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Explore Cuban Leader Fidel Castro's Controversial Life In Photos

Cuba's longtime ruler leaves a divisive legacy.

27/11/2016 2:58 AM IST | Updated 29/11/2016 9:47 PM IST
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Former Cuban president Fidel Castro, who died Friday night at the age of 90, reflected on his life and legacy months before his death. 

Just ahead of his last birthday in August, the controversial leader spoke of how he saw his impact on the country he ruled for nearly half a century. “Soon I’ll be 90, something that never would have occurred to me,” he said. “Soon I’ll be like all the others. Our time comes for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will endure.”

Castro’s admirers are remembering him as a revolutionary global figure, his detractors as a tyrannical dictator. Take a look at his remarkable life in photos:

  • Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
    Fidel Castro poses for a portrait in 1953.
  • Bettmann via Getty Images
    It was a beardless, rather boyish Fidel Castro who was busy raising funds for a Cuban Revolution in 1955. The scene was New York City, where Castro was a familiar figure among the city's Cuban leaders.
  • OAH/AFP/Getty Images
    Castro practices shooting in Mexico, during the preparations of 1956 uprising after disembarking from the Granma with 82 men starting the guerrilla fighting in the Sierra Maestra in eastern Cuba.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Castro takes time to do some evading at his mountain hideout in eastern Cuba while leader of a continuing revolt against president Fulgencio Batista and his regime on Sept. 10, 1957. 
  • Bettmann via Getty Images
    Castro gives an autograph to an admirer in Camaguey, Cuba on Jan. 7, 1959. While Cubans awaited Castro's arrival in Havana, cabinet ministers of the new Cuban government reported to their offices for the first time to begin a new program of reform and reconstruction.
  • Bettmann via Getty Images
    Castro sits with his son Fidelito in the Hotel Hilton in Havana in 1959.
  • Meyer Liebowitz/New York Times Co./Getty Images
    Castro points at a Bengal tiger in a cage at the Bronx Zoo, New York City, on April 24, 1959.
  • Bettmann via Getty Images
    Seeming quite amused, Castro holds up a newspaper headlining the discovery of a plot to kill him in New York City on April 23, 1959. Castro survived over 600 assassination attempts in his lifetime, according to Cuban officials. The CIA reportedly once planned to kill him with an exploding cigar and even a poisoned wetsuit.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The Cuban government of Castro intensified a news blackout in the face of reports of the arrest of civilians and Army men in a move to smash a military revolt against the revolutionary regime. Here, the leader is with his brother Raul Castro, commander in chief of the armed forces. 
  • American Stock Archive via Getty Images
    American author Ernest Hemingway speaks with Castro in Cuba in late 1959. In 1960 Hemingway was forced out of his home in Cuba due to the escalating tensions surrounding the Castro regime and moved to Idaho.
  • Underwood Archives via Getty Images
    Castro enjoys a steak dinner while holding an impromptu press conference at the Theresa Hotel in Harlem during his visit to New York to address the United Nations on Sept. 23, 1960.
  • Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images
    Castro addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 1960. 
  • Jung/ullstein bild via Getty Images
    Castro addresses a huge crowd in Santiago de Cuba in 1964 on the anniversary of the revolution.
  • DeAgostini/Getty Images
    Castro, left, is photographed with Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna, known as Che Guevara.
  • Keystone via Getty Images
    Castro speaks at a press conference in 1971.
  • David Hume Kennerly via Getty Images
    Castro is photographed in his office in Havana, Cuba in 1977.
  • PRENSA LATINA/Reuters
    Chief of Cuba's Armed Forces, Raul Castro, Cuba's cosmonaut, Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez, Castro and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko stand during a reception ceremony at Havana's Jose Marti airport, October 1980, after the cosmonauts returned from their space mission on Soyuz 38.
  • Jose Goitia/ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Cuban President Fidel Castro, right, and Pope John Paul II are seen during a welcoming ceremony in Havana, Cuba in this file photo from Jan. 21, 1998.
  • Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP, File
    Castro attends the last day of the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba on April 19, 2016. He formally stepped down in 2008 after suffering gastrointestinal ailments and public appearances became increasingly unusual in recent years.
  • Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate via AP
    In this Aug. 13, 2016 photo, Castro, center, attends a gala for his 90th birthday accompanied by Cuban President Raul Castro, left, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, right, at the 'Karl Marx' theater in Havana, Cuba.