the world’s best-known and most controversial leaders, survived countless US assassination attempts and premature obituaries, but in the end proved mortal after suffering a long battle with illness.

Castro ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost half a century before handing over the powers to his brother Raul in 2008.

His supporters praised him as a man who had given Cuba back to the people. But his opponents accused him of brutally suppressing opposition.

In April, Castro gave a rare speech on the final day of the country’s Communist Party congress.

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