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Cuba

This Happened—November 25: Death Of A Communist Icon

After winning a revolution, and ruling for almost half a century, Fidel Castro dies at the age of 90.

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Who was Fidel Castro?

The bearded face of Communism in Cuba and beyond, Fidel Castro reigned from 1959 to 2008 as Prime Minister and President of the island nation.

Castro had led a successful Communist revolution against the oppressive U.S.-backed Batista regime. His administration nationalized Cuba’s industries, putting an end to private ownership. He was a self-proclaimed “socialist, and Marxist–Leninist" who believed strongly in converting Cuba - along with the rest of the world - from a capitalist system in which individuals own the means of production into a socialist system in which the means of production are owned by the state and workers.

Why was Fidel Castro controversial?

After the U.S. repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempted to end Castro’s early rule with a series of assassination attempts, embargos, and the infamous Bay of Pigs invasion, Castro aligned more closely with the Soviet Union, allowing them to build missile launch sites on the island less than 90 miles away from the U.S., solidifying him as a sure enemy of Washington.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Castro was reportedly enraged when the Soviet Union agreed to disarm, rather than fire its nuclear weapons at the U.S.

When did Fidel Castro Die?

The 90-year old former First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Council of State, Fidel Castro died of natural causes at 10:29 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2016.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

And If It Had Been Zelensky? How The War Became Bigger Than Any One Person

Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrsky was killed Wednesday in a helicopter crash. The cause is still unknown, but the high-profile victim could just have well been President Zelensky instead. It raises the question of whether there are indispensable figures on either side in a war of this nature?

Photo of ​Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looking down in a cemetery in Lviv on Jan. 11

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Lviv on Jan. 11

Anna Akage

-Analysis-

The news came at 8 a.m., local time: a helicopter had crashed in Brovary, near Kyiv, with all the top management of Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs on board, including Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky. There were no survivors.

Having come just days after a Russian missile killed dozens in a Dnipro apartment, the first thought of most Ukrainians was about the senseless loss of innocent life in this brutal war inflicted on Ukraine. Indeed, it occurred near a kindergarten and at least one of the dozens killed was a small child.

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But there was also another kind of reaction to this tragedy, since the victims this time included the country's top official for domestic security. For Ukrainians (and others) have been wondering — regardless of whether or not the crash was an accident — if instead of Interior Minister Monastyrsky, it had been President Volodymyr Zelensky in that helicopter. What then?

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