Fidel Castro

Article

December 6, 2021

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (audio), born August 13, 1926 in Birán in Holguín, Cuba, died November 25, 2016 in Havana, was a Cuban lawyer, revolutionary, politician and military. He first ruled Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. Under his leadership, Cuba became a communist one-party state. survived the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuba crisis and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The radical direction led to isolation from the rest of Latin America and after the end of the Cold War to an economic depression, which was partly lifted in recent years. After Fidel fell ill in 2006 at the age of 79, his brother Raúl Castro took over the leading role in the country's politics. At the Communist Party Congress in April 2011, Castro finally left his post as party chairman.

Biography

Early life to July 26, 1953

Castro was born on August 13, 1926, into a wealthy family of Spanish descent. He had two brothers, Ramón and Raúl, and four sisters, Angelita, Juanita, Enma, and Agustina. He identified himself as a Jewish Spaniard. Castro began his political involvement during his university days, where he took a law degree in two years as a private student, after initially becoming more interested in sports. Castro became involved in the nationalist and left-liberal Cuban People's Party and ran in 1952, after party chairman Eduardo Chiba's suicide (in which Castro was present) for the House of Delegates, Cuba's lower house. After Fulgencio Batista's coup in March, which called off the elections, he considered an armed struggle for regime change and democracy necessary. On July 26, 1953, he and hundreds of comrades attacked the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The uprising was crushed and several of the rebels were executed, but not Castro or his brother and later successor Raúl.

The Guerrilla War 1956–1959

During the trial, in which he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, Castro gave a four-hour speech concluding with the famous phrase La historia me absolvera ("History will acquit me"). After two years in prison on Isla de Pinos (later renamed by himself to Isla de la Juventud, "Island of Youth"), he was released with his brother and went into exile in Mexico. A force of a total of 81 men, including the brothers themselves and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, traveled by boat in December 1956 from a training camp in Mexico to Cuba on the ship Granma. When they arrived, the police were waiting for them, and only twelve men managed to escape alive to the Sierra Maestra to form the core of a guerrilla movement. In an interview with The New York Times during his time as guerrilla leader, Castro stated that his goal was not to seize power himself but only to re-establish the democratic constitution introduced in 1940 (ironically as the culmination of Batista's then-popular political career). After the fall of the Batista government on January 1, 1959 and the first revolutionaries marching into Havana, Castro claimed that he was against the class struggle and dictatorship, and would get rid of all communists. His guiding light was José Martí and not Marx, Engels or Lenin, and it was not until February that he formally took on the role of Prime Minister. Castro collided with US President Eisenhower when he spoke of the Cuban revolution as the first in "our America" ​​and challenged US dominance in the region. On June 14, a first attempt was made to spread the revolution through an invasion of the Dominican Republic, which failed. Foreign support for counter-revolutionary uprisings diluted the schism and Castro took a more anti-American stance. The US Eisenhower administration (which indirectly contributed to the victory of the revolution by withdrawing aid to Batist

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