Raul Castro, his younger brother and successor announced the news on state television just after midnight Friday.
“The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening. In compliance with Comrade Fidel’s expressed will, his remains will be cremated early in the morning”[ on Saturday], said Raul Castro.
Fidel Castro toppled the government in 1959, introducing a Communist revolution and defied the US for decades, surviving many assassination plots.
Early this morning, the government decreed nine days of mourning.
From November 26 to December 4, “public activities and shows will cease, the national flag will fly at half mast on public buildings and military installations,” a statement from the Cuban government said.
According to reports, Castro’s ashes will be buried in the southeastern city of Santiago on December 4 after a four-day procession through the country.[Santiago was the scene of Castro’s ill-fated first revolution attempt in 1953.]
Fidel Castro was last seen in public on his 90th birthday on August 13.
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