At the José Martí Memorial
22nd President of Cuba
December 2, 1976 – February 24, 2008
De facto until July 31, 2006
|Vice President||First Vice President:|
(Acting President, from Jul. 31, 2006 to Feb. 24, 2008)
Other Vice Presidents:
Juan Almeida Bosque, Abelardo Colome Ibarra, Carlos Lage Davila, Esteban Lazo Hernández, José Machado Ventura
|Preceded by||Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado|
|Succeeded by||Raúl Castro|
February 16, 1959 – December 2, 1976
|Preceded by||José Miró Cardona|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
September 9, 1979 – March 7, 1983
September 15, 2006 – February 24, 2008
|Preceded by||Junius Richard Jayawardene (1st term)|
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (2nd term)
|Succeeded by||Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (1st term)|
Raúl Castro (2nd term)
|Born||August 13, 1926 |
Birán, Holguín Province, Cuba
|Political party||Communist Party of Cuba|
|Spouse||(1) Mirta Díaz-Balart (divorced 1955)|
(2) Dalia Soto del Valle
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born August 13, 1926) is a Cuban revolutionary leader who served as the country's 22nd president and led the country from January 1959 until his retirement in February 2008. Events 3114 BC - According to the Lounsbury correlation the start of the Maya calendar. Year 1926 ( MCMXXVI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Republic of Cuba (ˈkjuːbə or) consists of the island of Cuba (the largest and second-most populous island of the Greater Antilles) Isla de la Castro began his political life with nationalist critiques of Batista, and of United States political and corporate influence in Cuba. The term nationalism can refer to an Ideology, a sentiment, a form of Culture, or a Social movement that focuses on the Nation General Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (fulˈxensjo βaˈtista i salˈdiβar January 16, 1901 &ndash August 6, 1973) was a Cuban The United States of America —commonly referred to as the He gained an ardent, but limited, following and also drew the attention of the authorities.  He eventually led the failed 1953 attack on the Moncada Barracks, after which he was captured, tried, incarcerated and later released. The Moncada Barracks was a military Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, named after General Guillermon Moncada, a hero of the War of Independence. He then traveled to Mexico to organize and train for the guerrilla invasion of Cuba that took place in December 1956. Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes raids etc
He came to power in an armed revolution that overthrew the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, and was shortly thereafter sworn in as the Prime Minister of Cuba. The Cuban Revolution refers to the revolution that led to the overthrow of the United States proxy ruler General Fulgencio Batista 's regime on January 1, A dictatorship is usually defined as an autocratic Form of government in which the Government is ruled by a Dictator. General Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (fulˈxensjo βaˈtista i salˈdiβar January 16, 1901 &ndash August 6, 1973) was a Cuban Prime Minister of Cuba was a position in the government of Cuba  In 1965 he became First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and led the transformation of Cuba into a one-party socialist republic. The term General Secretary (alternatively First Secretary) denotes a leader of various unions parties churches or associations The Communist Party of Cuba ( Spanish: Partido Comunista de Cuba, PCC is currently the governing political party in Cuba. A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of Party system Government in which a single Political party The term socialist state (or socialist republic, or workers' state) can carry one of several different (but related meanings In strictly speaking any In 1976 he became President of the Council of State as well as of the Council of Ministers. The Council of State (Consejo de Estado of Cuba is a 31 member body of the government of Cuba elected by the National Assembly of People’s Power. The Council of Ministers is the highest ranking executive and administrative body and constitutes the government of the Republic of Cuba. He also held the supreme military rank of Comandante en Jefe ("Commander in Chief") of the Cuban armed forces. The following list presents the Rank and Insignia of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces from 1980, until 1999. Military of Cuba Military manpower
Following intestinal surgery from an undisclosed digestive illness believed to have been diverticulitis, he transferred his responsibilities to the First Vice-President, his younger brother Raúl Castro, on July 31, 2006. Diverticulitis is a common Digestive disease particularly found in the Large intestine. The 2006–2008 Cuban transfer of presidential duties was a transfer of duties of the Cuban Presidency from Fidel Castro to the first vice president his Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba. Events 30 BC - Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian 's forces but most of his army subsequently Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. On February 19, 2008, five days before his mandate was to expire, he announced he would neither seek nor accept a new term as either president or commander-in-chief. Events 197 - Roman Emperor Septimius Severus defeats usurper Clodius Albinus in the Battle of Lugdunum 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common  On February 24, 2008, the National Assembly elected Raúl Castro to succeed him as the President of Cuba. Events 303 - Galerius, Roman Emperor, publishes his edict that begins the persecution of Christians in his portion of the 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba.  Fidel Castro remains First Secretary of the Communist Party.
Fidel Alejandro 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. Birán is a small town in Holguín Province of Cuba, best known as the birthplace of Fidel Castro in 1926 Mayarí is a municipality and city in the Holguín Province of Cuba. Holguín is one of the provinces of Cuba, the second most populous after Ciudad de la Habana. Oriente ( Spanish for "East" was one of six Provinces of Cuba until 1976 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. Ángel María Bautista Castro y Argiz ( Lugo Province, Láncara, December 5, 1875 &mdash October 21, 1956) was the father The Galicians ( Galician: Galegos) are an Ethnic group or Nationality whose homeland is Galicia, which is a historical region Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula.  His mother, Lina Ruz González, who was a household servant, was also of Galician background.  Angel Castro was married to another woman, Maria Luisa Argota, until Fidel was 17, 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.
Castro has two brothers, Ramón and Raúl, and four sisters, Angelita, Juanita, Enma, and Agustina, all of whom were born out of wedlock. Ramón Eusebio Castro Ruz (born October 14, 1924) is the older brother of Fidel and Raúl Castro and a key figure of the Cuban Revolution Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba. Juana de la Caridad (Juanita Castro Ruz (born May 6, 1933) is the sister of former Cuban President Fidel Castro and current President 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.  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.  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. History Belen's time in Cuba March 2, 1854 - Queen The Society of Jesus ( Latin: Societas Iesu, SJ and SI or SJ, SI) is a Catholic religious order  While at Belén, the 21-year-old Castro pitched on the school's baseball team. There are persistent rumors that Castro was scouted for various U. S. baseball teams, but there is no evidence that this ever actually happened. 
In late 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana. The University of Havana or UH (in Spanish, Universidad de La Habana) is a university located in the Vedado district 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 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. Gerardo Machado y Morales ( September 28, 1871, Camajuani &ndash March 29, 1939, Miami Beach, Florida) " 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. Rolando Masferrer Rojas (1918-1975 born in Holguín, July 12, 1918, in Oriente province better known simply as Rolando Masferrer, was a "To not return", said Castro later, "would be to give in to bullies, to abandon my beliefs".  Rivalries were so intense that Castro apparently collaborated in an attempt on Masferrer's life during this period, while Masferrer, whose paramilitary group Les Tigres later became an instrument of state violence under Batista, perennially hunted the younger student seeking violent retribution. 
In 1947, growing increasingly passionate about social justice, Castro joined the Partido Ortodoxo which had been newly formed by Eduardo Chibás. The Partido Ortodoxo was a Cuban Political party, otherwise known as the Partido del Pueblo Cubano, that was founded in 1947 by Eduardo Chibás Eduardo René Chibás Rivas (1907 in Santiago de Cuba - August 16 1951 in Havana, Cuba) was a Cuban politician who used Radio 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. Dr Ramón Grau San Martin ( September 13, 1887 in La Palma, Pinar del Rio, Cuba - July 28, 1969 in 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. 
Fidel Castro's role in the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán in Bogota, Colombia on April 9, 1948--and the massive riots that followed--has been the object of speculation by James M. El Bogotazo (from "Bogotá" and the ''-azo'' suffix of violent augmentation refers to the massive riots that followed the assassination in Bogotá, AssassiNation is the sixth album by Krisiun, released in 2006 on Century Media. Jorge Eliécer Gaitán ( January 23, 1898 &ndash April 9, 1948) was a politician a leader of a Populist movement in Colombia Bogotá —officially named Bogotá DC (DC for " Distrito Capital " which means "Capital District" formerly called Santa Fe de Bogotá Colombia (kəˈlʌmbɪə officially the Republic of Colombia () is a country in northwestern South America. Events 193 - Septimius Severus is proclaimed Roman Emperor by the army in Illyricum (in the Balkans) Year 1948 ( MCMXLVIII) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Riots are a form of Civil disorders characterized by disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of Violence, Vandalism or other Roberts of The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative Think tank.  However, the following account seems to be generally agreed upon: In early April, Castro traveled to Bogotá for a political conference of Latin American students that coincided with the ninth meeting of the Pan-American Union Conference. The Organization of American States ( OAS, or as it is known in the three other official languages OEA) is an International organization, headquartered  The students had planned to use this opportunity to distribute pamphlets protesting United States dominance of the Western Hemisphere and to foment discontent. A few days after the conference began, the populist Colombian Liberal Party leader and presidential candidate Gaitán was shot by an unknown young man with a . The Colombian Liberal Party ( Spanish: Partido Liberal Colombiano PLC is a social liberal - social democratic party in Colombia. 32 caliber handgun, triggering massive riots in the streets in which many (mostly poor workers) were injured or killed. Rioting and looting spread to other cities in Colombia, beginning an era of turbulence that became known as "La Violencia". La Violencia (literally " The Violence " in Spanish) is a term that refers to an era of civil conflict in various areas of the Colombian countryside The students were caught up in the violence and chaos rocking the city, picking up rifles and roaming the streets distributing anti-United States material and stirring a revolt. When Castro was pursued by the Colombian authorities for his role in the riots, he took refuge in the Cuban Embassy and was flown back to Havana. 
Castro returned to Cuba and married Mirta Díaz Balart, a student from a wealthy Cuban family through which he was exposed to the lifestyle of the Cuban elite. In 1950 he graduated from law school with a Doctor of Laws degree and began practicing law in a small partnership in Havana. By now he had become well known for his passionately nationalistic views and his intense opposition to the influence of the United States on Cuban internal affairs. The term nationalism can refer to an Ideology, a sentiment, a form of Culture, or a Social movement that focuses on the Nation Increasingly interested in a career in politics, Castro had become a candidate for a seat in the Cuban parliament when General Fulgencio Batista led a coup d'état in 1952, successfully overthrowing the government of President Carlos Prío Socarrás and canceling the election. TalkParliament#Screen-size. -->A  parliament is a Legislature, especially in those General Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (fulˈxensjo βaˈtista i salˈdiβar January 16, 1901 &ndash August 6, 1973) was a Cuban Carlos Prío Socarrás ( July 14, 1903 – April 5, 1977) was the 16th President of Cuba from 1948 until he was deposed by a military
Batista established himself as de facto leader with the support of establishment elements of Cuban society and powerful Cuban agencies. His government was formally recognized by the United States, buttressing his power. Castro, nearing thirty, was now a politician without a legitimate platform and thus he broke away from the Partido Ortodoxo to marshal legal arguments based on the Constitution of 1940 to formally charge Batista with violating the constitution. A constitution is a system for government often Codified as a written document that establishes the rules and principles of an autonomous political entity His petition, entitled Zarpazo, was denied by the Court of Constitutional Guarantees and he was not allowed a hearing.  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. 
As discontent over the Batista coup grew, Castro abandoned his law practice and formed an underground organization of supporters, including his brother, Raúl, and Mario Chanes de Armas. The Cuban Revolution refers to the revolution that led to the overthrow of the United States proxy ruler General Fulgencio Batista 's regime on January 1, The Moncada Barracks was a military Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, named after General Guillermon Moncada, a hero of the War of Independence. Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba. Mario Chanes de Armas (October 25 1927 in Havana Cuba - February 24 2007 in Hialeah Florida was a former Cuban revolutionary and ally of Fidel Castro. Together they actively plotted to overthrow Batista. They collected guns and ammunition and finalized their plans for an armed attack on Moncada Barracks, Batista's largest garrison outside Santiago de Cuba. The Moncada Barracks was a military Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, named after General Guillermon Moncada, a hero of the War of Independence. Santiago de Cuba is the capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province in the south-eastern area of the island nation of Cuba On the 26th of July, 1953, they attacked Moncada Barracks. The Moncada Barracks was a military Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, named after General Guillermon Moncada, a hero of the War of Independence. The Céspedes garrison in Bayamo was also attacked as a diversion.  The attack proved disastrous and more than sixty of the one-hundred and thirty-five militants involved were killed. For the British newspaper and Marxist organization see Militant tendency.
Castro and other surviving members of his group managed to escape to a part of the rugged Sierra Maestra mountains east of Santiago where they were eventually discovered and captured. For the Cuban son bandsee Sierra Maestra (music. Sierra Maestra is a Mountain range that runs westward across the south of the old Oriente Province Although there is disagreement over why Castro and his brother, Raúl, were not executed on capture as many of their fellow militants were, there is evidence that an officer recognized Castro from his university days and treated the captured rebels compassionately, despite the 'illegal' unofficial order to have the leader executed. Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba.  Others, such as Angel Prado, military commander of the 26th of July Movement, say that on the night of the attack Castro's driver got lost and he never reached the barracks. That night was the night of “El Carnaval de Santiago” and the streets of Santiago de Cuba were filled with party goers.
Castro was tried in the fall of 1953 and sentenced to up to fifteen years in prison.  During his trial Castro delivered his famous defense speech History Will Absolve Me, upholding his rebellious actions and boldly declaring his political views:
|“||I warn you, I am just beginning! If there is in your hearts a vestige of love for your country, love for humanity, love for justice, listen carefully. History Will Absolve Me (Spanish "La historia me absolverá") is the concluding sentence and subsequent title of a four-hour speech made by Fidel Castro . . I know that the regime will try to suppress the truth by all possible means; I know that there will be a conspiracy to bury me in oblivion. The word regime (occasionally spelled " régime " particularly in older texts refers to a set of conditions most often of a Political nature But my voice will not be stifled – it will rise from my breast even when I feel most alone, and my heart will give it all the fire that callous cowards deny it. . . Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me.||”|
While he was being held at the prison for political activists on Isla de Pinos, he continued to plot Batista's overthrow, planning upon release to reorganize and train in Mexico. Isla de la Juventud (lit Isle of Youth; until 1978 named Isla de Pinos – Pine Island is the second-largest Cuban Island and the sixth-largest  After having served less than two years, he was released in May 1955 due to a general amnesty from Batista who was under political pressure, and went as planned to Mexico. Amnesty (from the Greek amnestia, oblivion is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. 
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 26th of July Movement ( Spanish: Movimiento 26 de Julio; M-26-7) was the revolutionary organization planned and led by Fidel Castro that The 26th of July Movement ( Spanish: Movimiento 26 de Julio; M-26-7) was the revolutionary organization planned and led by Fidel Castro that The goal remained the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista. General Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (fulˈxensjo βaˈtista i salˈdiβar January 16, 1901 &ndash August 6, 1973) was a Cuban 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. For the municipality see Gen Emilio Aguinaldo Cavite General Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy ( March 22, 1869 &ndash February 6 Once again, it would be guerrilla warfare to bring down a government.
In Mexico Castro met Ernesto "Che" Guevara, a proponent of guerrilla warfare. Ernesto "Che" Guevara (June 14 Following the Cuban revolution,Guevara reviewed Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes raids etc 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, 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. Nikolai Sergeyevich Leonov (born August 22, 1928) is a Russian nationalist politician and was a senior KGB officer Mexico City (in Spanish: Ciudad de México, México DF, México or simply Méjico) is the Capital city of Mexico The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Carlos Prío Socarrás ( July 14, 1903 – April 5, 1977) was the 16th President of Cuba from 1948 until he was deposed by a military Back in Mexico, the group trained under a Spanish Civil War Veteran, Cuban-born Alberto Bayo who had fled to Mexico after Francisco Franco's victory in Spain. The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted Coup d'état committed by parts of the army against the government of Alberto Bayo y Giroud (1892 Camagüey &mdash1967 Havana) was a Cuban Military leader of the defeated left-wing Loyalists Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde (born December 4, 1892 in Ferrol, died November 20, 1975 in Madrid Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. 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. Events 43 BC - The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ("Octavian" later "Caesar Augustus" Year 1956 ( MCMLVI) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Veracruz, formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that constitute the republic of Mexico. Granma is the Yacht that was used to transport the fighters of the Cuban Revolution from Mexico to Cuba in 1956 for the purpose of 
The rebels landed at Playa Las Coloradas close to Los Cayuelos near the eastern city of Manzanillo on December 2, 1956. Los Cayuelos is a location near the eastern city of Manzanillo in Cuba. Manzanillo is a municipality and city in the Granma Province of Cuba. Events 1409 - The University of Leipzig opens 1755 - The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire Year 1956 ( MCMLVI) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. In short order, most of Castro's men were killed, dispersed, or taken prisoner by Batista's forces.  While the exact number is in dispute, it is agreed that no more than twenty of the original eighty-two men survived the bloody encounters with the Cuban army and succeeded in fleeing to the Sierra Maestra mountains. For the Cuban son bandsee Sierra Maestra (music. Sierra Maestra is a Mountain range that runs westward across the south of the old Oriente Province  The group of survivors included Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Raúl Castro, and Camilo Cienfuegos. Ernesto "Che" Guevara (June 14 Following the Cuban revolution,Guevara reviewed Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba. Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán ( February 6, 1932 – October 28, 1959) was a Cuban Revolutionary born in Lawton Havana 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. For the Cuban son bandsee Sierra Maestra (music. Sierra Maestra is a Mountain range that runs westward across the south of the old Oriente Province
From their encampment in the Sierra Maestra mountains, the 26th of July Movement waged a guerrilla war against the Batista government. A military camp or bivouac is a semi-permanent facility for the lodging of an Army. For the Cuban son bandsee Sierra Maestra (music. Sierra Maestra is a Mountain range that runs westward across the south of the old Oriente Province 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. Frank País ( December 7 1934 – July 30 1957) was a Cuban revolutionary who campaigned for the overthrow of General Fulgencio 
In the summer of 1955, 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. Ernesto "Che" Guevara (June 14 Following the Cuban revolution,Guevara reviewed 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. A journalist (also called a newspaperman) is a person who practices Journalism, the gathering and dissemination of information about current events trends Herbert Lionel Matthews ( January 10, 1900 – July 30, 1977) was a reporter and editorialist for the New York Times who The New York Times front page stories by Matthews presented Castro as a romantic and appealing revolutionary, bearded and dressed in rumpled fatigues.  Castro and Matthews were followed by the TV crew of Andrew Saint George, said to be a CIA contact person. near as long as it used to be several months ago It has been actively summarized and split into sub-articles and there is a dynamic talk page discussion of all  Through television, Castro's rudimentary command of the English language and charismatic presence enabled him to appeal directly to a U. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States S. audience.
In 1957, Castro also signed the Manifesto of the Sierra Maestra  in which he agreed to which was 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.
In May 1958, Batista launched Operation Verano aiming to crush Castro and other anti-government groups. Operation Verano ( June 28, 1958 - August 8, 1958) was the name given to the summer offensive in 1958 by the Batista government during It was called La 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. The Battle of La Plata ( 11 July 1958 - 21 July 1958) was part of Operation Verano, the summer offensive of 1958 launched 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). Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes raids etc Escopeteros in its original usage means those armed with a Smoothbore long barrel Firearm, sometimes a Trabuco or Blunderbuss, and 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. The Battle of Las Mercedes ( 29 July 1958 - 8 August 1958) was the last battle of Operation Verano, the summer offensive of
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. Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán ( February 6, 1932 – October 28, 1959) was a Cuban Revolutionary born in Lawton Havana 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. Huber Matos Benítez (born November 26, 1918) was a Cuban revolutionary who helped successfully overthrow General Fulgencio Batista in concert Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba. 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. Granma is one of the Provinces of Cuba. Its capital is Bayamo. Calixto García e Iñiguez ( August 4, 1839 &ndash December 11, 1898) was a general in three Cuban uprisings part of the Cuban Cuba, the largest of the Caribbean islands was first inhabited by Indigenous peoples known as the Taíno and Ciboney.
In December 1958, the columns of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos continued their advance through Las Villas province. The Battle of Yaguajay ( 19 December, 1958 - 30 December, 1958) was a decisive victory for the Cuban Revolutionaries over the soldiers of the Batista Ernesto "Che" Guevara (June 14 Following the Cuban revolution,Guevara reviewed Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán ( February 6, 1932 – October 28, 1959) was a Cuban Revolutionary born in Lawton Havana They succeeded in occupying several towns, and then began preparations for an attack on Santa Clara, the provincial capital. Santa Clara is the capital city of the Cuban province of Villa Clara. 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. The Battle of Yaguajay ( 19 December, 1958 - 30 December, 1958) was a decisive victory for the Cuban Revolutionaries over the soldiers of the Batista 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. A President-elect is a Political candidate who has been elected President but who has not yet taken office as it is still occupied by the Outgoing Andrés Rivero Agüero (1905-1997 was the last person to be elected president of Cuba in a multiparty election The Dominican Republic ( Spanish: República Dominicana;) is a nation located in the Caribbean region and shares the island of Hispaniola with New Year See also New Year The Ancient Romans began their consular year on January 1st since 153 BC The year 1959 ( MCMLIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. 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. The People's Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo Popular is the highest body of judicial power in Cuba. 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. 
The rebel forces of Fidel Castro moved swiftly to seize power throughout the island.  At the age of 32, Castro had successfully masterminded a classic guerrilla campaign from his headquarters in the Sierra Maestra and ousted Batista.
On January 8, 1959, Castro's army rolled victoriously into Havana. Events 871 - Battle of Ashdown - Ethelred of Wessex defeats a Danish invasion army The year 1959 ( MCMLIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Havana ( IPA: aˈβana officially Ciudad de La Habana, is the Capital city, major port and leading  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.  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 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 meaning of the word professor ( Latin: professor, person who professes to be an expert in some art or science teacher of highest rank) varies José Miró Cardona (1903-1974 was a Cuban politician He served as Prime Minister for a period of some six weeks in early 1959 following his appointment by This article is about the government position For other uses see Prime Minister (disambiguation. Manuel Urrutia Lleó ( 8 December 1901 Yaguajay, Las Villas Province &ndash 5 July 1981 New York, Events 1477 - Battle of Nancy: Charles the Bold is killed and Burgundy becomes part of France. The United States officially recognized the new government two days later.  Castro himself arrived in Havana to cheering crowds and assumed the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on January 8. A commander-in-chief is the Commander of a nation's Military forces or significant element of those forces Events 871 - Battle of Ashdown - Ethelred of Wessex defeats a Danish invasion army
In February Miró suddenly resigned and on February 16, 1959, Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba. Events 1249 - Andrew of Longjumeau is dispatched by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to meet with the Khan of the Mongols The year 1959 ( MCMLIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. 
Friction with the U. S. developed as the new government began expropriating property owned by major U. S. corporations (United Fruit in particular) and announced plans to base the compensation on the artificially low property valuations that the companies themselves had kept to a fraction of their true value so that their taxes would be negligible. The United Fruit Company was a major United States Corporation that traded tropical Fruit (primarily Bananas and Pineapples grown 
During this period Castro repeatedly denied being a communist.  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. "
Between April 15 and April 26, Castro and a delegation of industrial and international representatives visited the U. Events 1450 - Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years' War, the French attack and nearly annihilate English Events 1467 - The miraculous image in Our Lady of Good Counsel appear in Genazzano, Italy. 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. Public relations (PR is the practice of managing the flow of Information between an Organization and its Publics Public relations - often referred Castro answered impertinent questions jokingly and ate hotdogs and hamburgers. His rumpled fatigues and scruffy beard cut a popular figure easily promoted as an authentic hero.  He was refused a meeting with President Eisenhower. Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (October 14 1890 – March 28 1969 was President of the United States from 1953 until 1961 and a five-star general After his visit to the United States, he would go on to join forces with the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (April 17 1894 – September 11 1971 served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 following 
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. Events 1521 - Edward Stafford 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for Treason. The year 1959 ( MCMLIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The agrarian reform laws of Cuba have sought to break up large landholdings and redistribute them to those who worked them to cooperatives and the state 
As early as July 1959, Castro's intelligence chief Ramiro Valdés contacted the KGB in Mexico City. Ramiro Valdés Menéndez (born 1932) is a Cuban revolutionary and politician  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. Enrique Líster Forján ( April 21 1907, Ameneiro A Coruña &mdash December 8 1995, Madrid) was a Spanish Committees for the Defense of the Revolution ( Comités de Defensa de la Revolución) or CDR, is a network of Committees across Cuba.
In February 1960, Cuba signed an agreement to buy oil from the USSR. When the U. S. -owned refineries in Cuba refused to 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. Premier of the Soviet Union is the commonly used English term for the offices of Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR (Председатель Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (April 17 1894 – September 11 1971 served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 following 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.
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. Nationalization, also spelled nationalisation, is the act of taking an industry or assets into the Public ownership of a national government S. property and businesses. The revolutionary government grabbed control of the nation by nationalizing industry, expropriating property owned by Cubans and non-Cubans alike, collectivizing agriculture, and enacting policies which Castro claimed would benefit the economically dispossessed. Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants and fungi and the raising of domesticated Animals The study of agriculture While popular among the poor, these policies alienated many former supporters of the revolution among the Cuban middle and upper-classes. Over one million Cubans later migrated to the U. S. , forming a vocal anti-Castro community in Miami, Florida, actively supported and funded by successive U. Florida ( is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the S. administrations.
By the early autumn of 1960, the U. The Cuban-American lobby is a general term for the various groups largely made up of Cuban exiles in the United States and their descendants who pressure the U S. government was engaged in a semi-secret campaign to remove Castro from power. 
On January 3, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower broke off ties with Cuba, saying that Fidel Castro had provoked him once too often. Events 1431 - Joan of Arc is handed over to the Bishop Pierre Cauchon. Year 1961 ( MCMLXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. 
In April 1961, the U. S. government unsuccessfully attempted to depose Castro from power by supporting an armed force of Cuban exiles to retake the island. This attempt is known as the Bay of Pigs invasion.
A timeline released by the National Security Archives shows the U. The Bay of Pigs Invasion (aka Playa Girón) was an unsuccessful attempt by a U S. began planning to overthrow the government of Cuba in October 1959.  On April 17, 1961, approximately 1,400 members of a CIA-trained Cuban exile force landed at the Bay of Pigs, while the U. Events 69 - After the First Battle of Bedriacum, Vitellius becomes Roman Emperor. Year 1961 ( MCMLXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. S. publicly denied any involvement.
Documents released by the National Security Archive show that the CIA expected the Cuban people to welcome a U. S. -sponsored invasion, spontaneously rising up against the Castro regime. It expected Cuban military and police forces to refuse to fight against the CIA's 1,400-man mercenary invasion force.  President Kennedy cancelled several planned bombing sorties designed to cripple the entire Cuban Air Force. 
|“||The revolution has no time for elections. Events 305 - Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman Emperor. Year 1961 ( MCMLXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. There is no more democratic government in Latin America than the revolutionary government. . . . If Mr. Kennedy does not like Socialism, we do not like imperialism. We do not like capitalism. ||”|
In a nationally broadcast speech on December 2, 1961, Castro declared that he was a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba was adopting Communism. Events 1409 - The University of Leipzig opens 1755 - The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire Year 1961 ( MCMLXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Marxism-Leninism is a Communist ideological stream that emerged as the mainstream tendency amongst the Communist parties in the 1920s as it was adopted Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based On February 7, 1962, the U. Events 457 - Leo I becomes emperor of the Byzantine Empire. 1074 - Battle of Montesarchio in which the Prince Year 1962 ( MCMLXII) was a Common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. S. imposed an embargo against Cuba. The United States Embargo Against Cuba (described in Cuba as el bloqueo, Spanish for "the Blockade " is an economic commercial and This embargo was broadened during 1962 and 1963, including a general travel ban for American tourists. 
Many theories are offered for the failure of the U. S. operation. Some argue that the Americans misjudged Cuban support for Castro.  They had believed the testimonies of the Cuban exiles, who told them that Castro was not well supported by the Cuban people. In the weeks prior to the invasion, the Cuban government had rounded up tens of thousands of Cubans suspected of opposing the government, detaining them in sports stadiums across the island in order to prevent them from joining exile forces. No Cuban uprising against Castro ever materialized. In addition, the covert placement of dozens of Cuban intelligence officials in the invasion force gave the Cuban government detailed information on the operation. 
Tensions between Cuba and the U. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba during the Cold War. S. heightened during the 1962 missile crisis, which nearly brought the US and the USSR into nuclear conflict. Khrushchev conceived the idea of placing missiles in Cuba as a deterrent to a possible U. S. invasion and justified the move in response to US missile deployment in Turkey. After consultations with his military advisors, he met with a Cuban delegation led by Raúl Castro in July in order to work out the specifics. It was agreed to deploy Soviet R-12 MRBMs on Cuban soil; however, American Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance discovered the construction of the missile installations on October 15, 1962 before the weapons had actually been deployed. The R-12 Dvina (Р-12 «Двина» Dvina) was a Theatre ballistic missile developed and deployed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. A medium-range ballistic missile ( MRBM) is a type of Ballistic missile with medium range this last classification depending on the standards of certain organizations WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Events 533 - Byzantine General Belisarius makes his formal entry into Carthage, having conquered it from the Year 1962 ( MCMLXII) was a Common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The US government viewed the installation of Soviet nuclear weapons 90 miles (145 km) south of Key West as an aggressive act and a threat to US security. Key West is a city in Monroe County Florida, United States. The city encompasses Key West, the namesake island the part of Stock Island As a result, the US publicly announced its discovery on October 22, 1962, and implemented a quarantine around Cuba that would actively intercept and search any vessels heading for the island. Events 202 BC - Hannibal Barca, leader of the Carthaginians, is defeated by the Roman legions under Scipio Africanus Year 1962 ( MCMLXII) was a Common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. For other uses see Quarantine (disambiguation Quarantine is voluntary or compulsory isolation typically to contain the spread of something Nikolai Sergevich Leonov, who would become a General in the KGB Intelligence Directorate and the Soviet KGB deputy station chief in Warsaw, was the translator Castro used for contact with the Russians during this period. Nikolai Sergeyevich Leonov (born August 22, 1928) is a Russian nationalist politician and was a senior KGB officer
In a personal letter to Khrushchev dated October 27, 1962, Castro urged him to launch a nuclear first strike against the United States if Cuba were invaded, but Khrushchev rejected any first strike response. Events 312 - Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross. Year 1962 ( MCMLXII) was a Common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar of the Gregorian calendar.  Soviet field commanders in Cuba were, however, authorized to use tactical nuclear weapons if attacked by the United States. A tactical nuclear weapon (or TNW) refers to a Nuclear weapon which is designed to be used on a battlefield in military situations Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles in exchange for a US commitment not to invade Cuba and an understanding that the US would secretly remove American MRBMs targeting the Soviet Union from Turkey and Italy, a measure that the US implemented a few months later. A medium-range ballistic missile ( MRBM) is a type of Ballistic missile with medium range this last classification depending on the standards of certain organizations The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest The missile swap was never publicized because the Kennedy Administration demanded secrecy in order to preserve NATO relations and protect Democratic candidates in the upcoming elections.
Fabian Escalante, who was long tasked with protecting the life of Castro, has calculated the exact number of assassination schemes and/or attempts by the CIA to be 638. near as long as it used to be several months ago It has been actively summarized and split into sub-articles and there is a dynamic talk page discussion of all Some such attempts have included an exploding cigar, a fungal-infected scuba-diving suit, and a mafia-style shooting. Some of these plots are depicted in a documentary entitled 638 Ways to Kill Castro. 638 Ways to Kill Castro is a Channel 4 Documentary film, broadcast in the United Kingdom on 28 November 2006, which tells the  One of these attempts was by his ex-lover Marita Lorenz whom he met in 1959. Marita Lorenz (born August 18, 1939 in Bremen) is a German woman who at the age of 19 in 1959 had an affair with Fidel Castro and in January She subsequently agreed to aid the CIA and attempted to smuggle a jar of cold cream containing poison pills into his room. Cold cream is an Emulsion of water and certain fats usually including Beeswax and various scent agents designed to smooth skin and remove makeup When Castro realized, he reportedly gave her a gun and told her to kill him but her nerve failed.  Castro once said in regards to the numerous attempts on his life, "If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal. The Olympic Games is an international Multi-sport event established for both summer and winter games "
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. The Family Jewels is the informal name used to refer to a set of reports that detail activities conducted by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. There is also a professional wrestler named John Roselli John "Handsome Johnny" Roselli (sometimes spelled Rosselli Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (January 17 1899 &ndash January 25 1947 commonly nicknamed Scarface, was an Italian American Gangster who The Chicago Outfit shortened to " the Outfit " is a Crime syndicate based in Chicago Illinois, USA. Salvatore "Momo" Giancana (born Salvatore Giangana) June 15, 1908 &ndash June 19, 1975) was an Italian-American Santo Trafficante Jr ( November 15, 1914 - March 17, 1987) was one of the last of the old-time Mafia bosses in the United It was personally authorized by then US attorney general Robert Kennedy . The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice (see) concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy (November 20 1925 – June 6 1968 also called RFK, was the United States Attorney General from 1961 to 1964 and a
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. Robert Aime Maheu ( October 30 1917 &ndash August 4, 2008) was an American Businessman who worked for the FBI CIA 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. For the United States invasion at the Bay of Pigs see Bay of Pigs Invasion.  
Resulting from these numerous assassination attempts, Castro sent out warnings to the US government to stop the attempts or face retaliatory actions. This resulted in a theory stating that Cuba was behind the Kennedy assassination. The assassination of John F Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, took place on Friday November 22 1963 in Dallas Texas
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. There are many conspiracy theories regarding the '''assassination of United States President John F The United States Embargo Against Cuba (described in Cuba as el bloqueo, Spanish for "the Blockade " is an economic commercial and (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004  Castro retained control after Cuba became bankrupt and isolated following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union 's collapse into independent nations began early in 1985 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, severe power shortages, and dwindling food supplies.  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. Hurricane Michelle was the 13th named storm and one of the strongest Hurricanes of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. S. ; he declining a U. S. offer of humanitarian aid.  Nevertheless, the U. S. authorized the shipment of food in 2001, the first since the embargo was imposed.  During 2004, Castro shut down 118 factories, including steel plants, sugar mills and paper processors to compensate for the crisis due to fuel shortages. , and in 2005 directed thousands of Cuban doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil imports. 
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 educational system, while developing a Soviet-style internal police force. KGB ( Transliteration of "КГБ" is the Russian abbreviation of Committee for State Security ( Komityet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosty
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. The Republic of Bolivia (República de Bolivia) named after Simón Bolívar, is a Landlocked country in central South America.
On August 23, 1968, Castro made a public gesture to the USSR that caused the Soviet leadership to reaffirm their support for him. Events 79 - Mount Vesuvius begins stirring on the feast day of Vulcan the Roman god of fire Year 1968 ( MCMLXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Two days after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia to repress the Prague Spring, Castro took to the airwaves and publicly denounced the Czech rebellion. Czechoslovakia may also refer to what is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Prague Spring ( Czech: Pražské jaro, Slovak: Pražská jar) was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during Castro warned the Cuban people about the Czechoslovakian 'counterrevolutionaries', who "were moving Czechoslovakia towards capitalism and into the arms of imperialists". Imperialism has two meanings one describing an action and the other describing an attitude He called the leaders of the rebellion "the agents of West Germany and fascist reactionary rabble. West Germany ( Inf German: Westdeutschland or West-Deutschland) was the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany ( Fascism is a totalitarian nationalist and corporatist ideology " In 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 Organization of American States ( OAS, or as it is known in the three other official languages OEA) is an International organization, headquartered The Western Hemisphere, also Western hemisphere or western hemisphere, is a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies West The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. The Republic of Cuba (ˈkjuːbə or) consists of the island of Cuba (the largest and second-most populous island of the Greater Antilles) Isla de la 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. Salvador Isabelino Allende Gossens (June 26 1908 – September 11 1973 was President of Chile from November 1970 until his death during the coup d'état of 
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. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev ( Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachyov;; born 2 March 1931 in Privolnoye Stavropol Krai) is a Russian politician "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. The German Democratic Republic ( GDR; Deutsche Demokratische Republik DDR; commonly known in English as East Germany) was a Socialist state Hungary (Magyarország 'mɔɟɔrorsaːg) officially in English the Republic of Hungary ( Magyar Köztársaság, literally Magyar (Hungarian Republic Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland  The subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 had an immediate and devastating effect on Cuba. The Soviet Union 's collapse into independent nations began early in 1985
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. Events 1333 - Flood of the Arno River, causing massive damage in Florence as recorded by the Florentine chronicler Giovanni Villani Year 1975 ( MCMLXXV) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Angola, officially the Republic of Angola (República de Angola Pronounced ʁɛˈpublikɐ dɨ ɐ̃ˈgɔlɐ Repubilika ya Ngola is a country in south-central The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola - Party of Labour (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola - Partido do Trabalho is an Angolan political party The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names) is a country located at the southern tip of the continent of Africa The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola ( União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola) is the second-largest Political party in Angola. 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. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (xolíɬaɬa mandéːla born 18 July 1918 is a former President of South Africa, the first to be elected in fully representative " Cuban troops were also sent to Marxist Ethiopia to assist Ethiopian forces in the Ogaden War with Somalia in 1977. NOTE This intro is the result of careful NPOV work Please do not make potentially controversial edits to it without first discussing on the talk page 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. The Sandinista National Liberation Front ( Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional) is a socialist Nicaraguan Political party. Anastasio ("Tachito" Somoza Debayle (anasˈtasjo soˈmosa ðeˈβaile ( December 5, 1925 &ndash September 17, 1980) was officially Nicaragua (ˌnɪkəˈrɑgwə officially the Republic of Nicaragua () is a representative democratic republic and the largest nation in Central America It has been claimed by the Carthage Foundation-funded Center for a Free Cuba that an estimated 14,000 Cubans were killed in Cuban military actions abroad. The Carthage Foundation is one of the American Scaife Foundations. 
Cuba and Panama have restored diplomatic ties after breaking them off in 2005 when Panama's former president pardoned four Cuban exiles accused of attempting to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro. 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.  Cuba, once shunned by many of its Latin American neighbours, now has full diplomatic relations with all but Costa Rica and El Salvador. 
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.  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 would not be in the presence of President Bush, who also attended. Vicente Fox Quesada ( born July 2 1942) is a Mexican politician who served as President of Mexico from 2000 to 2006 and currently 
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.  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.  Cuba has opened four additional embassies in the Caribbean Community including: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Suriname, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Caribbean Community ( CARICOM) is an organization of Caribbean nations and dependencies Antigua and Barbuda ( Spanish for "Ancient" and "Bearded" is an Island nation located on the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea The Commonwealth of Dominica, commonly known as Dominica, is an Island nation in the Caribbean Sea. Suriname ( Dutch: Suriname; Sranan Tongo: Sranan) officially the Republic of Suriname (traditionally spelled Surinam by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles chain of the Caribbean Sea. This development makes Cuba the only country to have embassies in all independent countries of the Caribbean Community. 
In the poorest areas of Latin America and Africa, Castro is seen as a hero, the leader of the Third World, and the enemy of the wealthy and greedy. Third World is a name given to nations that are generally considered to be underdeveloped economically  On a visit to South Africa in 1998 he was warmly received by President Nelson Mandela.  President Mandela gave Castro South Africa's highest civilian award for foreigners, the Order of Good Hope.  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,
The president of Venezuela Hugo Chávez is a grand admirer of his and Bolivian president Evo Morales called him the "Grandfather". Venezuela (ˌvɛnəˈzweɪlə) officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish República Bolivariana de Venezuela) is a country on the Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (ˈuɰo rafaˈel ˈtʃaβ̞es ˈfɾias (born July 28 1954 is the current President of Venezuela. Juan Evo Morales Ayma (born October 26 1959 in Orinoca, Oruro) popularly known as Evo (ˈeβo is the President of Bolivia since In Harlem, Castro is seen as an icon because of his historic visit with Malcolm X in 1960 at the Hotel Theresa. Harlem is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, long known as a major African American cultural and business center Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little; May 19 1925 February 21 1965 also known as El-Hajj Malik El- Shabazz, was an African American The Hotel Theresa was a vibrant center of black life in Harlem, New York City, in the mid-20th century 
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. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page This article is about the government position For other uses see Prime Minister (disambiguation. They had continued their friendship after Trudeau left office until his death. Canada became one of the first American allies to openly trade with Cuba. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, consisting of the Continents of North America and South America Cuba still has a good relationship with Canada. In 1998, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien arrived in Cuba to meet President Castro and highlight their close ties. Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien, (generally known as Jean Chrétien) (born January 11, 1934) is a Canadian politician who was the twentieth Prime He is the first Canadian government leader to visit the island since Pierre Trudeau was in Havana in 1976. 
In December 2001, European Union representatives described their political dialogue with Cuba as back on track after a weekend of talks in Havana. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in 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.  In 2005, EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel ended his visit to Cuba optimistic that relations with the communist state will become stronger. Louis HOCh Michel (born 2 September 1947) is a Belgian politician currently serving as European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian 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. 
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. Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba.
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.  In June 2001, he apparently fainted during a seven-hour speech under the Caribbean sun.  Later that day he finished the speech, walking buoyantly into the television studios in his military fatigues, joking with journalists. 
In January 2004, Luis Eduardo Garzón, the mayor of Bogotá, said that Castro "seemed very sick to me" following a meeting with him during a vacation in Cuba. Luis Eduardo Garzón (nicknamed "Lucho") (born February 11, 1951 in Bogotá) is the former Mayor of Bogotá (2004-2007 Bogotá —officially named Bogotá DC (DC for " Distrito Capital " which means "Capital District" formerly called Santa Fe de Bogotá  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. Cancer (medical term Malignant Neoplasm) is a class of Diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled 
On October 20, 2004, Castro tripped and fell following a speech he gave at a rally, breaking his kneecap and fracturing his right arm. Events 1740 - Maria Theresa takes the throne of Austria. France, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again "  He was able to recover his ability to walk and publicly demonstrated this two months later. 
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. 
In 2005, the CIA said it thought Castro had Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease (also known as Parkinson disease or PD) is a degenerative disorder of the Central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's  Castro denied such allegations, while also citing the example of Pope John Paul II in saying that he would not fear the disease. Pope 
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. The 2006–2008 Cuban transfer of presidential duties was a transfer of duties of the Cuban Presidency from Fidel Castro to the first vice president his Events 30 BC - Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian 's forces but most of his army subsequently Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The Council of State (Consejo de Estado of Cuba is a 31 member body of the government of Cuba elected by the National Assembly of People’s Power. The Council of Ministers is the highest ranking executive and administrative body and constitutes the government of the Republic of Cuba. The Communist Party of Cuba ( Spanish: Partido Comunista de Cuba, PCC is currently the governing political party in Cuba. A commander-in-chief is the Commander of a nation's Military forces or significant element of those forces Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba. 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".  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. Granma is the Yacht that was used to transport the fighters of the Cuban Revolution from Mexico to Cuba in 1956 for the purpose of Castro's non-appearance fueled reports that he had terminal pancreatic cancer and was refusing treatment, but on December 17, 2006 Cuban officials stated that Castro had no terminal illness and would eventually return to his public duties. Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor of the Pancreas. Each year about 37680 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with this condition and 34290 Events 546 - Gothic War (535–554: The Ostrogoths of King Totila Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. 
While Cuba continues to deny U. S. -made claims that Castro is suffering from a terminal cancer, on December 24, 2006, Spanish newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya reported that Spanish surgeon José Luis García Sabrido has been flown to Cuba on a plane charted by the Cuban government. Events 563 - The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by Earthquakes Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. 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.  On December 26, 2006, shortly after returning to Madrid, Dr. Events 1481 - Battle of Westbrook - Holland defeats troops of Utrecht. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. 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. " Although most Cubans acknowledge that they are aware Castro is seriously ill, most also seem worried about a future without Castro. 
On January 16, 2007, the Spanish newspaper, El País, citing two unnamed sources from the Gregorio Marañón hospital —who employs Dr. Events 27 BC - The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. El País ( Spanish for "The Country" is the most widely-circulated Daily newspaper in Spain. 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. Madrid (pronounced in English in Spanish and colloquially in Spain) is the Capital and largest city of Spain. Diverticulitis is a common Digestive disease particularly found in the Large intestine. 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. " 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. Robert Anthony Snow ( June 1 1955 – July 12 2008) was an American Political commentator, Television news We've got nothing new. " 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. Events 1648 - Eighty Years' War: The Treaty of Münster is signed ending the conflict between the Netherlands and Spain Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. 
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. The Associated Press ( AP) is an American News agency. The AP is a Cooperative owned by its contributing Newspapers radio "He's consulted on the most important questions," Raul Castro said of Fidel. "He doesn't interfere, but he knows about everything. " On February 27, 2007, Reuters reported that Fidel Castro had called into Aló Presidente, a live radio talk show 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. Events 1560 - The Treaty of Berwick, which would expel the French from Scotland, is signed by England and the Congregation Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. This article is primarily about Reuters prior to its 2008 merger with Thomson Aló Presidente ( English: Hello president) is a talk show hosted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and broadcast on Venezuelan Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (ˈuɰo rafaˈel ˈtʃaβ̞es ˈfɾias (born July 28 1954 is the current President of Venezuela. 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. 
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. Events 1111 - Henry V is crowned Holy Roman Emperor. 1204 - The Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. 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.  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. Events 753 BC - Romulus and Remus found Rome ( traditional date) Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Wu Guanzheng ( (b August 1938) was the head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, an anti-corruption body Photographs of their meeting showed the Cuban president looking healthier than he had in any previously released since his surgery. 
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. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. "
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," effectively announcing his retirement from official public life. Events 3102 BC - Epoch (origin of the Kali Yuga. 1229 - The Sixth Crusade: Frederick II Holy 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Events 303 - Galerius, Roman Emperor, publishes his edict that begins the persecution of Christians in his portion of the 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common  The letter was published online by the official Communist Party newspaper Granma. Granma is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party. 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". 
He remains First Secretary of the Communist Party. 
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. Events 303 - Galerius, Roman Emperor, publishes his edict that begins the persecution of Christians in his portion of the 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common The National Assembly of People’s Power (Spanish Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular) is the Legislative Parliament of the Republic of Cuba Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born June 3 1931 is the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Head of state of Cuba. The President of Cuba (formally President of the Council of State of Cuba) is the Head of state of Cuba. 
Castro was raised a Roman Catholic as a child but did not practice as one. In Oliver Stone's documentary Comandante, Castro states "I have never been a believer", and has total conviction that there is only one life. William Oliver Stone (born 15 September) is an American Film director and Screenwriter. Comandante is a political Documentary film by American director Oliver Stone.  Pope John XXIII excommunicated Castro in 1962 on the basis of a 1949 decree by Pope Pius XII forbidding Catholics from supporting communist governments. Pope John (numberingBlessed Excommunication is a religious Censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community Pope
In 1992, Castro agreed to loosen restrictions on religion and even permitted church-going Catholics to join the Cuban Communist Party. He began describing his country as "secular" rather than "atheist".  Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998, the first visit by a reigning pontiff to the island. Pope 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.  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. Jose Marti Airport is located southwest of Havana, Cuba, and is a hub for Cubana de Aviación, Aerogaviota and Aerocaribbean " He also criticized widespread abortion in Cuban hospitals and urged Castro to end the government's monopoly on education to allow the return of Catholic schools. An A month later Castro condemned the use of abortion as a form of birth control. Birth control, sometimes synonymous with contraception, is a regimen of one or more actions devices or Medications followed in order to deliberately prevent 
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.  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. 
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. 
The senior 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. The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second largest single Christian Communion in the world Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I consecrated a cathedral in Havana and bestowed an honor on Fidel Castro. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I ( Greek: Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαῖος Α' Turkish: Patrik I 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. 
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. Pope The Requiem (from Latin requiem, accusative case of requies, rest or Requiem Mass (informally a funeral Mass also known formally (in Latin as the  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). Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino (born October 18, 1936 in Jagüey Grande, Matanzas, Cuba is the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Havana "
By wearing military-style uniforms and leading mass demonstrations, Castro projects an image of a perpetual revolutionary. He is mostly seen in military attire, but his personal tailor, Merel Van 't Wout, convinced him to occasionally change to a business suit. Van 't Wout is the last name of a Dutch family that conducts it business through Indiana Finance BV (formerly Fondel Finance B  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!" During the revolutionary campaign, fellow rebels knew Castro as "The Giant". Beny (sometimes Benny Moré ( August 24, 1919 &ndash February 19, 1963) is considered by many fans of Cuban music as the  Large throngs of people gather to cheer at Castro's fiery speeches, which typically last for hours. Many details of Castro's private life, particularly involving his family members, are scarce as the media is forbidden to mention them.  Castro insists that he does not promote a cult of personality. A cult of personality or personality cult arises when a country's leader uses Mass media to create a heroic public image through unquestioning flattery and praise 
By his first wife Mirta Díaz-Balart, Castro has a son named Fidel "Fidelito" Castro Díaz-Balart. Díaz-Balart and Castro were divorced in 1955, and she remarried. After a spell in Madrid, Díaz-Balart reportedly returned to Havana to live with Fidelito and his family. Madrid (pronounced in English in Spanish and colloquially in Spain) is the Capital and largest city of Spain.  Fidelito grew up in Cuba; for a time, he ran Cuba's atomic-energy commission before being removed from the post by his father. The Republic of Cuba (ˈkjuːbə or) consists of the island of Cuba (the largest and second-most populous island of the Greater Antilles) Isla de la  Díaz-Balart's nephews are Republican U. S. Congressmen Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart, vocal critics of the Castro government. Lincoln Rafael Diaz-Balart (born Lincoln Rafael Diaz-Balart y Caballero on August 13 1958) a Cuban- American politician a former member Mario Rafael Diaz-Balart (born September 25 1961) is an American politician
Fidel has five other sons by his second wife, Dalia Soto del Valle: Alexis, Alexander, Alejandro, Antonio, and Angel. 
While Fidel was married to Mirta, he had an affair with Naty Revuelta resulting in a daughter named Alina Fernández-Revuelta. Alina Fernández Revuelta (born March 19, 1956) is the daughter and a critic of Fidel Castro.  Alina left Cuba in 1993, disguised as a Spanish tourist, and sought asylum in the United States. She has been a vocal critic of her father's policies.
His sister Juanita Castro has been living in the United States since the early 1960s and was featured in a film documentary by Andy Warhol in 1965. Juana de la Caridad (Juanita Castro Ruz (born May 6, 1933) is the sister of former Cuban President Fidel Castro and current President For the song by David Bowie, see Andy Warhol (song. Andrew Warhola (August 6 1928 &ndash February 22 1987 known as Andy Warhol 
Thousands of political opponents to the Castro regime have been killed, primarily during the first decade of his leadership. See also Guantanamo Bay detention camp Human rights in Cuba are a subject of much debate  Some Cubans labeled "counterrevolutionaries", "fascists", or "CIA operatives" were also imprisoned in poor conditions without trial.  Military Units to Aid Production, or UMAPs, were labor camps established in 1965 to confine "social deviants" including homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses to work "counter-revolutionary" influences out of certain segments of the population. Military Units to Aid Production or UMAP’s (Unidades Militares para la Ayuda de Producción were established by the Cuban government in 1965 as a way to eliminate alleged Homosexuality refers to sexual behavior with or attraction to people of the same sex or to a Homosexual orientation. Jehovah's Witnesses is a restorationist, millenialist Christian denomination  The camps were closed in 1967 in response to international outcries.  Professor Marifeli Pérez Stable, a Cuban immigrant and former Castro supporter has said that "There were thousands of executions, forty, fifty thousand political prisoners. The treatment of political prisoners, with what we today know about human rights and the international norms governing human rights . . . it is legitimate to raise questions about possible crimes against humanity in Cuba. In Public international law, a crime against humanity is an act of Persecution or any large scale atrocities against a body of people and is the highest level of "
Castro acknowledges that Cuba holds political prisoners, but argues that Cuba is justified because these prisoners are not jailed because of their political beliefs, but have been convicted of "counter-revolutionary" crimes, including bombings. Castro portrays opposition to the Cuban government as illegitimate, and the result of an ongoing conspiracy fostered by Cuban exiles with ties to the United States or the CIA. The opposition to Fidel Castro ' s Marxist Government is largely unofficial and illegal within Cuba itself . 
In 2005, American business and financial magazine Forbes listed Castro among the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $550 million. Forbes is an American Publishing and media company Its flagship publication Forbes magazine is published bi-weekly The estimates, which the magazine admitted was "more art than science", claimed that the Cuban leader's personal wealth was nearly double that of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, despite anecdotal evidence from diplomats and businessmen that the Cuban leader's personal life was notable for its austerity. For the ship see RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Context States headed by Elizabeth II  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. A government-owned corporation, state-owned enterprise or government business enterprise is a legal entity created by a Government to undertake commercial  Forbes magazine later increased the estimates to $900 million, adding rumors of large cash stashes in Switzerland.  The magazine offered no proof of this information, 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. 
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.  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. " 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. "
Maria Werla in a scholarly review, citing many published works by defectors who were close to Castro, including Castro's daughter Alina Fernández, writes that Castro, his family, and his top loyalists have bank accounts, private estates, and other assets in Europe, Latin America and Asia — called “the Comandante's Reserves” — and a luxurious lifestyle. Alina Fernández Revuelta (born March 19, 1956) is the daughter and a critic of Fidel Castro. . . Werla also claims that Castro has made a fortune by using terrorists to run a drugs smuggling operation from Cuba in the same paper.
Castro has come under criticism from anarchists. Frank Fernández, Cuban anarchist author and a long-time editor of anarchist periodical Guángara Libertaria, documented that Cuban anarchists, who's aim was to end military dictatorship and political corruption, actively involved in the resistance movement against the dictatorship of Batista. Frank Fernández is a Cuban anarchist author He is a member of the Movimiento Libertario Cubano en el Exilio and was the editor of its periodical Guángara Libertaria  A 1956 pamphlet titled Proyecciones Libertarias criticized Castro along with Batista because "he [didn't] respect promises and only fought for power".  After coming to power, Castro expelled all top anarcho-syndicalist from the Workers' Central Union of Cuba (CTC) in January 1959 labeling them as collaborators of Batista regime. The Workers' Central Union of Cuba (CTC is the Trade union centre in Cuba.  In 1960, official Castro organ Revolucion started anti-anarchist campaign through false accusations.  From summer of 1961, anarchists began to flee Castro's Cuba and settled in the United States where they had contacts with American anarchists.  By the 1960s, anarchists in Cuba were abused, maltreated and even tortured in prisons.  Repression of anarchists was intense from 1961 to 1972.  Frank Fernández writes:
Curiously, according to political prisoners freed in the decade 1970-1980, the population of political prisoners in the "socialist" Cuban gulags came overwhelmingly from working class and campesino backgrounds. There should be no dispute about this, given the mass of evidence: the Castro regime persecuted its proletarian and campesino enemies far more vigorously than its capitalist enemies. Many anarchists suffered greatly under this policy. 
According to Workers Solidarity Movement member Dermot Sreenan, Cuba has a ruling class which is composed of a bureaucracy and the elite of the country includes professionals such as academics, scientists and those responsible for management who are "rewarded with praise and prizes as long as they remain uncritical". The Workers Solidarity Movement is an Anarchist organisation in Ireland broadly in the platformist tradition of Nestor Makhno. The ruling class of the Marxist government is "bonded together by a fear of the working class". According to Sreenan, although the Cuban government blame the US embargo as a cause behind the weak economy of the nation, Cuba has trade relations with the United States through several front companies. Sreenan analyzes that Castro did not form any "socialism" in Cuba, and the United States does not like Castro's government "not because it is some sort of 'socialist' paradise but because its very existence challenges Washington's political monopoly in Central and South America" which they want to replace with an obedient government. The working class of the nation have been paralyzed after Castro formed a new bureaucracy in Cuba. Sreenan opines "the working class in Cuba need to unite and fight the ruling class who reap the rewards from their island". 
Fully or partially by Fidel Castro
José Miró Cardona
|Prime Minister of Cuba|
1959 – 1976
|President of Cuba|
1976 – 2008
De facto until 2006
Junius Richard Jayawardene
|Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement|
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
|Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement|
2006 – 2008
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||President of Cuba|
|DATE OF BIRTH||August 13, 1926|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Birán, Holguín Province, Cuba|
|DATE OF DEATH|
|PLACE OF DEATH|