The Latest: Castro death catches Cubans by surprise

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.