Look back at life of man who led Cuba for decades and was a key player in a crisis which almost led to nuclear war between the Soviet Union and America.
The Communist revolutionary Fidel Castro has died at the age of 90, it was confirmed today.
Castro led Cuba for decades and transformed the country into one-party socialist state.
He courted controversy throughout his reign, with the United States becoming increasingly alarmed in the early 1960s with his friendly relations with the Soviet Union.
Castro became a central figure in one of the defining moments of the Cold War by allowing the Soviets to place nuclear weapons on Cuba.
It sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 leading to fears of all-out nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the US.
The CIA reportedly attempted to assassinate Castro on an incredible 638 occasions.
Here, Mirror Online looks back at his life and how he survived numerous attempts on his life.
Wealthy farmer’s son whose politics were shaped at university
Castro was born in 1926, the son of a wealthy farmer.
His left-wing politics were developed during his time studying law at the University of Havana.
He then become a revolutionary, plotting rebellions against right-wing governments.
Along with his brother Raul Castro and Che Guevara, he formed the revolutionary group the 26th of July Movement.
evolutionary becomes young leader of Cuba
Castro became Cuba’s Prime Minister in 1959 after playing a key role in the Cuban Revolution to overthrow Cuban President Fulgencio Batista.
He then transformed the country into a one-party socialist state under Community Party rule.
This led to concern in the US, deeply suspicious of communism, not least when Castro started getting close to the Soviet Union.
Among the reforms Castro introduced in the country included expanding healthcare and education.
But he also suppressed criticism of the regime within Cuba and introduced state control of the Press.
How Castro almost caused nuclear war between US and Soviet Union
With the US increasingly concerned with Castro’s relationship with the Soviet Union, it attempted to remove him from power.
This included assassination attempts, economic blockades and counter revolution including the Bay of Pigs invasion.
This resulted in Castro forming an even closer relationship with the Soviets.