Obituary: Fidel Castro, revolution's evergreen icon, dies after outlasting 9 US presidents
Then Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro attends manoeuvres during the 19th anniversary of his and his fellow revolutionaries arrival on the yacht Granma, in Havana in this November 1976 file photo. REUTERS/Prensa Latina/File Photo

Cuban revolutionary leader and former president Fidel Castro has died aged 90. The communist revolutionary's death was announced on Cuban state-run TV by his brother and current leader Raul Castro. "The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening (03:29 GMT Saturday)," Raul said.

Castro, who moulded Cuba into a bulwark against western capitalism and valiantly defied the US efforts to topple him for half a centur,y, has been ailing for some time. He had passed on power to younger brother Raul in 2008.

Even as critics accused him of suppressing dissent, Castro remained the beloved leader of the country and a leading light to revolution everywhere in the world.

Castro was born in 1926 in the south-eastern Oriente Province of Cuba. He launched a guerrilla war against the government of Batista in 1956 alongside Che Guevara, and took power in 1959. His fledgling communist regime came under intense pressure from the US, which allegedly launched a series of assasination attempts against the leader of the Soviet-backed regime at its doorstep.

Mexican President Enrique said Castro was a friend of Mexico and a "promoter of a bilateral relationship based on respect, dialogue and solidarity."

Even as Castro's death sent his country into mourning, there have been reports that Cuban Americans in Miami's Little Havana celebrated his death. The Cuban Americans in the US are some of the fiercest critics of Castro, after having suffered oppression in their communist homeland.

President Barack Obama said in 2014 the US and Cuba should restore ties as neither country was "well-served by a rigid policy that's rooted in events that took place before most of us were born." However, Castro rejected the offer accusing Obama of ignoring the accomplishments of Communist rule.

Here's a Reuters Factbox on Fidel Castro: