Sola mors tyrannicida est, wrote Thomas More: death is the only way to get rid of tyrants. And so it has proved for Fidel Castro. Twenty-six years ago, he looked finished. The USSR had collapsed, and the Soviet subsidies that had propped up the Cuban economy for 30 years had been abruptly terminated. Around the world, statues of Lenin were being melted down or sold off to collectors of kitsch. But Castro never wavered in his revolutionary fervour. Unlike the nomenclatura of Eastern Europe, he had not inherited the communist system, nor seen it imposed by a foreign army. The Cuban revolution was his revolution, and he was damned if he was going to give it up.