Cuban revolutionary leader and former president Fidel Castro has died, aged 90.

Castro ruled communist Cuba for 49 years after taking power in a 1959 revolution, then aged 32.

He was a key figure in the Cold War.

"His alliance with Moscow helped trigger the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, a 13-day showdown with the United States that brought the world the closest it has been to nuclear war," Reuters reports.

Cuba's President Raul Castro, Fidel's younger brother, announced the news to Cubans via state television. He was ill for several years before his death.

People on the streets of Havana reacted with sadness to the news, while in Miami, where many Cuban exiles live, some people cheered, Reuters reports.

He stepped down from power in 2008, and views on his decades in power and ongoing influence on the country remain mixed.

Fidel Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara attend the 1st National Meeting for Production in Cuba in this undated file photo. REUTERS/Prensa Latina (CUBA)
Fidel Castro addresses the crowd during an event at Revolution Square in Havana in this undated file photo. REUTERS/Prensa Latina (CUBA)
Fidel Castro shares a laugh with Malcolm X at the Hotel Theresa in New York, October 19, 1960. REUTERS/Prensa Latina (CUBA)
Then Cuban President Fidel Castro glances over his shoulder during the May Day commemoration at Revolution Square in Havana, in this May 1, 2004 file photo. Picture taken May 1, 2004. REUTERS/Rafael Perez/Files

Photo Credit: AP / 達志影像

Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro talks with China's Premier Li Keqiang in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. Li Keqiang is on a two-day official visit to Cuba. (AP Photo/Alex Castro)
People celebrate after the announcement of the death of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, in the Little Havana district of Miami, Florida, U.S. November 26, 2016. REUTERS/Javier Galeano

美國作家Hemingway與古巴前革命家卡斯楚。Photo Credit:AP/達志影像

Ernest Hemingway and Fidel Castro chat in Havana on May 15, 1960, just over a year before Hemingway's death. Photo Credit:AP/達志影像

Editor: Edward White