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Fidel Castro (1926-2016) -- A Life In Pictures

Fidel Castro, the man who led Cuba for nearly five decades, has died at the age of 90. After sweeping to power in a communist uprising in 1959, Castro served as prime minister or president of the Caribbean island state for nearly 50 years, surviving a U.S.-backed military invasion, 10 U.S. presidents, U.S. economic sanctions, diplomatic isolation, and the demise of his chief Soviet sponsor. He also played a central role in bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis.

Fidel Castro as a young Marxist activist in 1953. 
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Fidel Castro as a young Marxist activist in 1953. 

Surrounded by members of his leftist guerrilla movement, Castro (center) waves to crowds in Cienfuegos shortly after ousting Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. 
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Surrounded by members of his leftist guerrilla movement, Castro (center) waves to crowds in Cienfuegos shortly after ousting Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. 

Castro (center) delivers a speech in Havana in 1959. Fellow revolutionaries Camilo Cienfuegos (right) and Ernesto Che Guevara (left) stand beside him. 
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Castro (center) delivers a speech in Havana in 1959. Fellow revolutionaries Camilo Cienfuegos (right) and Ernesto Che Guevara (left) stand beside him. 

Castro wears a chapka near Moscow during an official visit to the Soviet Union in January 1964. 
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Castro wears a chapka near Moscow during an official visit to the Soviet Union in January 1964. 

Fidel Castro poses under a portrait of Vladimir Lenin before having talks with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev (fourth from left). 
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Fidel Castro poses under a portrait of Vladimir Lenin before having talks with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev (fourth from left). 

Castro (right) meets with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1970.
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Castro (right) meets with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1970.

Castro (front) managed a spot of hunting while on a visit to Romania in May 1972 when the country was ruled by communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. 
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Castro (front) managed a spot of hunting while on a visit to Romania in May 1972 when the country was ruled by communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. 

Castro (right) and then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev exchange documents during a treaty signing ceremony in Havana in 1989. 
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Castro (right) and then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev exchange documents during a treaty signing ceremony in Havana in 1989. 

A dove rests on Castro's shoulders as he addresses Cuban youth in 1989 during celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the country's communist revolution. 
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A dove rests on Castro's shoulders as he addresses Cuban youth in 1989 during celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the country's communist revolution. 

Fidel Castro (center) with guides and security agents at the Great Wall of China while on a state visit in December 1995. 
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Fidel Castro (center) with guides and security agents at the Great Wall of China while on a state visit in December 1995. 

Castro talks to Pope John Paul II during the latter's visit to Havana in January 1998. 
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Castro talks to Pope John Paul II during the latter's visit to Havana in January 1998. 

Castro (center) is helped by his bodyguards after he fell over at the end of a speech following a graduation ceremony in central Cuba in October 2004.
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Castro (center) is helped by his bodyguards after he fell over at the end of a speech following a graduation ceremony in central Cuba in October 2004.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pays a visit to an ailing Castro in Havana in September 2006. Despite his failing health, the Cuban leader outlived Chavez, who died of complications from cancer in 2013. 
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pays a visit to an ailing Castro in Havana in September 2006. Despite his failing health, the Cuban leader outlived Chavez, who died of complications from cancer in 2013. 

Holding a Cuban flag, Castro listens to a speaker during the May Day parade in Havana's Revolution Square in 2005.
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Holding a Cuban flag, Castro listens to a speaker during the May Day parade in Havana's Revolution Square in 2005.

A frail-looking Fidel Castro at the Cuban Communist Party congress in Havana earlier this year.
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A frail-looking Fidel Castro at the Cuban Communist Party congress in Havana earlier this year.

Cuba's current president, Raul Castro, announces the death of his brother, Fidel, on state television on November 26. 
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Cuba's current president, Raul Castro, announces the death of his brother, Fidel, on state television on November 26. 

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