(WFLA) – News Channel 8’s Jeff Patterson is reporting from Cuba this week. The island nation is mourning Fidel Castro after the longtime leader’s passing. Castro died Friday at the age of 90.
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have bid farewell to Castro, pledging allegiance to his socialist ideology and paying tribute before images of the leader as a young guerrilla gazing out over the country he would come to rule for nearly a half century.
Castro’s reign over the island-nation 90 miles from Florida was marked by the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The bearded revolutionary, who survived a crippling U.S. trade embargo as well as dozens, possibly hundreds, of assassination plots, died 10 years after ill health forced him to hand power over to Raul.