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The Latest: Castro death catches Cubans by surprise

  • People gather at as usual at the Malecon after President Raul Castro announced the death of his brother Fidel on national TV in Havana, Cuba, early Saturday Nov. 26, 2016. Former President Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule, has died at age 90. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

    People gather at as usual at the Malecon after President Raul Castro announced the death of his brother Fidel on national TV in Havana, Cuba, early Saturday Nov. 26, 2016. Former President Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule, has died at age 90. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 13, 1961 file photo provided by Cuba's government, Cuba's leader Fidel Castro cuts sugar cane in an unknown location in Cuba. Castro has died at age 90. President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died late Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Cuban Government via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 13, 1961 file photo provided by Cuba's government, Cuba's leader Fidel Castro cuts sugar cane in an unknown location in Cuba. Castro has died at age 90. President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died late Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Cuban Government via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Nov. 15, 2016 photo, Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang, second from left, and his wife Nguyen Thi Hien gift a picture to Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro, in one of the last pictures taken of Castro before he died, in Havana, Cuba. President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died late Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. He was 90. (AP Photo/Alex Castro)

    In this Nov. 15, 2016 photo, Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang, second from left, and his wife Nguyen Thi Hien gift a picture to Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro, in one of the last pictures taken of Castro before he died, in Havana, Cuba. President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died late Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. He was 90. (AP Photo/Alex Castro)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro (all times local):

2:45 a.m.

The death of Fidel Castro has caught many people in Havana by surprise in the wee hours of the morning.

Mariela Alonso is a 45-year-old doctor. She calls the retired Cuban leader "the guide for our people."

In her words: "There will be no one else like him. We will feel his physical absence."

Mechanic Celestino Acosta was sitting on a porch in the central Havana neighborhood of Vedado.

He called the news of Castro's death "a painful blow for everyone."

In Old Havana, people gathered around their radios, listening to state-run stations play revolutionary anthems and recite facts about Castro's life.

State television followed Raul Castro's announcement with more than an hour of normal reruns of international programs, then shifted to biographical documentaries about Fidel Castro.