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Call for change in Cuba after Fidel Castro's death

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

The presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia will arrive in Cuba later on Tuesday to pay their respects to Fidel Castro.

They will join thousands of people taking part in a rally in Havana to honour their former President and international icon.

ITV News is in the capital and found even among Castro's greatest supporters there is a wish to change and modernise the country - but without doing anything to sacrifice the health and education systems he introduced.

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Fidel Castro 'defined and dominated' Cuba for 60 years

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

One of the defining leaders of the 20th century, Fidel Castro, who has died at the age of 90, was seen as both pariah and people's champion.

He led a coup in 1959 to overthrow the regime of the US-backed former Cuban president Fulgencio Batista, and remained hostile to Washington throughout his life.

Castro survived countless assassination attempts, including an exploding cigar, and ruthlessly jailed many political opponents. He also led the world to the brink of nuclear war in the 1960s.

Castro stepped down as Cuba's president 10 years ago after suffering a severe gastrointestinal illness, and before his 90th birthday in August he told supporters he expected to die soon.

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First UK Foreign Secretary visit to Cuba since 1959

Philip Hammond has become the first British foreign secretary to visit Cuba since before the communist revolution of 1959.

Foreign secretary Hammond and Cuba's Foreign Minister Parrilla Credit: Enrique de la Osa/Reuters

Arriving in the capital Havana, Hammond said Britain was keen to forge "new links" with Cuba, and the two countries are "set to reach new cooperation agreements on energy, financial services, education and culture, to the benefit of both our nations".

His visit follows US President Barack Obama's historic visit last month intended to normalise relations between the two countries after decades of hostility.

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