There are no statues of Fidel Castro in Cuba. No school, street, government building or city bears his name.

Castro forbade monuments in his honor mere weeks after his rebels toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista on New Year's Day 1959. He then spent decades railing against the idolatry encouraged by other communist leaders, such as Mao Zedong, Josef Stalin or North Korea's Kim family.

Castro's likeness stares back from billboards and official portraits, but it is absent from pesos and postage stamps.

Despite his distaste for such honors, the bearded Marxist stood as a globally recognized symbol of resistance to Washington and free-market capitalism. He was also a hero to left-wing Latin American allies whose movements he helped inspire and an evil genius to his foes in Miami.