Cuba’s Fidel Castro dead aged 90 Cuban revolutionary icon led rebels to improbable victory, embraced Soviet communism and defied the US for decades.

Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader who built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States, has died aged 90.

Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother and current president of Cuba, announced his death on state television early on Saturday.

The leader of the 1959 revolution, which overthrew the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista, defied the US efforts to topple him for five decades, before ill health led him to make way for his brother Raul, 84, in 2006.

In his final years, Fidel lived in relative seclusion but occasionally wrote opinion pieces or appeared meeting with visiting dignitaries.

Havana residents reacted with sadness to the news.

“I am very upset. Whatever you want to say, he is public figure who was respected and loved,” Sariel Valdespino, a student, said.