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Fidel Castro is a major political leader who ushered socialist revolution in Cuba. To know more about the life of Fidel Castro, read this brief biography and profile of Fidel Castro.
Fidel CastroHow to Cite
Famous as: Political leader of Cuba
Born on: 13 August 1926
Born in: Biran, Cuba
Zodiac Sign: Leo Famous Leos
Works & Achievements: Ushered Socialist Revolution in Cuba
Fidel Castro is a revolutionary figure and former Prime Minister of Cuba who served the country from 1959 to 1976 and gained a reputation of an anti- capitalist who openly refuted the American dominance in Asian countries. He was also the 22nd president of the country, a position he took in 1976 and held until 2008, when he resigned and formally transferred all his duties and powers to his brother, vice -president Raul Castro. As a major political, Fidel drew attention for his highly critical views on Capitalists countries including the United States, whose political and corporate influence in Cuba had increased with time. In 1965, he became the first secretary of the communist party of Cuba and embarked on a mission of transforming Cuba into a one-party socialist republic. As a head of Cuba, Castro led the country for nearly five decades and still remains active till this day.
Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1926 in Biran, near Mayari, Cuba. His father Angel Castro y Argiz, originally from Spain, was relatively wealthy and owned a sugarcane plantation. His mother Lina Ruz Gonzalez had been a maid to Angel's first wife. He grew up in wealthy circumstances amid poverty. His original name was Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz.
After completing his elementary education at the private Catholic School, Fidel went to El Colegio de Belen, a Jesuit school in Havana in 1945. Fidel was an intellectually gifted student with an amazing memory-power. Fidel was, in fact, more interested in sports than in academics and while at Belen, Castro pitched on the school's baseball team. A peasant rebellion in Oriente during Castro's formative years is thought to have influenced his political leanings.
Batista established himself as de facto leader and was supported by elements of Cuban society and powerful Cuban agencies. Castro broke away from the Partido Ortodoxo to initiate legal arguments and formally charged Batista with violating the constitution. His petition was denied by the Court of Constitutional Guarantees and he was not allowed even a single hearing. This experience convinced Castro that revolution was the only way to depose Batista and coming to power. Castro married Mirta Diaz Balart, a student from a wealthy Cuban family.
After building up a stock of guns and ammunition, Castro, Che Guevara, Juan Almeida along with eighty other rebels set out from Tuxpan, Veracruz on November 26, 1956, for the purpose of starting a rebellion in Cuba. The group was trained under a veteran of Spanish Civil War and became known as the “July 26 Movement” (the date that Castro had attacked the Moncada barracks). Their plan was to set up their base in the Sierra Maestra mountains. On the way to the mountains they were attacked by government troops. By the time they reached the Sierra Maestra there were only sixteen men left with twelve weapons between them. For the next few months Castro's guerrilla army raided isolated army garrisons and were gradually able to build-up their stock of weapons.
The 26th of July Movement waged a guerrilla war against the Batista government and when the guerrillas took control of territory they redistributed the land amongst the peasants. In return, the peasants helped the guerrillas against Batista's soldiers. Many resistant groups were formed in the towns and rural regions of Cuba. In some cases the peasants also joined Castro's army. In an effort to find out information about Castro's army people were pulled in for questioning. Many innocent people were tortured. Suspects, including children, were publicly executed and then left hanging in the streets for several days as a warning to others who were considering joining Castro. The behavior of Batista's forces increased support for the guerrillas.
In an attempt to crush the fighters of Castro and other resistant outfits, Batista launched, Operation Verano in 1958. Castro's guerrilla forces scored a series of victories, largely aided by Batista's uncommitted and poorly trained army When Operation Verano ended, Castro ordered three columns commanded by Guevara, Jaime Vega and Camilo Cienfuegos to invade central Cuba where they enjoyed the strong support of rebellious elements. In January 1959, Batista lost the battle at Santa Clara and fled to the Dominican Republic. The junta (military rule) selected Dr. Carlos Piedra, one of the oldest judges of the Supreme Court, as provisional President of Cuba but Castro refused to accept the selection. The workers came out on strike and the military were forced to accept the people's desire for change.
Castro - The Leader
- Rents were cut by up to 50 per cent for low wage earners
- Property owned by Batista and his ministers was confiscated;
- The telephone company was nationalized and the rates were reduced by 50 per cent;
- Land, including his own portion was redistributed amongst the peasants
- Abolished separate facilities like swimming pools, beaches, hotels, cemeteries for blacks and whites.
On April 16, 1961, he formally declared Cuba a socialist state. The very next day, around 1,400 members Cuban exiles, trained by the Central Intelligence Agency, invaded at the Bay of Pigs. The Cuban armed forces repelled the invaders, killing many and capturing a thousand.
Fidel Castro once said, “"If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal." The group or unit responsible for Castro’s protection has revealed that there were 638 attempts made by the CIA to kill Castro, but every time he survived.
In a survey carried out by a private firm found that 90 per cent of the Cuban population, supported Fidel Castro and policies. The revelation assisted Castro in tightening his grip over Cuba and he took started enjoying all the powers of the government. He was all-in-all of Cuba. Castro put a ban on the existence of political parties and announced that it would destroy the national unity and integrity.
Castro was also becoming harsh towards people, especially intellectuals and political thinkers who argued his policies and actions. He often reshuffled his ministries and inducted the young soldiers who were loyal to him during the guerilla war against Batista. Castro continued to serve as the “Head of the state” for almost five decades.
FIDEL CASTRO TIMELINE
August 13 Birth of Fidel Castro
Admission in El Colegio De Belen a Jesuit school in Havana
Castro joined the Partido Ortodoxo formed by Eduardo Chibas.
Chibas shot himself and died
Castro led fighters attacked Moncada Barrack
Castro arrested and sent to prison
Released from prison and Castro visited Mexico to meet Che Guevara
Guerilla War against Batista government in Cuba
Batista launched Operation Verano
Batista lost and flee Dominican Republic
January 8 Fidel marched victoriously to Havana
February 16 Sworn in as Prime Minister
Closer to Soviet Union signed several pacts
January 3 US broke off all ties
April 16 Cuba declared socialist state
February 18 Formally delegated powers to brother Raul Castro