Fidel Castro was the long time ruler of communist Cuba. He led a revolution which took the country by storm. In the process of socializing Cuba he became a cult of personality and made allies with other communist nations like Russia and China. He even nearly went to war with the United States on multiple occasions. During the Cold War years he became the target of repeated assassination attempts by the CIA and after surviving all of that he gave up power in 2008 to his brother, Raul.
Fidel and his failing health
Fidel Castro has long been in poor health. It was the primary reason that the long time president stepped down from office in 2008 in favor of his brother. Although the president spent many years in office and even led a violent revolution to bring Communism to his country he was also the subject of poor health and aging as he suffered a stroke earlier this year.
He was quoted in a CNN interview as saying, "to all of us comes our turn."
Castro's legacy with the United States
Fidel Castro had an overall poor relationship with America after he took power. A long time embargo on trade to Cuba left the island country with few options in the Northwestern hemisphere. That was after the Cuban Missile Crisis when then-President Kennedy was on the verge of nuclear war with Cuba.
After failing health Fidel's brother, Raul, took control of the government and immediately began to institute reforms. These included lifting restrictions on purchased goods, more liberal economic reforms, and normalizing relations with the United States. In 2015 Raul and President Barrack Obama began to exercise full diplomatic relations; something that had not been seen in more than half of a century.
Although Fidel himself had never been so close or diplomatic with his neighbors to the North the two countries came into contact quite often. From refugees to his influence in American pop culture Castro became an icon. His image was used in comedic movies and as a paradigm for the typical socialist revolutionary. Whatever the world has thought of the long time ruler at least now one thing is certain: his influence will be felt for decades -- if not centuries to come. #FidelCastro