The end of the Castro era seems to be near as news agencies report that Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, son of famed revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, committed suicide on Thursday, Feb. 1, shortly after his announcement that he would run for president.
According to Cubadebate, a digital site comprised of reporters on the island and in the Cuban diaspora, Castro Junior, 68, dealt with severe depression leading up to his death.
Scant information on his death is being reported from a country that severely restricts news organizations; however, Ark Republic sources in Cuba report that Castro Junior announced his bid for presidency last Monday.
On the other hand, U.S. news sources claim that he was being monitored closely by a team of doctors for his mental health before passing.
The End of a Dynasty
Currently, Raul Castro, Fidel Castro Senior’s brother, serves as President of the Republic of Cuba until at least April 19 when he plans to step down. Raul Castro assumed presidential duties in 2008 after his brother resigned due to failing health.
The socialist island-nation rescheduled municipal elections to March and presidential elections to April after the Hurricane Irma damaged parts of the country. As time drew closer to Democratic-styled elections implemented in 2008, anti-Castro opponents prepared for campaigning.
The aging Raul Castro parallels the shift occurring in Cuba. While the country still operates as a socialist government, it slowly moves away from a fiercely rigid ideology of decades before. The end of Raul’s tenure marks almost 60 years of the Castro brothers in power.
Revolución Will Not Be Televised
Fidel Castro’s historical leadership made him one of the most feared, respected and hated men in the world. A revolutionary leader who established the first communist state in the West after leading an overthrow Fulgencio Batista in 1959, Castro remained in power for 52 years.
From helping South Africa to fight Apartheid and providing asylum to black power political activists such as Assata Shakur and Nehanda Abiodun, Castro is celebrated in many circles. At the same time, years of a rule that advocated torture and killings of opponents became human rights issues.
The relationships between the U.S. and Cuba are terse at best. The CIA attempted to overthrow Castro several times. Most notably, in 1959 in the botched raid known as the Bay of Pigs, where Cuban exiles led a failed coup. The conflict placed the countries on the brink of nuclear war. Eventually, the U.S, led trading embargoes against Cuba.
Through years of harsh economic sanctions, Cuba withstood as an independent nation that today produces the best medical industry that provides medical humanitarian aid throughout the world.