And with diplomatic relations between the Carribean island and the US problematic to say the least, his health's been of huge interest to North America podders.
He's the world leader who's defied the superpower that is the United States of America for almost 50 years. Fidel Castro is something of a mystery to most people.
There are those who imagine the romantic figure hiding in the Cuban hills, leading a revolution and smoking a cigar, and there are others who call him a dictator, and talk about repressive regimes.
The claim is that Castro has survived over 600 asassination attempts on his life so far - including wild plots like exploding cigars, dreamt up largely by the CIA.
So it's no surprise that there's been a lot of reaction in the US to the Cuban president's recent illness. The ABC News Exclusiva podcast chatted to American broadcaster Barbara Walters about her interviews with Castro.
Perhaps because Cuba appears indifferent to America's rejection, people are fascinated by the Carribean island. So it's easy to imagine that a curious journalist would go to any length to report from a country where his presence is strictly forbidden.
In the On The Media podcast one newspaper journalist explains what he got up to. With the anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Miami fuelling the media frenzy over the president's illness, it's hard for some outside of North America to align the evil Castro image with the revolutionary hero, and friend of Che Guevara.
Anti-Castro group Somos Cubanos are based in Canada and have this music video Hasta Cuando on YouTube. Lyrics include lines such as "how the Cuban people have suffered ... You promised power for the people, but the reality was a fantasy" and asks "how long" will Cuba have to put up with "this old man".
So as the world waits to see if Fidel Castro will make a full recovery from his operation, it's the Americans who are leading the media interest as the drama unfolds.
Listen to Top of the Pods here (it is 24 minutes into the show)