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-Born in Cuba 1923
-He was a rebellious boy and at the age of thirteen helped to organize a strike of
sugar workers on his father's plantation.
-Both his parents were illiterate but keen to ensure their children had a good
education and Fidel proved to be intelligent at school
-After he finished his education, he became a lawyer and often took the cases of
poor people who could not afford to pay him so his was constantly short of money
-In 1947 Castro joined the Cuban People's Party
-1952 Fidel Castro became a candidate for Congress for the Cuban People's Party

- Initially studied law at the University of Havana and then became a recognized
figure in politics.
- Was initially a liberal nationalist wishing to rid Cuba of foreign control.
- Was opposed to the president Fulgencio Batista and the United States political
influence over Cuba, and in 1953 led the failed attack on the Moncada Barracks.
- Was captured and later released, and left for Mexico where he organised and
trained for the revolution overthrowing Batista’s government which began in
December 1956, led by him and Che Guevara.
- They overthrew Batista in January 1959 and Castro formed a new government.
He wished to maintain his liberal nationalist standing but after pressure from the
US was forced to accept Soviet aid.
- Remained as Prime Minister of Cuba until 1976, then became President until his
resignation in 2008.

- His experience as a lawyer made him extremely critical of the great
inequalities in wealth that existed in Cuba
-Castro also resented the wealth and power of the American businessmen
who appeared to control the country
-In 1947 Castro joined the Cuban People's Party. He was attracted to this new
party's campaign against corruption, injustice, poverty, unemployment
and low wages
-Castro had strong views on morality. He considered that alcohol, drugs,
gambling, homosexuality and prostitution were major evils. He saw the
casinos and night-clubs as sources of temptation and corruption and he
passed laws closing them down. Members of the Mafia, who had been heavily
involved in running these places, were forced to leave the country.
-Castro believed strongly in education. Before the revolution 23.6 per cent of
the Cuban population were illiterate. Castro asked young students in the cities
to travel to the countryside and teach the people to read and write. Cuba
adopted the slogan: "If you don't know, learn. If you know, teach."
Eventually free education was made available to all citizens and illiteracy in
Cuba became a thing of the past.

-Superb public speaker
-Very moralistic
-Private and secretive (most Cubans don’t even know the names of his family)
-The Cuban media is strictly forbidden to report on his personal life; nothing at all
about them has ever been published or broadcast inside Cuba

-The American Government cut off all trade in arms to Cuba after the revolution,
and in 1961 the new American President John F. Kennedy supported an invasion
of Cuba by anti-Castro supporters.
- The Bay of Pigs invasion was intended to spark a popular uprising against
- Relations deteriorated and the USA decided to cut its trade in sugar with Cuba,
which would have serious consequences for the Cuban economy. Castro decided
to ask the Soviet Union to purchase Cuban sugar, also applying for arms.
- Allowed the USSR to place missiles in Cuba due to his allegiances with them and
his opposition of the US, which directly led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- Despite a US trade embargo, Castro’s government was able to improve the
conditions of Cuba’s poorest citizens, and their education and medical facilities
under Castro were among the best in the less developed world.

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