Fidel Castro, the father of the Cuban revolution and one of the protagonists of the 20th century has passed away on Friday night, at 90 years old. His brother, president Raúl Castro gave an official announcement on Cuban television confirming Castro’s passing without providing further details.

“Dear people of Cuba,” Raúl began. “It is with great sorrow that I have to inform you, our friends in the Americas and the world, that today, November 25, 2016, at 10:29pm, Cuban Revolution’s commander in chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, has passed away. In compliance with the will of our comrade Fidel, his remains will be cremated in the first hours of tomorrow, Saturday November 26. The committee in charge of organizing funerals will provide our people with detailed information about the posthumous tribute’s organization, which will honor the founder of the Cuban Revolution. Ever onward to victory!”

Fidel Castro ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost half a century before handing over the powers to his brother Raul in 2008. First as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976, and then as President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. He was a Marxist-Leninist and Cuban nationalist politically, and under his administration, Cuba became a one-party communist state; industry and businesses were nationalized, and state socialist reforms implemented throughout society.

He was a controversial and divisive world figure. His supporters laud him as a champion of socialism, anti-imperialism, and humanitarianism, whose revolutionary regime secured Cuba’s independence from American imperialism. He was decorated with various international awards throughout his life, such as International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples, Hero of the Soviet Union, Order of the Star of the Romanian Socialist Republic, First Class, Chile’s Collar of the Order of Merit, Spain’s Gold Medal of the Senate, Venezuela’s Grand Collar of the Order of the Liberator, Argentina’s Medal of the City of Buenos Aires, and many more.

Conversely, critics view him as a totalitarian dictator whose administration oversaw multiple human-rights abuses, an exodus of more than one million Cubans, and the impoverishment of the country's economy. Through his actions and his writings, he significantly influenced the politics of various individuals and groups across the world.