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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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Obama: Visit is 'historic opportunity' to engage with Cubans

President Obama has described being in Cuba as "wonderful" after becoming the first US President to visit the country in 88 years.

Speaking shortly he said his visit would be a "historic opportunity to engage with the Cuban people".

Obama braves tropical downpour on first day of Cuba visit

President Obama braved a 'tropical downpour' on the first day of his official three-day state visit to Cuba.

Accompanied by his family Obama grabbed an umbrella and set off to see sights, including the Museum of the City of Havana, as he tried to squeeze as much into his short but historic trip as possible.

Obama waved at the crowds as he walked around Havana's old town Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria
The President was greeted by crowds of people keen to get a picture of him and his family Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The visit marks the first US presidential trip to Cuba in 88 years.

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