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Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz Relations Children Natalia Revuelta y Clews Fidel Angel Castro DiazBalart Alina Fernandez-Revuelta Alexis Castro-Soto Alejandro Castro-Soto Antonio Castro-Soto Angel Castro-Soto Alain Castro-Soto Jorge Angel Castro[2] Francisca Pupo[2] Colegio de Belen University of Havana Lawyer, Politician Self-defined as secular, formerly Roman Catholic

Alma mater Profession Religion
At the José Martí Memorial

23rd President of Cuba In office December 2, 1976 – February 24, 2008[1] Vice President First Vice President: Raúl Castro
(Acting President after 31 July, 2006)


Other Vice Presidents: Juan Almeida Bosque Abelardo Colome Ibarra Carlos Lage Davila Esteban Lazo Hernández José Machado Ventura Preceded by Succeeded by Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado Raúl Castro

Prime Minister of Cuba In office February 16, 1959 – December 2, 1976 Preceded by Succeeded by José Miró Cardona merged with office of President August 13, 1926 (1926-08-13) Birán, Holguín Province, Cuba Cuban Communist Party of Cuba (1) Mirta Díaz-Balart Gutierrez (divorced 1955) (2) Dalia Soto del Valle


Nationality Political party Spouse

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born August 13, 1926) is the former head of government of Cuba, a position which he held for nearly 50 years, and a leader of the Cuban Revolution. Fidel Castro, as he is widely known, was the Prime Minister of Cuba from February 1959 to December 1976 and then President of the Council of State of Cuba until he transferred power to his brother Raúl Castro in February 2008. He was born to a millionaire Spanish father[3] and went to the most elite schools. He started a political career at early age and was a recognized figure in politics.[4] He ran democratically for parliament in 1952 elections. Opposing Fulgencio Batista[5], he eventually led the failed 1953 attack on the Moncada Barracks, after which he was captured, tried, incarcerated and later released. He then traveled to Mexico[6][7] to organize and train for an assault on Batista’s Cuba. He and his fellow revolutionaries left Mexico for the East of Cuba in December 1956. Castro came to power as a result of the Cuban revolution that overthrew the U.Sbacked dictator Fulgencio Batista,[8], and shortly became Prime Minister of Cuba, replacing professor José Miró Cardona.[9]


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Instead of fulfilling his initial promise to have democratic elections "within months" he delayed them and eventually abolished them. Castro purged labor unions, moderates, took control of the media, and loyalty to him became the primary criteria for all appointments.[10][11] In 1965 he became First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and led the transformation of Cuba into a oneparty socialist republic. In 1976 he became President of the Council of State as well as of the Council of Ministers. He also held the supreme military rank of Comandante en Jefe ("Commander in Chief") of the Cuban armed forces. Castro’s failure to restore democracy led to conflicts with many of his former supporters - even his own sister denounced the "enormous prison surrounded by water".[12] Following intestinal surgery from an undisclosed digestive illness believed to have been diverticulitis,[13] Castro transferred his responsibilities to the First Vice-President, his younger brother Raúl Castro, on July 31, 2006. On February 19, 2008, he announced he would "neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief".[14][15] On February 24, 2008, the presidency was transferred to his brother Raúl Castro.[1] Fidel Castro remains First Secretary of the Communist Party. Many describe him as a dictator[16][17][18][19][20] and his rule has been the longest ever in modern Latin American history.[17][18][19][20] Human rights organizations accuse him of creating a "repressive machinery".[21]

Fidel Castro

A letter written by the 12-year-old Castro to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, expressing admiration and asking for a $10 bill. Castro writes, "If you like, give me a ten dollar bill green American, because never, I have not seen a ten dollar bill," signing the letter, "Thank you very much. Good by [sic]. Your friend, Fidel Castro." Castro has two brothers, Ramón and Raúl, and four sisters, Angelita, Juanita, Enma, and Agustina, all of whom were born out of wedlock. He also has two half siblings, Lidia and Pedro Emilio who were raised by Ángel Castro’s first wife. Fidel was not baptized until he was 8, also very uncommon, bringing embarrassment and ridicule from other children.[24][25] Ángel Castro finally dissolved his first marriage when Fidel was 15 and married Fidel’s mother. Castro was formally recognized by his father when he was 17, when his surname was legally changed to Castro from Ruz, his mother’s name.[24][25] Although accounts of his education differ, most sources agree that he was an intellectually gifted student, more interested in sports than in academics, and spent many years in private Catholic boarding schools, finishing high school at El Colegio de Belén, a Jesuit school in Havana in 1945.[26] While at Belén, Castro pitched on the school’s baseball team. There are persistent rumors that Castro was scouted for various U.S. baseball teams,[27] but there is no evidence that this ever actually happened.[28]

Childhood and education
Fidel Alejandro Vittore Castro Ruz was born on a sugar plantation in Birán, near Mayarí, in the modern-day province of Holguín – then a part of the now-defunct Oriente province. He was the third child born to Ángel Castro y Argiz, a Galician immigrant from the impoverished northwest of Spain who became relatively prosperous through work in the sugar industry and successful investing.[22] His mother, Lina Ruz González, was a household servant. Angel Castro was married to another woman, Maria Luisa Argota,[23] until Fidel was 15, and thus Fidel as a child had to deal both with his illegitimacy and the challenge of being raised in various foster homes away from his father’s house.

Political beginnings
In late 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana. He became immediately embroiled in the political culture at the University, which was a reflection of the volatile politics in Cuba during that era. Since the fall of president Gerardo Machado in the 1930s, student politics had degenerated into a form of gangsterismo dominated


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by fractious action groups, and Castro, believing that the gangs posed a physical threat to his university aspirations, experienced what he later described as "a great moment of decision."[29] He returned to the university from a brief hiatus to involve himself fully in the various violent battles and disputes which surrounded university elections, and was to be implicated in a number of shootings linked to Rolando Masferrer’s MSR action group. "To not return", said Castro later, "would be to give in to bullies, to abandon my beliefs".[29] Rivalries were so intense that Castro apparently collaborated in an attempt on Masferrer’s life during this period,[29] while Masferrer, whose paramilitary group Les Tigres later became an instrument of state violence under Batista,[30] perennially hunted the younger student seeking violent retribution.[31] In 1947, growing increasingly passionate about social justice, Castro joined the Partido Ortodoxo which had been newly formed by Eduardo Chibás. A charismatic figure, Chibás was running for president against the incumbent Ramón Grau San Martín who had allowed rampant corruption to flourish during his term. The Partido Ortodoxo publicly exposed corruption and demanded government and social reform. It aimed to instill a strong sense of national identity among Cubans, establish Cuban economic independence and freedom from the United States, and dismantle the power of the elite over Cuban politics. Though Chibás lost the election, Castro, considering Chibás his mentor, remained committed to his cause, working fervently on his behalf. In 1951, while running for president again, Chibás shot himself in the stomach during a radio broadcast. Castro was present and accompanied him to the hospital where he died.[26] During 1948, Castro was thrice linked to political assassinations.[4] He was suspected of Manolo Castro’s assassination that took place on February 22.[4] University policeman Oscar Fernandez was killed in front of his own home on June 6. Dying Oscar Fernandez and other witnesses identified Castro as the assassin.[4] The incident passed.[4] In 1948, Castro joined an anti-American demonstration trip to Bogotá, Colombia, paid by Argentinean army colonel and President Juan Perón.[4] Castro joined mob violence and property destruction, and later sought refuge in the Argentinean embassy.[4]

Fidel Castro

Decision for revolution
In 1948, Castro married Mirta Díaz Balart, a student from a wealthy Cuban family through which he was exposed to the lifestyle of the Cuban elite. Mirta’s father gave tens of thousands to spend in a three-month honeymoon in New York.[32] Castro also received a $1,000 wedding gift from Fulgencio Batista, the ex-President who was a friend of both families.[4][32] Although Castro considered enrolling at Columbia University, a private university in Manhattan, he returned to Cuba to complete his degree.[4] Castro started to have money problems. He refused to go work and others had to pay the family’s bills.[4][32] The relationship with his wife was also strained; Jorge Vallis later said that Castro never knew how to love, and that "Fidel tried a respectable marriage, which failed; he tried respectable politics, which failed".[32] In 1950 he graduated from law school with a Doctor of Laws degree and began practicing law in a small partnership in Havana.[32] By now he had become well known for his passionately nationalist views and his intense opposition to the United States. Castro spoke publicly against the United States involvement in defending South Korea in the Korean War.[4] In 1951, Fidel Castro said to Batista "I don’t see an important book here". When Batista asked which, Castro replied "Curzio Malaparte’s The Technique of the Coup d’état".[32] According to Rafael Diaz-Ballart, Fidel Castro realized that Batista was not a "revolutionary" leader anymore, even though both looked at each other with admiration.[32] Increasingly interested in a career in politics, Castro had become a candidate for a seat in the Cuban parliament in the 1952 elections when former president, General Fulgencio Batista, ousted President Carlos Prío Socarrás in a coup d’état, cancelled the elections and assumed government as "provisional president". Batista was supported by establishment elements of Cuban society, powerful Cuban agencies, and labor unions. Castro now broke away from the Partido Ortodoxo to marshal legal arguments based on the Constitution of 1940 formally to charge Batista with violating the constitution. His petition, entitled Zarpazo, was denied by the Court of Constitutional Guarantees and


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he was not allowed a hearing.[33] This experience formed the foundation for Castro’s opposition to the Batista government and convinced him that revolution was the only way to depose Batista.[34]

Fidel Castro
greeted with rapturous applause. ¡Viva el veinte-seis! Also called Rebellion Day.

26th of July Movement
Once in Mexico, Castro reunited with other Cuban exiles and founded the 26th of July Movement, named after the date of the failed attack on the Moncada Barracks. The goal remained the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista. Castro had learned from the Moncada experience that new tactics were needed if Batista’s forces were to be defeated. This time, the plan was to use underground guerrilla tactics, which were used by the Cubans the last time they attempted a populist overthrow of what they considered an imperialistic regime. The Cuban war of Independence against the Spanish was Cuba’s introduction to guerrilla warfare, about which they read once the Cuban campaign ended but was taken up by Emilio Aguinaldo in the Philippines. Once again, it would be guerrilla warfare to bring down a government. In Mexico Castro met Ernesto "Che" Guevara, a proponent of guerrilla warfare. Guevara joined the group of rebels and became an important force in shaping Castro’s evolving political beliefs. Guevara’s observations of the misery of the poor in Latin America had already convinced him that the only solution lay in violent revolution. Since regular contacts with a KGB agent named Nikolai Sergeevich Leonov in Mexico City had not resulted in the hoped for weapon supply,[35] they decided to go to the United States to gather personnel and funds from Cubans living there, including Carlos Prío Socarrás, the elected Cuban president deposed by Batista in 1952. Back in Mexico, the group trained under a Spanish Civil War Veteran, Cuban-born Alberto Bayo[36] who had fled to Mexico after Francisco Franco’s victory in Spain. On November 26, 1956, Castro and his group of 81 followers, mostly Cuban exiles, set out from Tuxpan, Veracruz, aboard the yacht Granma for the purpose of starting a rebellion in Cuba.[37] The rebels landed at Playa Las Coloradas close to Los Cayuelos near the eastern city of Manzanillo on December 2, 1956. In short order, most of Castro’s men were killed, dispersed, or taken prisoner by Batista’s forces.[37] While the exact number is in dispute, it is agreed that no more than twenty of

Cuban Revolution
Attack on Moncada Barracks
On 26 July 1953, Fidel Castro led an ill-fated assault on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. This date was chosen because it was the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Cuban writer and patriot Jose Martí. Unfortunately the attack failed (the dictator Batista was not overthrown until 1959); but 26 July remains the most important date in the Cuban revolutionary calendar. It is a good time to be in Cuba for two reasons: it coincides with a number of local carnivals, and it is your best chance to see El Comandante speaking in person - albeit from a very long distance. Havana and Santiago de Cuba - the two largest cities - both have huge 26 July celebrations. For weeks beforehand every town in Cuba is covered with banners, posters, placards and official graffiti (admirers of Communist kitsch can gorge themselves silly). In Santiago it is also carnival time. (This was another reason Fidel chose 26 July to attack the barracks: they expected all the guards to be drunk.) The Santiago carnival is an impressive affair - a riot of dancing, floats, sound systems, suckling pigs on spits and general merry-making lasting for several days. Being further from Varadero, Santiago is also - at least for the time being - a little more intimate and less touristic than Havana. At the Moncada barracks, an Act of Commemoration takes place early in the morning every year: the list of the martyrs of the revolution is read out and guns are fired. On this date, Fidel also makes his customary (and customarily long) speech. The venue varies from year to year; only Party faithful are invited to attend, but it is sometimes possible to see the man by peering over the inevitable security stockades. The speech is also broadcast on Cuban TV, and, for its duration, all carnival activities close down. Castro holds the world record for making long speeches (see the Guinness Book of Records), and - since the bars only re-open when he has finished - the end of his oration is inevitably


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the original eighty-two men survived the bloody encounters with the Cuban army and succeeded in fleeing to the Sierra Maestra mountains.[38] The group of survivors included Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Raúl Castro, and Camilo Cienfuegos. Those who survived were aided by people in the countryside. They regrouped in the Sierra Maestra in Oriente province and organized a column under Fidel Castro’s command. From their encampment in the Sierra Maestra mountains, the 26th of July Movement waged a guerrilla war against the Batista government. In the cities and major towns also, resistance groups were organizing until underground groups were everywhere. The strongest was in Santiago formed by Frank País.[39][40] In the summer of 1957, País’s organization merged with the 26th of July Movement of Castro. As Castro’s movement gained popular support in the cities and countryside, it grew to over eight hundred men. In mid-1957 Castro gave Che Guevara command of a second column. A journalist, Herbert Matthews from the New York Times, came to interview him in the Sierra Maestra, attracting interest to Castro’s cause in the United States. The New York Times front page stories by Matthews presented Castro as a romantic and appealing revolutionary, bearded and dressed in rumpled fatigues.[41][42] Castro and Matthews were followed by the TV crew of Andrew Saint George, said to be a CIA contact person.[43] Through television, Castro’s rudimentary command of the English language and charismatic presence enabled him to appeal directly to a U.S. audience. In 1957, Castro also signed the Manifesto of the Sierra Maestra [44] in which he agreed to call elections under the Electoral Code of 1943 within the first 18 months of his time in power and to restore all of the provisions of the Constitution of 1940 that had been suspended under Batista. While he took steps to implement some of the measures in the Manifesto upon coming into power, Cuba failed to have elections, the most important part of the program, within the allotted time.

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro in his days as a guerrilla. Ofensiva ("The Offensive") by the rebels (Alarcón Ramírez,1997). Although on paper heavily outnumbered, Castro’s guerrilla forces scored a series of victories, largely aided by mass desertions from Batista’s army of poorly trained and uncommitted young conscripts. During the Battle of La Plata, Castro’s forces defeated an entire battalion. While pro-Castro Cuban sources later emphasized the role of Castro’s guerrilla forces in these battles, other groups and leaders were also involved, such as escopeteros (poorly armed irregulars). During the Battle of Las Mercedes, Castro’s small army came close to defeat but he managed to pull his troops out by opening up negotiations with General Cantillo while secretly slipping his soldiers out of a trap. When Operation Verano ended, Castro ordered three columns commanded by Guevara, Jaime Vega and Camilo Cienfuegos to invade central Cuba where they were strongly supported by rebellious elements who had long been operating in the area. One of Castro’s columns moved out onto the Cauto Plains. Here, they were supported by Huber Matos, Raúl Castro and others who were operating in the eastern-most part of the province. On the plains, Castro’s forces first surrounded the town of Guisa in Granma Province and drove out their enemies, then proceeded to take most of the towns that had been taken by Calixto García in the 1895-1898 Cuban War of Independence.

Operation Verano
In May 1958, Batista launched Operation Verano aiming to crush Castro and other anti-government groups. It was called La


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Fidel Castro

Battle of Yaguajay
In December 1958, the columns of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos continued their advance through Las Villas province. They succeeded in occupying several towns, and then began preparations for an attack on Santa Clara, the provincial capital. Guevara’s fighters launched a fierce assault on the Cuban army surrounding Santa Clara, and a vicious house-to-house battle ensued. They also derailed an armored train which Batista had sent to aid his troops in the city while Cienfuegos won the Battle of Yaguajay. Defeated on all sides, Batista’s forces crumbled. The provincial capital was captured after less than a day of fighting on December 31, 1958. After the loss of Santa Clara and expecting betrayal by his own army, Batista (accompanied by president-elect Andrés Rivero Agüero) fled to the Dominican Republic in the early hours of January 1, 1959. They left behind a junta headed by Gen. Eulogio Cantillo, recently the commander in Oriente province, the center of the Castro revolt. The junta immediately selected Dr. Carlos Piedra, the oldest judge of the Supreme Court, as provisional President of Cuba as specified in the Constitution of 1940. Castro refused to accept the selection of Justice Piedra as provisional President and the Supreme Court refused to administer the oath of office to the Justice.[45] The rebel forces of Fidel Castro moved swiftly to seize power throughout the island.[45] At the age of 32, Castro had successfully masterminded a classic guerrilla campaign from his headquarters in the Sierra Maestra and ousted Batista.

Castro arrives in Washington, D.C. on April 15, 1959. the island’s crucial sugar industry, issued a statement of support for Castro and his movement. Law professor José Miró Cardona created a new government with himself as prime minister and Manuel Urrutia Lleó as president on January 5. The United States officially recognized the new government two days later.[47] Castro himself arrived in Havana to cheering crowds and assumed the post of Commanderin-Chief of the Armed Forces on January 8. Elections were supposed to be held within months.

Castro consolidates power
Fidel Castro sought to oust liberals and democrats, such as José Miró Cardona and Manuel Urrutia Lleó.[32] In February professor José Miró Cardona had to resign because of Castro’s attacks. On February 16, 1959, Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba.[9] Professor Miró soon went into exile in the United States, and would later participate in the Bay of Pigs invasion against Castro’s form of government. President Manuel Urrutia Lleó wanted to restore elections, but Castro opposed return to democracy.[48] Castro’s slogan was "Revolution first, elections later".[49] The new government began expropriating property and announced plans to base the compensation on the artificially low property valuations that

New government
On January 8, 1959, Castro’s army rolled victoriously into Havana.[46] As news of the fall of Batista’s government spread through Havana, The New York Times described the scene as one of jubilant crowds pouring into the streets and automobile horns honking. The black and red flag of the 26th of July Movement waved on automobiles and buildings. The atmosphere was chaotic.[45] Castro called a general strike in protest of the Piedra government. He demanded that Dr. Urrutia, former judge of the Urgency Court of Santiago de Cuba, be installed as the provisional President instead. The Cane Planters Association of Cuba, speaking on behalf of


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the companies themselves had kept to a fraction of their true value so that their taxes would be negligible. During this period Castro repeatedly denied being a communist.[50][51][52][53][54] For example in New York on April 25 he said, "...[communist] influence is nothing. I don’t agree with communism. We are democracy. We are against all kinds of dictators... That is why we oppose communism."[55] Between April 15 and April 26, Castro and a delegation of industrial and international representatives visited the U.S. as guests of the Press Club. Castro hired one of the best public relations firms in the United States for a charm offensive visit by Castro and his recently initiated government. Castro answered impertinent questions jokingly and ate hot dogs and hamburgers. His rumpled fatigues and scruffy beard cut a popular figure easily promoted as an authentic hero.[56] He was refused a meeting with President Eisenhower. After his visit to the United States, he would go on to join forces with the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev.[46] On May 17, 1959, Castro signed into law the First Agrarian Reform, which limited landholdings to 993 acres (4 km²) per owner and forbade foreign land ownership.[57][58] Castro started to organize attacks on President Manuel Urrutia Lleó. Castro himself resigned as Prime Minister of Cuba and later that day appeared on television to deliver a lengthy denouncement of Urrutia, claiming that Urrutia "complicated" government, and that his "fevered anti-Communism" was having a detrimental effect. Castro’s sentiments received widespread support as organized crowds surrounded the presidential palace demanding Urrutia’s resignation, which was duly received. On July 23, Castro resumed his position as premier and appointed Osvaldo Dorticós as the new president.[59]

Fidel Castro
process the oil, they were expropriated, and the United States broke off diplomatic relations with the Castro government soon afterward. To the concern of the Eisenhower administration, Cuba began to establish closer ties with the Soviet Union. A variety of pacts were signed between Castro and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, allowing Cuba to receive large amounts of economic and military aid from the USSR. The mould was set. U.S. disappointment with their lack of power in Cuban decision making fueled Castro’s fears leading to increasing Cuban dependence on USSR support. On May 1, 1961, Castro declared Cuba as socialist state and officially abolished elections.[4] Critics noted that Castro feared elections would eject him from power.[4] In June 1960, Eisenhower reduced Cuba’s sugar import quota by 7,000,000 tons, and in response, Cuba nationalized some $850 million worth of U.S. property and businesses. The new government took control of the country by nationalizing industry, redistributing property, collectivizing agriculture and creating policies that would benefit the poor. While popular among the poor, these policies alienated many former supporters of the revolution among the Cuban middle and upperclasses. Over one million Cubans later migrated to the U.S., forming a vocal antiCastro community in Miami, Florida, actively supported and funded by successive U.S. administrations.

Years in power
As early as July 1959, Castro’s intelligence chief Ramiro Valdés contacted the KGB in Mexico City.[35] Subsequently, the USSR sent over one hundred mostly Spanish speaking advisors, including Enrique Líster Forján, to organize the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. In February 1960, Cuba signed an agreement to buy oil from the USSR. When the U.S.-owned refineries in Cuba refused to

Fidel Castro and members of the East German Politburo in 1972.


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By the early autumn of 1960, the U.S. government was engaged in a semi-secret campaign to remove Castro from power.[60]

Fidel Castro
was distrustful of Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba, and wary of his relationship with Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet premier. The plan anticipated that support from the Cuban people and perhaps even from elements of the Cuban military would lead to the overthrow of Castro and the establishment of a non-communist government friendly to the United States. Invasion preparations had begun in March 1960, when President Eisenhower approved a CIA plan to train Cuban exiles. Camps in Guatemala were established, and by November the operation had trained a small army in guerilla tactics and conventional assault landing procedures. In Miami, Jose Miro Cardona, leader of the anti-Castro Cuban exiles in the United States, became head of the United Revolutionary Front, poised to take over the provisional presidency of Cuba upon the successful invasion. Despite efforts of the government to keep the invasion plans covert, it became common knowledge in Miami. The press reported widely on events as they unfolded, and Castro soon learned of the guerilla training camps in Guatemala. Shortly after his inauguration, in February 1961, Kennedy authorized the Cuban invasion plans on the condition that US support be sufficiently disguised. As a result of this decision, the landing point for the invasion was moved to the Bay of Pigs, an obscure area on the southern coast of Cuba, more than 80 miles from possible refuge in Cuba’s Escambray mountains.

Crushing of opposition
In September 1960, Castro, with the help of KGB, created Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, which established a network of informants for the regime - in every city block, factory, farm, and office to spy and detect signs of dissent.[10][61] By the end of 1960, all opposition newspaper had been closed down and all radio and television stations were in state control.[10] Moderates, teachers and professors were purged.[10] In any given year, there were about 20,000 dissents held and tortured under inhuman prison conditions.[10] Loyalty to Castro became the primary criteria for all appointments in the island.[11] The Communist Party strengthened its oneparty rule, with Castro as the supreme leader.[10] In the 1961 New Year’s Day parade, Castro exhibited Soviet tanks and other weapons.[11]

Campaign against social deviants
Groups such as homosexuals, Jehovas Witnesses, and other minorities were locked up in concentration camps in the 1960s, where they were subject to medical-political "reeducation".[62][63] Castro’s admiring description of rural life in Cuba ("in the country, there are no homosexuals"[64]) reflected the idea of homosexuality as bourgeois decadence, and he denounced "maricones" (faggots) as "agents of imperialism".[65] Castro stated that: Homosexuals should not be allowed in positions where they are able to exert influence upon young people – Fidel Castro on transferring homosexuals to concentration camps[66]

Cuban Missile Crisis
On October 22, 1962, after reviewing newly acquired intelligence, President John F. Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba, a mere 90 miles off the shores of Florida. After weighing such options as an armed invasion of Cuba and air strikes against the missiles, Kennedy decided on a less dangerous response. In addition to demanding that Russian Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev remove all the missile bases and their deadly contents, Kennedy ordered a naval quarantine (blockade) of Cuba in order to prevent Russian ships from bringing additional missiles and construction materials to the island. In response to the American naval blockade, Premier Khrushchev authorized his Soviet

Bay of Pigs
During the period between the election and his inauguration, JFK was briefed on a CIA plan developed within the Eisenhower Administration to train Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland. The United States


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field commanders in Cuba to launch their tactical nuclear weapons if invaded by U.S. forces. Deadlocked in this manner, the two leaders of the world’s greatest nuclear superpowers stared each other down for seven days - until Khrushchev blinked. On October 28, thinking better of prolonging his challenge to the United States, the Russian Premier conceded to President Kennedy’s demands by ordering all Soviet supply ships away from Cuban waters and agreeing to remove the missiles from Cuba’s mainland. After several days of teetering on the brink of nuclear holocaust, the world breathed a sigh of relief. Although it may seem that the events of the seven days between October 22 and 28 unfolded at a blinding pace, the entire incident—which has come to be collectively known as the "Cuban missile crisis" -- was the culmination of a longer process. In June 1961, while still in the early months of his presidency, Kennedy attended a summit with Premier Khrushchev in Vienna to discuss cold war confrontations between the east and west, in particular the situation in Berlin. The failure of the two leaders to resolve any of their differences during the summit led Khrushchev to view Kennedy as a weak president who lacked the power or support to negotiate any meaningful concessions in the arms race. Fueled by concerns that the U.S. had more nuclear missiles than the Soviet arsenal, and, more importantly, that some of the American missiles were based a mere 150 miles from its boarders, in Turkey, the Soviet leadership grew increasingly desperate to somehow tip the balance of power in its favor. The showdown in Cuba may indeed have been the result of such accumulating anxiety among the Soviet political elite. Viewed in hindsight, it is not surprising that the Soviets chose Cuba as their stage of operations against the U.S. Ever since his rise to power in 1959, Cuban Premier Fidel Castro struggled to survive America’s efforts to "encourage" his political demise. When General Castro came to power, the U.S. stopped buying Cuban sugar and refused to supply its former trading partner with much needed oil. After weathering the failed Bay of Pigs invasion by CIA-backed Cuban exiles in 1961, Castro observed as U.S. armed forces staged a mock invasion of a Caribbean island in 1962. The purpose of the invasion was to overthrow a leader whose name, Ortsac, was

Fidel Castro
Castro spelled backwards. Although Ortsac was a fictitious name, Castro "got the message" and soon became convinced that the U.S. was serious about invading Cuba. Sensing an opportunity to gain a strategic foothold in America’s "back yard," Khrushchev eagerly extended an offer of assistance to the desperate Cuban general. The Soviet Premier offered Castro new trade opportunities, to ease the effects of U.S. sanctions, and a promise of protection from U.S. hostilities. The cozy alliance which ensued between Castro and Khrushchev laid the ground for what culminated in a Soviet missile base in Cuba and ended in the Cuban missile crisis. In October 1996, The John F. Kennedy Library released a set of tape recordings documenting the crisis for the period October 18 to 29, 1963. These recordings were made in the Oval Office. They include President Kennedy’s personal recollections of discussions, conversations with his advisors, meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and members of the president’s executive committee.

Assassination attempts
Fabian Escalante, who was long tasked with protecting the life of Castro, estimated the number of assassination schemes or attempts by the CIA to be 638. Some such attempts allegedly included an exploding cigar, a fungalinfected scuba-diving suit, and a mafia-style shooting. Some of these plots are depicted in a documentary entitled 638 Ways to Kill Castro.[67] One of these attempts was by his ex-lover Marita Lorenz whom he met in 1959. She allegedly agreed to aid the CIA and attempted to smuggle a jar of cold cream containing poison pills into his room. When Castro realized, he reportedly gave her a gun and told her to kill him but her nerve failed.[68] Castro once said, in regards to the numerous attempts on his life he believes have been made, "If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal." According to the Family Jewels documents declassified by the CIA in 2007, one such assassination attempt before the Bay of Pigs invasion involved Johnny Roselli and Al Capone’s successor in the Chicago Outfit, Salvatore Giancana and his right-hand man Santos Trafficante. It was personally authorized


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by then US attorney general Robert Kennedy [69]. Giancana and Miami Syndicate leader Santos Trafficante were contacted in September 1960 about the possibility of an assassination attempt by a go-between from the CIA, Robert Maheu, after Maheu had contacted Johnny Roselli, a member of the Las Vegas Syndicate and Giancana’s number-two man. Maheu had presented himself as a representative of numerous international business firms in Cuba that were being expropriated by Castro. He offered $150,000 for the "removal" of Castro through this operation (the documents suggest that neither Roselli nor Giancana and Trafficante accepted any sort of payments for the job). According to the files, it was Giancana who suggested using a series of poison pills that could be used to doctor Castro’s food and drink. These pills were given by the CIA to Giancana’s nominee Juan Orta, whom Giancana presented as being an official in the Cuban government who was also in the pay of gambling interests, and who did have access to Castro. After a series of six attempts to introduce the poison into Castro’s food, Orta abruptly demanded to be let out of the mission, handing over the job to another, unnamed participant. Later, a second attempt was mounted through Giancana and Trafficante using Dr. Anthony Verona, the leader of the Cuban Exile Junta, who had, according to Trafficante, become "disaffected with the apparent ineffectual progress of the Junta". Verona requested $10,000 in expenses and $1,000 worth of communications equipment. However, it is unknown how far the second attempt went, as the entire program was cancelled shortly thereafter due to the launching of the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Fidel Castro
severe power shortages, and dwindling food supplies.[74] In 1994, the island’s economy plunged into what was called the "Special Period"; teetering on the brink of collapse. Cuba legalized the US dollar, turned to tourism, and encouraged the transfer of remittances in US dollars from Cubans living in the USA to their relatives on the Island. After massive damage caused by Hurricane Michelle in 2001, Castro proposed a one-time cash purchase of food from the U.S. while declining a U.S. offer of humanitarian aid.[75] The U.S. authorized the shipment of food in 2001, the first since the embargo was imposed.[76] During 2004, Castro shut down 118 factories, including steel plants, sugar mills and paper processors to compensate for the crisis due to fuel shortages.[77], and in 2005 directed thousands of Cuban doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil imports.[78]

Special Period
The Special Period in Peacetime (Spanish: Período especial en tiempo de paz) was an extended period of economic crisis that began in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union and, by extension, the Comecon. A Canadian Medical Association Journal paper states that "The famine in Cuba during the Special Period was caused by political and economic factors similar to the ones that caused a famine in North Korea in the mid-1990s. Both countries were run by authoritarian regimes that denied ordinary people the food to which they were entitled when the public food distribution collapsed; priority was given to the elite classes and the military."[79] Castro did not accept American donations of food, medicines and cash until 1993.[79]

United States embargo
Jose Maria Aznar, former Spanish Prime Minister, wrote that the embargo was Castro’s greatest ally, and that Castro would lose his presidency within three months if the embargo was lifted.[73] Castro retained control after Cuba became bankrupt and isolated following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The synergic contraction of Cuban economy resulted in eighty-five percent of its markets disappearing, along with subsidies and trade agreements that had supported it, causing extended gas and water outages,

Foreign relations
Soviet Union and Russian Federation
Following the establishment of diplomatic ties to the Soviet Union, and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cuba became increasingly dependent on Soviet markets and military and economic aid. Castro was able to build a formidable military force with the help of Soviet equipment and military advisors. The KGB kept in close touch with Havana, and Castro tightened Communist Party control over all levels of government, the media, and the


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fidel Castro
return for his public backing of the invasion, at a time when many Soviet allies were deeming the invasion an infringement of Czechoslovakia’s sovereignty, the Soviets bailed out the Cuban economy with extra loans and an immediate increase in oil exports. In 1971, despite an Organization of American States convention that no nation in the Western Hemisphere would have a relationship with Cuba (the only exception being Mexico, which had refused to adopt that convention), Castro took a month-long visit to Chile, following the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba. The visit, in which Castro participated actively in the internal politics of the country, holding massive rallies and giving public advice to Salvador Allende, was seen by those on the political right as proof to support their view that "The Chilean Way to Socialism" was an effort to put Chile on the same path as Cuba.[81] When Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev visited Cuba in 1989, the comradely relationship between Havana and Moscow was strained by Gorbachev’s implementation of economic and political reforms in the USSR. "We are witnessing sad things in other socialist countries, very sad things," lamented Castro in November 1989, in reference to the changes that were sweeping such communist allies as the Soviet Union, East Germany, Hungary, and Poland.[82] The subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 had an immediate and devastating effect on Cuba. Throughout the 1990s, Cuba had no support from the Russian Federation under anticommunist President Boris Yeltsin. However, Russia restored economic, military and political ties with Cuba in 2000 after the election of Vladimir Putin. In December 2008, the Russian anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko along with two logistical vessels docked in Havana Harbor, the first Russian warships to do so since the end of the Cold War.

Fidel Castro embracing former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

Vladimir Putin and Castro in 2000, re-establishing close ties between Russia and Cuba. educational system, while developing a Soviet-style internal police force. Castro’s alliance with the Soviet Union caused something of a split between him and Guevara. In 1966, Guevara left for Bolivia in an ill-fated attempt to stir up revolution against the country’s government. On August 23, 1968, Castro made a public gesture to the USSR that caused the Soviet leadership to reaffirm their support for him. Two days after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia to repress the Prague Spring, Castro took to the airwaves and publicly denounced the Czech rebellion. Castro warned the Cuban people about the Czechoslovakian ’counterrevolutionaries’, who "were moving Czechoslovakia towards capitalism and into the arms of imperialists". He called the leaders of the rebellion "the agents of West Germany and fascist reactionary rabble."[80] In

Horn of Africa
[ Mengistu Haile Mariam ] strikes me as a quiet, serious, and sincere leader who is aware of the power of the masses – Castro on his Horn of Africa ally Mengistu Haile Mariam.[83]


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Castro was a friend of the Marxist-Leninist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam. Castro backed Mengistu Haile Mariam even when the latter had a war with the Somalian Marxist-Leninist dictator Siad Barre.[83][84] Castro described his feelings to Erich Honecker, the East German communist dictator, that Siad Barre was "above all a chauvinist".[83]

Fidel Castro
operation conducted in cooperation with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine helped Cuban intelligence to steal one billion by robbing banks in Lebanon during the 1975-76 civil war. Gold bars, jewelry, gems, and museum pieces were carried in diplomatic pouches via air route BeirutMoscow-Havana. Castro personally greeted the robbers as heroes.[90] Cuba and Panama restored diplomatic ties in 2005 after breaking them off a year prior when Panama’s former president pardoned four Cuban exiles accused of attempting to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro in 2000. The foreign minister of each country re-established official diplomatic relations in Havana by signing a document describing a spirit of fraternity that has long linked both nations.[91] Cuba, once shunned by many of its Latin American neighbours, now has full diplomatic relations with all but Costa Rica and El Salvador.[91]

Other countries
As I have said before, the ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry, but they cannot kill ignorance, illness, poverty or hunger. – Fidel Castro, 2002 [85] On November 4, 1975, Castro ordered the deployment of Cuban troops to Angola in order to aid the Marxist MPLA-ruled government against the South African-backed UNITA opposition forces. Moscow aided the Cuban initiative with the USSR engaging in a massive airlift of Cuban forces into Angola. On Cuba’s role in Angola, Nelson Mandela is said to have remarked "Cuban internationalists have done so much for African independence, freedom, and justice."[86] Cuban troops were also sent to Marxist Ethiopia to assist Ethiopian forces in the Ogaden War with Somalia in 1977. In addition, Castro extended support to Marxist Revolutionary movements throughout Latin America, such as aiding the Sandinistas in overthrowing the Somoza government in Nicaragua in 1979. It has been claimed by the Carthage Foundation-funded Center for a Free Cuba[87] that an estimated 14,000 Cubans were killed in Cuban military actions abroad.[88] Castro never disclosed the amount of casualties in Soviet African wars, but one estimate is 14,000, a high number for small country.[89] Juan Antonio Rodríguez Mernier, a former Cuban Intelligence Major who defected in 1987, says the regime made large amounts of money from drug trafficking operations in the 1970s. The cash was to be deposited in Fidel’s Swiss bank accounts "in order to finance liberation movements".[90] Norberto Fuentes, a defected member of the Castro brothers’ inner circle, has provided details about these operations. According to him, an

Castro and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Although the relationship between Cuba and Mexico remains strained, each side appears to make attempts to improve it. In 1998, Fidel Castro apologized for remarks he made about Mickey Mouse which led Mexico to recall its ambassador from Havana. He said he intended no offense when he said earlier that Mexican children would find it easier to name Disney characters than to recount key figures in Mexican history. Rather, he said, his words were meant to underscore the cultural dominance of the US.[92] Mexican president Vicente Fox apologized to Fidel Castro in 2002 over statements by Castro, who had taped their telephone conversation, to the effect that Fox forced him to leave a United Nations summit in Mexico so that he


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
would not be in the presence of President Bush, who also attended.[93] At a summit meeting of sixteen Caribbean countries in 1998, Castro called for regional unity, saying that only strengthened cooperation between Caribbean countries would prevent their domination by rich nations in a global economy.[94] Caribbean nations have embraced Cuba’s Fidel Castro while accusing the US of breaking trade promises. Castro, until recently a regional outcast, has been increasing grants and scholarships to the Caribbean countries, while US aid has dropped 25% over the past five years.[95] Cuba has opened four additional embassies in the Caribbean Community including: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Suriname, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This development makes Cuba the only country to have embassies in all independent countries of the Caribbean Community.[96] North Korea has granted Castro "the Golden Medal (Hammer and Sickle) and the First Class Order of the National Flag".[97] Libyan de facto leader Muammar al-Gaddafi has granted Castro a "Libyan human rights prize".[98] On a visit to South Africa in 1998 he was warmly received by President Nelson Mandela.[99] President Mandela gave Castro South Africa’s highest civilian award for foreigners, the Order of Good Hope.[100] Last December Castro fulfilled his promise of sending 100 medical aid workers to Botswana, according to the Botswana presidency. These workers play an important role in Botswana’s war against HIV/AIDS. According to Anna Vallejera, Cuba’s first-ever Ambassador to Botswana, the health workers are part of her country’s ongoing commitment to proactively assist in the global war against HIV/AIDS,[101] The socialist president of Venezuela Hugo Chávez is a grand admirer of his and Bolivian president Evo Morales called him the "Grandfather". In Harlem, Castro is seen as an icon because of his historic visit with Malcolm X in 1960 at the Hotel Theresa.[102] Castro was known to be a friend of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and was an honorary pall bearer at Trudeau’s funeral in October 2000. They had continued their friendship after Trudeau left office until his death. Canada became one of the first American allies openly to trade with Cuba. Cuba still has a good relationship with Canada. In 1998, Canadian Prime Minister

Fidel Castro
Jean Chrétien arrived in Cuba to meet President Castro and highlight their close ties. He is the first Canadian government leader to visit the island since Pierre Trudeau was in Havana in 1976.[103] The European Union accuses the Castro regime of "continuing flagrant violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms".[104] In December 2001, European Union representatives described their political dialogue with Cuba as back on track after a weekend of talks in Havana. The EU praised Cuba’s willingness to discuss questions of human rights. Cuba is the only Latin American country without an economic co-operation agreement with the EU. However, trade with individual European countries remains strong since the US trade embargo on Cuba leaves the market free from American rivals.[105] In 2005, EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel ended his visit to Cuba optimistic that relations with the communist state will become stronger. The EU is Cuba’s largest trading partner. Cuba’s imprisonment of 75 dissidents and the execution of three hijackers have strained diplomatic relations. However, the EU commissioner was impressed with Fidel Castro’s willingness to discuss these concerns, although he received no commitments from Castro. Cuba does not admit to holding political prisoners, seeing them rather as mercenaries in the pay of the United States.[106]

Succession issues
According to Article 94 of the Cuban Constitution, the First Vice President of the Council of State assumes presidential duties upon the illness or death of the president. Raúl Castro was the person in that position for the last 32 years of Fidel Castro’s presidency. Due to the issue of presidential succession and Castro’s longevity, there have long been rumors, speculation and hoaxing about Castro’s health and demise. In 1998 there were reports that he had a serious brain disease, later discredited.[107] In June 2001, he apparently fainted during a seven-hour speech under the Caribbean sun.[108] Later that day he finished the speech, walking buoyantly into the television studios in his military fatigues, joking with journalists.[109] In January 2004, Luis Eduardo Garzón, the mayor of Bogotá, said that Castro "seemed very sick to me" following a meeting with him


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
during a vacation in Cuba.[110] In May 2004, Castro’s physician denied that his health was failing, and speculated that he would live to be 140 years old. Dr. Eugenio Selman Housein said that the "press is always speculating about something, that he had a heart attack once, that he had cancer, some neurological problem", but maintained that Castro was in good health.[111] On October 20, 2004, Castro tripped and fell following a speech he gave at a rally, breaking his kneecap and fracturing his right arm.[112] He was able to recover his ability to walk and publicly demonstrated this two months later.[113] Due to his large role in Cuba, his well-being has become a continual source of speculation both on and off the island as he has grown older. The CIA has long been interested in Castro’s health.[114] In 2005, the CIA said it thought Castro had Parkinson’s disease.[115][116] Castro denied such allegations, while also citing the example of Pope John Paul II in saying that he would not fear the disease.[117]

Fidel Castro
surgeon José Luis García Sabrido has been flown to Cuba on a plane charted by the Cuban government. Dr. García Sabrido is an intestinal expert who further specializes in the treatment of cancer. The plane that Dr. García Sabrido’s traveled in also was reported to be carrying a large quantity of advanced medical equipment.[122][123] On December 26, 2006, shortly after returning to Madrid, Dr. García Sabrido held a news conference in which he answered questions about Castro’s health. He stated that "He does not have cancer, he has a problem with his digestive system," and added, "His condition is stable. He is recovering from a very serious operation. It is not planned that he will undergo another operation for the moment."[124] Although most Cubans acknowledge that they are aware Castro is seriously ill, most also seem worried about a future without Castro.[125] On January 16, 2007, the Spanish newspaper, El País, citing two unnamed sources from the Gregorio Marañón hospital —who employs Dr. García Sabrido— in Madrid, reported Castro was in "very grave" condition, having trouble cicatrizing, after three failed operations and complications from an intestinal infection caused by a severe case of diverticulitis. However, Dr. García Sibrido told CNN that he was not the source of the report and that "any statement that doesn’t come directly from [Castro’s] medical team is without foundation."[126] Also, a Cuban diplomat in Madrid said the reports were lies and declined to comment, while White House press secretary Tony Snow said the report appeared to be "just sort of a roundup of previous health reports. We’ve got nothing new."[127][128][129] On January 30, 2007, Cuban television and the paper Juventud Rebelde showed fresh video and photos from a meeting between Castro and Hugo Chavez said to have taken place the previous day.[130][131] In mid-February 2007, it was reported by the Associated Press that Acting President Raul Castro had said that Fidel Castro’s health was improving and he was taking part in all important issues facing the government. "He’s consulted on the most important questions," Raul Castro said of Fidel. "He doesn’t interfere, but he knows about everything."[132] On February 27, 2007, Reuters reported that Fidel Castro had called into Aló Presidente, a live radio talk show

Illness and transfer of duties
See also: 2006 Cuban transfer of presidential duties On July 31, 2006, Castro delegated his duties as President of the Council of state, President of the Council of Ministers, First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party and the post of commander in chief of the armed forces to his brother Raúl Castro. This transfer of duties was described at the time as temporary while Fidel recovered from surgery he underwent due to an "acute intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding".[118] Fidel Castro was too ill to attend the nationwide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Granma boat landing on December 2, 2006, which also became his belated 80th birthday celebrations. Castro’s non-appearance fueled reports that he had terminal pancreatic cancer and was refusing treatment,[119] but on December 17, 2006 Cuban officials stated that Castro had no terminal illness and would eventually return to his public duties.[120][121]

Rumors of Castro’s health
While Cuba continues to deny claims that Castro is suffering from a terminal cancer, on December 24, 2006, Spanish newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya reported that Spanish


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
hosted by Hugo Chávez, and chatted with him for thirty minutes during which time he sounded "much healthier and more lucid" than he had on any of the audio and video tapes released since his surgery in July. Castro reportedly told Chávez, "I am gaining ground. I feel I have more energy, more strength, more time to study," adding with a chuckle, "I have become a student again." Later in the conversation (transcript in Spanish; audio) , he made reference to the fall of the world stock markets that had occurred earlier in the day and remarked that it was proof of his contention that the world capitalist system is in crisis.[133] Reports of improvements in his condition continued to circulate throughout March and early April. On April 13, 2007, Chávez was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that Castro has "almost totally recovered" from his illness. That same day, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Roque confirmed during a press conference in Vietnam that Castro had improved steadily and had resumed some of his leadership responsibilities.[134] On April 21, 2007, the official newspaper Granma reported that Castro had met for over an hour with Wu Guanzheng, a member of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party who was visiting Havana. Photographs of their meeting showed the Cuban president looking healthier than he had in any previously released since his surgery.[135] As a comment on Castro’s recovery, U.S. President George W. Bush said: "One day the good Lord will take Fidel Castro away," Hearing about this, Castro, who is an atheist, ironically replied: "Now I understand why I survived Bush’s plans and the plans of other presidents who ordered my assassination: the good Lord protected me."[136] In January 2009 Castro asked Cubans not to worry about his lack of recent news columns, his failing health, and not to be disturbed by his future death.[137] At the same time pictures were released of Castro’s meeting with the Argentine president Cristina Fernandez on January 21, 2009.[138]

Fidel Castro
In a letter dated February 18, 2008, Castro announced that he would not accept the positions of president and commander in chief at the February 24, 2008 National Assembly meetings, saying "I will not aspire nor accept—I repeat I will not aspire or accept—the post of President of the Council of State and Commander in Chief,"[140] effectively announcing his retirement from official public life.[141][142][143] The letter was published online by the official Communist Party newspaper Granma. In it, Castro stated that his health was a primary reason for his decision, stating that "It would betray my conscience to take up a responsibility that requires mobility and total devotion, that I am not in a physical condition to offer".[144]


Fidel Castro’s brother Raúl Castro and Dmitry Medvedev. On February 24, 2008, the National Assembly of People’s Power unanimously chose his brother, Raúl Castro, as Fidel’s successor as President of Cuba.[1] In his first speech as Fidel’s successor, he proposed to the National Assembly of People’s Power that Fidel continue to be consulted on matters of great importance, such as defence, foreign policy and "the socioeconomic development of the country". The proposal was immediately and unanimously approved by the 597 members of the National Assembly. Raúl described Fidel as "not substitutable".[145] Fidel also remains the First Secretary of the Communist Party.[146]

"I’m really happy to reach 80. I never expected it, not least having a neighbor - the greatest power in the world - trying to kill me every day." — Fidel Castro, July 21, 2006 [139]

Religious beliefs
Castro was raised a Roman Catholic as a child but did not practice as one. In Oliver Stone’s documentary Comandante, Castro


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
states "I have never been a believer", and has total conviction that there is only one life.[147] Pope John XXIII excommunicated Castro in 1962 on the basis of Pope Pius XII’s Decree against Communism, a 1949 decree forbidding Catholics from supporting communist governments. In 1992, Castro agreed to loosen restrictions on religion and even permitted churchgoing Catholics to join the Cuban Communist Party. He began describing his country as "secular" rather than "atheist".[148] Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998, the first visit by a reigning pontiff to the island. Castro and the Pope appeared side by side in public on several occasions during the visit. Castro wore a dark blue business suit (in contrast to his fatigues) in his public meetings with the Pope and treated him with reverence and respect.[149] With Castro and other senior Cuban officials in the front row at a mid-morning Mass, the pope delivered a ringing call for pluralism in Cuba. He rejected the materialist, one-party ideology of the Cuban state. And he said that true liberation "cannot be reduced to its social and political aspects," but must also include "the exercise of freedom of conscience — the basis and foundation of all other human rights." Later in the day, though, the pope also made his most critical reference yet to the American economic embargo of Cuba. At a departure ceremony at José Martí International Airport that evening, he said that Cuba’s "material and moral poverty" arises not only from "limitations to fundamental freedoms" and "discouragement of the individual," but also from "restrictive economic measures — unjust and ethically unacceptable — imposed from outside the country."[149] He also criticized widespread abortion[150] in Cuban hospitals and urged Castro to end the government’s monopoly on education to allow the return of Catholic schools. A month later Castro condemned the use of abortion as a form of birth control.[151] In December 1998, Castro formally re-instated Christmas Day as the official celebration for the first time since its abolition by the Communist Party in 1969.[152] Cubans were again allowed to mark Christmas as a holiday and to openly hold religious processions. The Pope sent a telegram to Castro thanking him for restoring Christmas as a public holiday.[153]

Fidel Castro
Castro attended a Roman Catholic convent blessing in 2003. The purpose of this unprecedented event was to help bless the newly restored convent in Old Havana and to mark the fifth anniversary of the Pope’s visit to Cuba.[154] The seniormost spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian faith arrived in Cuba in 2004, the first time any Orthodox Patriarch has visited Latin America in the Church’s history: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I consecrated a cathedral in Havana and bestowed an honor on Fidel Castro.[155] His aides said that he was responding to the decision of the Cuban Government to build and donate to the Orthodox Christians a tiny Orthodox cathedral in the heart of old Havana.[156] After Pope John Paul II’s death in April 2005, an emotional Castro attended a mass in his honor in Havana’s cathedral and signed the Pope’s condolence book at the Vatican Embassy.[157] He had last visited the cathedral in 1959, 46 years earlier, for the wedding of one of his sisters. Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino led the mass and welcomed Castro, who was dressed in a black suit, expressing his gratitude for the "heartfelt way the death of our Holy Father John Paul II was received (in Cuba)."[158]

Public image
By wearing military-style uniforms and leading mass demonstrations, Castro projected an image of a perpetual revolutionary. He was mostly seen in military attire, but his personal tailor, Merel Van ’t Wout, convinced him to occasionally change to a business suit.[159] Castro is often referred to as "Comandante", but is also nicknamed "El Caballo", meaning "The Horse", a label that was first attributed to Cuban entertainer Benny Moré, who on hearing Castro passing in the Havana night with his entourage, shouted out "Here comes the horse!"[160] During the revolutionary campaign, fellow rebels knew Castro as "The Giant".[161] Large throngs of people gathered to cheer at Castro’s fiery speeches, which typically lasted for hours. Many details of Castro’s private life, particularly involving his family members, are scarce as the media is forbidden to mention them.[162] Castro insists that he does not promote a cult of personality,[163] however independent observers


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
differ from his statement, and insists that Castro’s image appears frequently in stores, classrooms, taxicabs, and national television.[164][165]

Fidel Castro

Human rights record
According to the Human Rights Watch, Castro constructed a "repressive machinery" which continues to deprive Cubans of their basic rights.[171] Castro was named one of the world’s worst Predators of Press Freedom by the Reporters Without Borders.[172]

By his first wife Mirta Díaz-Balart, whom he married on October 11, 1948, Castro has a son named Fidel Ángel "Fidelito" Castro DíazBalart, born on September 1, 1949. DíazBalart and Castro were divorced in 1955, and she remarried Emilio Núñez Blanco. After a spell in Madrid, Díaz-Balart reportedly returned to Havana to live with Fidelito and his family.[166] Fidelito grew up in Cuba; for a time, he ran Cuba’s atomic-energy commission before being removed from the post by his father.[167] Díaz-Balart’s nephews are Republican U.S. Congressmen Lincoln DiazBalart and Mario Diaz-Balart, vocal critics of the Castro government. Fidel has five other sons by his second wife, Dalia Soto del Valle: Antonio, Alejandro, Alexis, Alexander "Alex" and Ángel Castro Soto del Valle.[167] While Fidel was married to Mirta, he had an affair with Natalia "Naty" Revuelta Clews, born in Havana in 1925 and married to Orlando Fernández, resulting in a daughter named Alina Fernández-Revuelta.[167] Alina left Cuba in 1993, disguised as a Spanish tourist,[168] and sought asylum in the United States. She has been a vocal critic of her father’s policies. By an unnamed woman he had another son, Jorge Ángel Castro. His sister Juanita Castro has been living in the United States since the early 1960s. When she emigrated, she said "I cannot longer remain indifferent to what is happening in my country. My brothers Fidel and Raúl have made it an enormous prison surrounded by water. The people are nailed to a cross of the torment imposed by international Communism."[169]

Allegations of mismanagement
In their book, Corruption in Cuba, Sergio Diaz-Briquets and Jorge F. Pérez-López Servando state that Castro "institutionalized" corruption and that "Castro’s state-run monopolies, cronyism, and lack of accountability have made Cuba one of the world’s most corrupt states".[173] Servando Gonzalez, in The Secret Fidel Castro, calls Castro a "corrupt tyrant".[174] In 1959, according to Gonzalez, Castro established "Fidel’s checking account", from which he could draw funds as he pleased.[174] The "Comandante’s reserves" were created in 1970, from which Castro allegedly "provided gifts to many of his cronies, both home and abroad".[174] Gonzalez asserts that Comandante’s reserves have been linked to counterfeiting business empires and money laundering.[174] As early as 1968, a once-close friend of Castro’s wrote that Castro had huge accounts in Swiss banks.[174] Castro’s secretary was allegedly seen using Zurich banks.[174] Gonzalez believes that Cuba’s paucity of trade with Switzerland contrasts oddly with the National Office of Cuba’s relatively large office in Zurich.[174] Castro has denied having a bank account abroad with even a dollar in it.[175]

Allegations of wealth
A KGB officer, Alexei Novikov, stated that Castro’s personal life, like the lives of the rest of the Communist elite, is "shrouded under an impenetrable veil of secrecy". Among other things, he asserted that Castro has a personal guard of more than 9700 men and three luxurious yachts.[174] In 2005, American business and financial magazine Forbes listed Castro among the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $550 million. The estimates, which the magazine admitted were "more art than science",[176] claimed that the Cuban leader’s personal wealth was nearly double that

Latinobarómetro 2007 asked respondents in 18 Latin American countries to rank nine Latin American heads of state and President George W. Bush. Fidel Castro got the lowest score and the highest percentage of negative ratings.[170]


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, despite anecdotal evidence from diplomats and businessmen that the Cuban leader’s personal life was notably austere.[175] This assessment was drawn by making economic estimates of the net worth of Cuba’s state-owned companies, and used the assumption that Castro had personal economic control.[177] Forbes Magazine later increased the estimates to $900 million, adding rumors of large cash stashes in Switzerland.[175] The magazine offered no proof of this information,[176] and according to CBS news, Castro’s entry on the rich list was notably brief compared to the amount of information provided on other figures.[176] Castro, who had considered suing the magazine, responded that the claims were "lies and slander", and that they were part of a US campaign to discredit him.[175] He declared: "If they can prove that I have a bank account abroad, with $900m, with $1m, $500,000, $100,000 or $1 in it, I will resign."[175] President of Cuba’s Central Bank, Francisco Soberón, called the claims a "grotesque slander", asserting that money made from various state owned companies is pumped back into the island’s economy, "in sectors including health, education, science, internal security, national defense and solidarity projects with other countries."[177]

Fidel Castro
• Political Portraits: Fidel Castro reflects on famous figures in history, Ocean Press, 2008, ISBN 1920888942 • The Declarations of Havana, Verso, 2008, ISBN 1844671569 • The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro, Nation Books, 2007, ISBN 1560259833 • War, Racism and Economic Justice: The Global Ravages of Capitalism, Ocean Press, 2002, ISBN 1876175478

See also
• 26th of July Movement • Agrarian Reform Laws of Cuba • Politics of Cuba • Opposition to Fidel Castro • 2006–2008 Cuban transfer of presidential duties • Comandante • Fidel (film) • Fidel (2001 documentary) • My Life (Fidel Castro autobiography) • 638 Ways to Kill Castro

References and footnotes
[1] ^ "Raul Castro named Cuban president". BBC. 2008-02-24. 2/hi/americas/7261204.stm. Retrieved on 2008-02-24. "Raul, 76, has in effect been president since and the National Assembly vote was seen as formalising his position." [2] ^ 2003-dic-09-vida_secreta_del_tirano_castro.htm [3] "Castro’s contradictions". The Telegraph. books/3605326/Castroscontradictions.html. [4] ^ Thomas M. Leonard. ISBN 0-313-32301-1. Fidel Castro. [5] DePalma, Anthony (2006). The Man Who Invented Fidel. Public Affairs. [6] Bockman, Larry James (April 1 1984). "The Spirit Of Moncada: Fidel Castro’s Rise To Power, 1953 - 1959". library/report/1984/BLJ.htm. Retrieved on 2006-06-13. [7] Sweig, Julia E. (2002). Inside the Cuban Revolution. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00848-0. [8] Encyclopedia Britannica entry for Fulgencio Batista [9] ^ "1959: Castro sworn in as Cuban PM". BBC News.

Authored works
Fully or partially by Fidel Castro

• Capitalism in Crisis: Globalization and World Politics Today, Ocean Press, 2000, ISBN 1876175184 • Che: A Memoir, Ocean Press, 2005, ISBN 192088825X • Cuba at the Crossroads, Ocean Press, 1997, ISBN 187528494X • Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography, Scribner, 2008, ISBN 1416553282 • Fidel Castro Reader, Ocean Press, 2007, ISBN 1920888888 • Fidel My Early Years, Ocean Press, 2004, ISBN 1920888098 • Fidel & Religion: Conversations with Frei Betto on Marxism & Liberation Theology, Ocean Press, 2006, ISBN 1920888454 • Playa Giron: Bay of Pigs : Washington’s First Military Defeat in the Americas, Pathfinder Press, 2001, ISBN 087348925X


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/16/ newsid_2544000/2544431.stm. Retrieved on 2006-06-06. [10] ^ Paul H. Lewis. Authoritarian regimes in Latin America. [11] ^ Clifford L. Staten. The history of Cuba. [12] "The Bitter Family (page 1 of 2)". Time Magazine. 1964-07-10. article/0,9171,871241-1,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-02-19. [13] "Spanish newspaper gives more details on Castro condition". CNN. americas/01/17/castro.condition/ index.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-17. [14] Castro, Fidel (February 19, 2008). "Mensaje del Comandante en Jefe" (in Spanish) (PDF). Granma. pagina1.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-02-19. [15] Castro, Fidel (February 19, 2008). "Message from the Commander in Chief". Granma. 2008/febrero/mar19/mensaje-i.html. Retrieved on 2008-02-24. [16] Jay Mallin. Covering Castro: rise and decline of Cuba’s communist dictator. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9781560001560. [17] ^ D. H. Figueredo. The complete idiot’s guide to Latino history and culture. [18] ^ "Farewell Fidel: The man who nearly started World War III". Daily Mail. article-516539/Farewell-Fidel-The-mannearly-started-World-War-III.html. [19] ^ Catan, Thomas. "Fidel Castro bows to illness and age as he quits centre stage after 50 years - Times Online". world/us_and_americas/ article3399819.ece. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. [20] ^ "Fidel’s fade-out". 2008/feb/24/fidels-fade-out/. [21] "Cuba: Fidel Castro’s Abusive Machinery Remains Intact". Human Rights Watch. cuba-fidel-castro-s-abusive-machineryremains-intact. [22] The Castropedia: Fidel’s Cuba in facts and figures, Belfast Telegraph

Fidel Castro
[23] Bardach, Ann Louise : Cuba Confidential. p57-59 [24] ^ Raffy, Serge. 2004 Castro el Desleal. Santillana Ediciones Generales, S.L. Madrid. ISBN 84-03-09508-2 [25] ^ Fuentes, Norberto 2005 La Autobiografia de Fidel Castro. Destino Ediciones. ISBN 970-749-001-2 [26] ^ "Fidel Castro: From Student to Revolutionary". History Television. Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc.. ContentDetail.aspx?ContentId=41. Retrieved on 2006-05-11. [27] "CASTRO, BASEBALL, AND THE GREAT DIVIDE". chekcuba.html. [28] "Fidel Castro". sports/baseball/castro.asp. [29] ^ Thomas, Hugh : Cuba the Pursuit of Freedom p.523-524 [30] (Sweig, p.27) [31] Bardach, Ann Louise : Cuba Confidential. p.40 [32] ^ Georgie Anne Geyer. Guerrilla Prince. [33] Hugh Thomas. Cuba : The Pursuit of Freedom p532. [34] Duboise, Jules (1959). Fidel Castro: Rebel-Liberator or Dictator?. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. [35] ^ Andrew, Christopher; Gordievsky, Oleg (1991). Instructions from the Centre: Top Secret Files from the KGB’s Foreign Operations. Hodder & Stoughton General Division. ISBN 0-340-56650-7. [36] Tabío, Pedro Álvarez (1975). "History Will Absolve Me". Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, La Habana, Cuba. archive/castro/1953/10/16.htm. Retrieved on 2006-05-11. [37] ^ Sierra, J. A.. "The Landing of the Granma". granma.htm. Retrieved on 2006-05-15. [38] Thomas, Hugh (1998). Cuba or The Pursuit of Freedom (Updated Edition). New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80827-7. [39] Cannon, Terrance (1981). Revolutionary Cuba. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell. [40] Cannon, Terrance (1981). "Frank País and the Underground Movement in the cities".


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia pais.htm. Retrieved on 2006-05-19. [41] Alter, James (April 2006). "Review: The Man Who Invented Fidel". The International Herald Tribune. arts/idbriefs22d.php. Retrieved on 2006-05-14. [42] De Palma, Anthony. "Book Excerpt: The Man Who Invented Fidel: Castro, Cuba, and Herbert L. Matthews of the New York Times". havana/Fidel-1.htm. Retrieved on 2006-05-16. [43] St George, Andrew (1963-04-12). "Biography: Andrew St George". Spartacus Educational. JFKstgeorge.htm. Retrieved on 2006-05-11. [44] Familia Chibás > Raul Antonio Chibás > Manifiesto Sierra Maestra [45] ^ "How the NYT presented day-one of the Cuban Revolution". January 2 1959. loader.php?secc=5&cont=stories/num8/ 3cHnyt59.htm. Retrieved on 2006-05-16. [46] ^ "Castro: The Great Survivor". BBC News. October 2000. 244974.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-15. [47] "Chronology". The National Security Archive. bayofpigs/chron.html. Retrieved on 2006-05-19. [48] The Political End of President Urrutia. Fidel Castro, by Robert E. Quirk 1993. Accessed 8th October. 2006. [49] Thomas C. Wright. Latin America in the era of the Cuban Revolution. [50] Irving Louis Horowitz and Jaime Suchlicki Cuban Communism Transaction Publishers, 1998, p. 725. [51] David Wallechinsky & Irving Wallace Biography of Famous Cuban Leader Fidel Castro Part 3 [52] Russell J. Hampsey Voices from the Sierra Maestra: Fidel Castro’s Revolutionary Propaganda [53] Che Guevara, economist [54] A videotape of Fidel Castro denying his support of communism was re-aired on NBC "Meet the Press" on November 25, 2007.

Fidel Castro
[55] Castro’s Whirl. New York Times, April 26, 1959. [56] Franqui, Carlos. "Fidel Castro’s Trip to the United States". historyof franqui3.htm. Retrieved on 2006-05-16. [57] Sierra, J.A.. "Timetable History of Cuba After The Revolution". historyof time/timetbl4.htm. Retrieved on 2006-05-15. [58] "First Agrarian Reform Law (1959)". aboutme.htm. Retrieved on 2006-08-29. [59] Hugh Thomas, Cuba. The pursuit for freedom. p830-832 [60] "Bay of Pigs Chronology". The National Security Archives. ~nsarchiv/bayofpigs/chron.html. Retrieved on 2006-11-12. [61] Servando González. The Nuclear Deception. p. 95. [62] Katherine Hirschfeld. Health, politics, and revolution in Cuba since 1898. [63] Dilip K. Das, Michael Palmiotto. World Police Encyclopedia. p. 217. [64] Gay Rights and Wrongs in Cuba,, Peter Tatchell (2002), published in the "Gay and Lesbian Humanist", Spring 2002. An earlier version was published in a slightly edited form as The Defiant One, in The Guardian, Friday Review, 8 June 2001. [65] Llovio-Menéndez, José Luis. Insider: My Hidden Life as a Revolutionary in Cuba, (New York: Bantam Books, 1988), p. 156-158, 172-174. [66] Lockwood, Lee (1967), Castro’s Cuba, Cuba’s Fidel. p.124. Revised edition (October 1990) ISBN 0-8133-1086-5 [67] "638 ways to kill Castro". The Guardian Unlimited. April 3 2006. 0,,1835930,00.html. Retrieved on 2006-08-16. [68] Aston, Martin (25 November - 1 December 2006). "The Man Who Wouldn’t Die". Radio Times. [69] January 4, 1975 memorandum of conversation between President Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger, made available by the National Security Archive, June 2007 [70] [1] Holland, Steve and Andy Sullivan. "CIA Tried to get Mafia to kill Castro:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fidel Castro

documents". Reuters News Service, June [85] March 21, 2002 Speech by Fidel Castro 26, 2007. at the international conference on [71] [2] "Family Jewels" Archive, pages 12-19 financing for development. [72] [3] Johnson, Alex. "CIA opens the book [86] Mandela, Nelson. "Attributed quotes of on a shady past." MSNBC, June 26, 2007 Nelson Mandela". [73] "US embargo of Cuba is Castro’s ’great ally’, says former Spanish PM". Nelson_Mandela. Retrieved on Caribbean Net News. April 21 2005. 2006-05-11. [87] "Recipient Grants: Center for a Free 04/21/embargo.shtml. Retrieved on Cuba". 2006-08-25. 2006-05-20. [74] Brandford, Becky (June 8 2003). "Cuba’s recipientgrants.php?recipientID=1892. hardships fuel discontent". BBC News. Retrieved on 2006-08-25. [88] O’Grady, Mary Anastasia (2005-10-30). 2961320.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-20. "Counting Castro’s Victims". Wallstreet [75] "Castro welcomes one-off US trade". Journal, Center for a Free Cuba. BBC News. 2001-11-17. news_articles/ 1662346.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-19. countingcastrosvictims.php. Retrieved on [76] "US food arrives in Cuba". BBC News. 2006-05-11. 2001-12-16. [89] Template:Title=Return to Havana americas/1714776.stm. Retrieved on [90] ^ Maria C. Werlau. "Fidel Castro, Inc.: A 2006-05-19. global conglomerate". [77] "Cuba to shut plants to save power". BBC News. 2004-09-30. volume15/pdfs/werlau.pdf. 2/hi/americas/3702784.stm. Retrieved on [91] ^ "Cuba and Panama restore relations". 2006-05-20. BBC News. 2005-08-21. [78] Morris, Ruth (December 18 2005). "Cuba’s Doctors Resuscitate Economy 4170374.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-21. Aid Missions Make Money, Not Just [92] "Castro says sorry to Mexico". BBC Allies". News. 1998-12-19. 1/hi/world/americas/238827.stm. sun_sentinel/access/ Retrieved on 2006-05-21. 943180711.html?dids=943180711:943180711&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Dec+18%2C+2005 [93] "Mexico’s Fox apologises to Castro". BBC +Sentinel&edition=&startpage=1.A&desc=CUBA%27S+DOCTORS+RESUSCITATE+ECONOMY+AI News. 2002-04-25. Retrieved on 2006-12-28. 2/hi/americas/1946089.stm. Retrieved on [79] ^ "Health consequences of Cuba’s 2006-05-21. Special Period". Canadian Medical [94] "Castro calls for Caribbean unity". BBC Association Journal. News. 1998-08-21. 2/hi/americas/156312.stm. Retrieved on articlerender.fcgi?artid=2474886. 2006-05-21. [80] Castro, Fidel (August 1968). "Castro [95] "Castro finds new friends". BBC News. comments on Czechoslovakia crisis". August 25 1998. FBIS. hi/americas/156756.stm. Retrieved on castro/1968/19680824. 2006-05-21. [81] Quirk, Robert (August 1995). Fidel [96] "Cuba opens more Caribbean embassies" Castro. W. W. Norton & Company. (HTML). Caribbean Net News. March [82] "Castro Laments ’Very Sad Things’ in 2006. Bloc". Washington Post. 1989-11-09. script/csArticles/articles/000008/ z?r101:S17NO9-1592:. Retrieved on 000823.htm. Retrieved on 2006-05-11. 2006-05-22. [97] "Democratic Korea decorates President [83] ^ Odd Arne Westad. The global Cold Fidel Castro". Granma. War. [84] Samuel M. Makinda. Superpower diciembre/mar12/51conde.html. diplomacy in the Horn of Africa.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fidel Castro

[98] "Libyan human rights prize awarded to 18/1084783511071.html. Retrieved on Fidel Castro of Cuba". BBC News. 2006-05-11. August 11 1998. [112]Castro breaks knee, arm in fall" " hi/middle_east/149414.stm. Retrieved on (HTML). BBC News. 2004-05-19. 2006-06-13. [99] "Castro’s state visit to South Africa". 3761748.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-14. BBC News. September 4 1998. [113]First walk for Castro after fall". BBC " News. December 23 2004. 164687.stm. Retrieved on 2000-05-21. [100]Castro ends state-visit to South Africa". " 4122531.stm. Retrieved on 2006-06-13. BBC News. September 6 1998. [114] estcott, Kathryn (November 18 2005). W "Why health matters for CIA". BBC 165566.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-21. News. [101]Fidel Castro’s "promise to Botswana " americas/4445484.stm. Retrieved on fulfilled"". afrol News. December 16 2006-05-15. 2005. [115] ordqvist, Christian (November 2005). N 15034. Retrieved on 2006-05-21. "Fidel Castro has Parkinson’s Disease, [102]Malcolm X Chronology". Columbia " thinks the CIA". Medical News Today. University. ccbh/mxp/ministermalcolm.html. healthnews.php?newsid=33663. [103]Canadian PM visits Fidel in April". BBC " Retrieved on 2006-05-14. News. April 20 1998. [116]Castro has Parkinson’s says CIA". BBC " News. November 17 2005. 80546.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-21. [104]EU-Cuba relations". http://eur" 4444454.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-16. [117] ordqvist, Christian (November 2005). N "Parkinson’s disease a CIA fabrication, [105]EU and Cuba bury the hatchet". BBC " says Fidel Castro". Medical News Today. News. 2001-12-03. 2/hi/americas/1689710.stm. Retrieved on healthnews.php?newsid=33746. 2000-05-21. Retrieved on 2006-05-14. [106] ibbs, Stephen (2005-03-28). "EU G [118] ttp:// h ’optimistic’ after Cuba visit". BBC News. ts_nm/cuba_dc_2 [119]Casto in Cancer Battle". Sky News. " 4385657.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-21. December 8, 2006. [107]Castro says he feels fine". BBC News. " skynews/article/ 1998-07-24. 0,,30200-1243432,00.html. americas/138452.stm. [120]Castro has no terminal illness, officials " [108]Castro collapses during speech". BBC " tell congressman". CNN. December 17, News. 2001-06-23. 2006. 2/hi/americas/1404497.stm. Retrieved on [121]U.S. lawmakers told Castro not dying, " 2006-05-16. no cancer". Reuters. December 17, [109]Castro finishes speech after collapse". " 2006. BBC New. June 23 2001. [122]Surgeon ’flew in to treat Castro’". BBC. " December 25, 2006. 1404511.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-05. [110]Bogota mayor: Castro health " 6208451.stm. deteriorating". 2004-01-14. [123]Spanish Doctor is Said to Be Aiding " Castro". The New York Times. December americas/01/14/ 25, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-05-11. 12/25/world/americas/ [111]Fidel Castro can live to 140, doctor " 25cuba.html?ref=americas. says" (HTML). The Sydney Morning [124]Castro does not have cancer, says " Herald. 2004-09-24. Spanish doctor". Times Online.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fidel Castro

0,,11069-2519372,00.html. Retrieved on 2006-12-26. idUSN2834938420070629. Retrieved on [125] onzalez-Torres, Fernan (December 30 G 2007-07-01. 2006). "Cubans look to future with [137] ovan, Fiona (2009-01-23). "Fidel Castro G trepidation". BBC News. sends farewell message to his people". The Telegraph. 6215229.stm. Retrieved on 2007-01-01. [126]Spanish newspaper: Castro prognosis " worldnews/ ’very grave’". CNN. January 16 2007. centralamericaandthecaribbean/cuba/ 4324128/Fidel-Castro-sends-farewellamericas/01/15/castro.condition/ message-to-his-people.html. Retrieved on index.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-16. 2009-01-28. [127] oman, Mar (January 16 2007). "Castro R [138]Fidel contemplates his mortality". BBC. " reportedly in ’grave’ condition". 2009-01-23. Associated Press. world/americas/7846670.stm. Retrieved dynamic/stories/S/ on 2009-01-28. SPAIN_CUBA_CASTRO?SITE=FLROC&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT. [139] idel Castro, 20th Century Revolutionary F Retrieved on 2007-01-16. by Anthony Boadle, Reuters, February [128]Una cadena de actuaciones médicas " 19, 2008 fallidas agravó el estado de Castro". El [140] astro, Fidel (February 18, 2008). C Pais. January 16 2007. "Message from the Commander in Chief". Diario Granma (Comité Central internacional/cadena/actuaciones/ del Partido Comunista de Cuba). medicas/fallidas/agravo/estado/Castro/ elpepuint/20070116elpepiint_16/Tes. 19/nacional/artic10.html. Retrieved on Retrieved on 2007-01-16. 2008-02-19. [129] oadle, Anthony (January 16 2007). B [141]Fidel Castro announces retirement". " "Castro had 3 failed surgeries, paper BBC News. 2008-02-18. says". Reuters. nm/20070116/wl_nm/ 7252109.stm. Retrieved on 2008-02-18. cuba_castro_monday_dc_5. Retrieved on [142]Fidel Castro stepping down as Cuba’s " 2007-01-16. leader". Reuters. 2008-02-18. [130] eport from Juventud Rebelde (in R Spanish) usnBAN929511.html. Retrieved on [131] iami Herald - Weak Castro in new M 2008-02-18. video [143]Fidel Castro will step down after 50 " [132]Raul Castro Thinks Fidel Improving". " years at Cuba’s helm". Associated Press, February 10, 2007. 2008-02-19. [133] retel, Enrique Andres (February 28 P 2007). "Cuba’s Castro says recovering, americas/story/424291.html. Retrieved sounds stronger". Reuters AlertNet. on 2008-02-19. [144]Fidel Castro announces retirement". " newsdesk/N27428997.htm. Retrieved on BBC News. 2008-02-19. 2007-02-28. [134] earson, Natalie Obiko (April 13 2007). P americas/7252109.stm. Retrieved on "Venezuela: Ally Castro Recovering". 2008-02-19. Associated Press. [145] UBA: Raúl Shares His Seat with Fidel C [146]Raul Castro Chosen to Lead Cuba". " article.php?id=D8OFU0O80&show_article=1. Voice of America. 2008-02-24. Retrieved on 2007-04-13. [135]Castro resumes official business". BBC " 2008-02-24-voa16.cfm. Retrieved on News. April 21 2007. 2008-02-24. [147] omandante - Fidel Castro & Oliver C 6578539.stm. Retrieved on 2007-04-21. Stone at YouTube [136]Bush wishes Cuba’s Castro would " disappear". Reuters. June 28 2007.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[148]Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba". " cuba-pope-index.html. [149] Rother, Larry (January 28, 1998). ^ "Pope Condemns Embargo; Castro Attends Mass". The New York Times. 012698pope-cuba-rdp.html. [150]Pope attacks Cuban abortion policy". " January 1, 1998. pope/. Retrieved on 2006-05-11. [151]Castro condemns abortion". BBC News. " February 28 1998. 2/hi/americas/59998.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-20. [152]Castro ratifies Christmas holiday". BBC " News. December 5 1998. 228764.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-20. [153]Pope’s Christmas message for Castro". " BBC News. December 28 1998. 243705.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-20. [154]Castro attends convent blessing". BBC " News. March 9 2003. 2833699.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-20. [155] new Greek Orthodox Cathedral A consecrated in Havana, Cuba March 2004. [156] ibbs, Stephen (January 22 2004). G "Castro greets Orthodox patriarch". BBC News. americas/3418733.stm. Retrieved on 2006-05-20. [157] ewman, Lucia (April 6, 2005). "Castro N signs pope’s condolence book". WORLD/americas/04/04/pope.castro/. [158] atista, Carlos (2005-04-05). "Fidel B Castro mourns pope at Havana cathedral". Caribbean Net News. 04/05/mourns.shtml. Retrieved on 2006-05-11. [159]In brief". Arizona Daily Wildcat. " 1995-02-10. spring95/February/February10,1995/ 01_5_m.html. Retrieved on 2006-08-12. [160] ichard Gott, Cuba : A new history. p. R 175. Yale press. [161]on Lee Anderson. Che Guevara : A J revolutionary life. p. 317. [162] idel Castro’s Family F

Fidel Castro

[163]Fidel Castro" PBS Online Newshour " February 12, 1985. [164] ttp:// h americas/4779529.stm [165] ttp:// castro/recent-years.html [166] nn Louise Bardach : Cuba Confidential. A p. 67. "One knowledgable source claims that Mirta returned to Cuba in early 2002 and is now living with Fidelito and his family." [167] Jon Lee Anderson, "Castro’s Last ^ Battle: Can the revolution outlive its leader?" The New Yorker, July 31, 2006. 51. [168] oadle, Anthony (2006-08-08). "Cuba’s B first family not immune to political rift". Reuters. news/world/ story.html?id=2ef037b4-5f82-4283-b1fb-2cc9e24429 Retrieved on 2006-08-10. [169]The Bitter Family (page 1 of 2)". Time " Magazine. 1964-07-10. article/0,9171,871241-1,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-02-19. [170]Latinobarómetro Poll: Latin Americans, " Despite Stereotype, Are Political Moderates". January 10, 2007. articles/brlatinamericara/ 299.php?nid=&id=&pnt=299&lb=brla. [171]Cuba: Fidel Castro’s Abusive Machinery " Remains Intact". Human Rights Watch. cuba-fidel-castro-s-abusive-machineryremains-intact. [172]The new predators of press freedom". " article.php3?id_article=26790. [173] ergio Diaz-Briquets, Jorge F. PérezS López. Corruption in Cuba. [174] Servando Gonzalez. The Secret Fidel ^ Castro. [175] Castro denies huge fortune claim. BBC ^ News. [176] Castro: I am not rich. CBS News. ^ Assessed April 24, 2007. [177] ^ 12807201/ Castro blasts Forbes over wealth report. Associated Press. Accessed December 13. 2006


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External links
By Fidel Castro • Archive of Fidel Castro’s speeches in 6 languages • Fidel Castro History Archive at Marxists Internet Archive. • Collection of Castro’s speeches • "We Don’t Hope for Favors from the Worst of Empires" • "Where Have All the Bees Gone?" • "In Spite of Everything: Reflections on the Pan-American Games" • "Time for an Alliance of Civlizations Against Empire" About Fidel Castro • Arthur Miller: A Visit With Castro (The Nation) December 24, 2003 • BBC: Fidel Castro: A Life in Pictures • BBC Video: Fidel Castro Visits Boyhood Home of Che Guevara • PBS American Experience Interactive site on Fidel Castro with a teacher’s guide • Guide to the Cuban Revolution Collection, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library • Deena Stryker Photographs of Cuba, 1963-1964, Duke University Libraries Digital Collections • Fidel Castro at the Internet Movie Database • New York Times --- Interactive Feature: Three Days With Fidel • New York Times --- Slideshow: Fidel Castro Resigns as President • NPR Audio: Cuba’s Castro an Inspiration, Not a Role Model by Tom Gjelten, September 15, 2006 • The Guardian: In Pictures - Fidel Castro • The Guardian: "The Fidel I Think I Know" by Gabriel García Márquez, August 12 2006 • Washington Post: Fidel Castro Will Always Lead Cuba, Locals Say February 22, 2008 Persondata NAME ALTERNATIVE NAMES SHORT DESCRIPTION DATE OF BIRTH PLACE OF BIRTH DATE OF DEATH Castro, Fidel Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz President of Cuba August 13, 1926 Birán, Holguín Province, Cuba


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Political offices Preceded by José Miró Cardona Preceded by None Prime Minister of Cuba 1959 – 1976 Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces
Raúl Castro acting from 2006 to 2008

Fidel Castro

Succeeded by merged with office of President Succeeded by Raúl Castro

1959 – 2008 Preceded by Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado
President of Cuba

President of the State Council of Cuba
Raúl Castro acting from 2006 to 2008

1976 – 2008 Secretary General of NonAligned Movement 1979 – 1983 Secretary General of NonAligned Movement 2005 – 2008 Succeeded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Preceded by Junius Richard Jayewardene
Sri Lanka

Preceded by Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

Succeeded by Raúl Castro

Party political offices Preceded by New title Preceded by Himself
First Secretary of IRO

First Secretary of Integrated Re- Succeeded by Himself volutionary Organizations 1961 – 1962 First Secretary of UPCSR First Secretary of the United Party of Cuban Socialist Revolution 1962 – 1965 Succeeded by Himself
First Secretary of CPC

Preceded by Himself
First Secretary of UPCSR

First Secretary of the Communist Succeeded by Incumbent Party of Cuba
Raúl Castro acting from 2006

1965 – present

Retrieved from "" Categories: 1926 births, Living people, Galician people, Atheist thinkers and activists, Cold War leaders, Communist rulers, Cuban atheists, Cuban communists, Cuban revolutionaries, Cuban soldiers, Cuba–United States relations, Recipients of the Order of the Caribbean Community, Fidel Castro family members, Fidel Castro, Non-South African anti-apartheid activists, People excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church, People from Santiago de Cuba Province, Presidents of Cuba, Cubans of Spanish descent, 20th-century national presidents, 21st-century former rulers, Hispanics of Converso descent, Atheist and agnostic politicians This page was last modified on 15 May 2009, at 04:01 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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