Fidel Castro, who led the country of Cuba for nearly half a century, died Friday at the age of 90. The controversial former president, who ruled the country as a one-party state from 1959 to 2008, passed away at 7pm, Cuban state TV announced.
Castro handed power to his brother Raul after he required emergency surgery for intestinal bleeding.
His death comes the same year Cuba and the United States announced they would restore diplomatic and economic ties.
Castro survived a number of US-backed assassination plots, as well as numerous media reports throughout the years that claimed he was dead or nearly there.