[469] Balfour stated that Castro's story had "few parallels in contemporary history", for there existed no other "Third World leader" in the second half of the twentieth century who held "such a prominent and restless part on the international stage" or remained head of state for such a long period. [76] Both Fidel and Mirta initiated divorce proceedings, with Mirta taking custody of their son Fidelito; this angered Castro, who did not want his son growing up in a bourgeois environment. Following Castro's death, his brother Raúl Castro announced: "According to the will expressed by comrade Fidel, his body will be cremated in the early hours" of 26 November 2016. His popularity was greater than ever. [294] From afar in Havana, Castro was closely involved in the decision-making about the defense of Cuito Cuanavle and came into conflict with Ochoa, whom he criticized for almost losing Cuito Cuanavle to a South African assault on 13 January 1988 despite warning for almost two months prior that such an attack was coming. [17], In 1947, Castro joined the Party of the Cuban People (or Orthodox Party; Partido Ortodoxo), founded by veteran politician Eduardo Chibás. [255] The decision to intervene in Angola has been a controversial one, all the more so as Castro's critics have charged that it was not his decision at all, contending that the Soviets ordered him to do so. [320], Castro's government diversified its economy into biotechnology and tourism, the latter outstripping Cuba's sugar industry as its primary source of revenue in 1995. In part it read, “I do not bid you farewell. [161] Militant anti-Castro groups, funded by exiles, the CIA, and the Dominican government, undertook armed attacks and set up guerrilla bases in Cuba's mountains, leading to the six-year Escambray Rebellion. He was infuriated that the government had left thousands unemployed by closing down casinos and brothels. After a trial in which he conducted an impassioned defense, he was sentenced by the government to 15 years’ imprisonment. in front of foreign journalists, while Cuba became the first Latin American nation to beat the U.S. to the top of the gold-medal table. [84] Fidel liked him, later describing him as "a more advanced revolutionary than I was". Hugo Chávez by helping him bring to fruition the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (Alternativa Bolivariana para las Américas [ALBA]; Alternativa later changed to Alianza [“Alliance”]), a socialist initiative to promote regional commerce, through which Cuba provided health care professionals to Venezuela in exchange for discounted oil. [118] Furious, Castro ended the ceasefire,[119] and ordered Cantillo's arrest by sympathetic figures in the army. [106] Reporters from CBS and Paris Match soon followed. [232][233], Influenced by China's Great Leap Forward, in 1968 Castro proclaimed a Great Revolutionary Offensive, closing all remaining privately owned shops and businesses and denouncing their owners as capitalist counter-revolutionaries. [167] On 13 October 1960, the U.S. prohibited the majority of exports to Cuba, initiating an economic embargo. While in colleg… He was the central figure in the Cuban Revolution (1956-1959), which removed dictator Fulgencio Batista from power and replaced him with a communist regime friendly to the Soviet Union. ... As she recounts in her autobiography, at the age of 14 this budding rebel announced her intention of leaving Cuba. [452] Balfour also noted that throughout Latin America, Castro served as "a symbol of defiance against the continued economic and cultural imperialism of the United States". Fidel Castro died in 2016 at the age of 90. [155] Health care was nationalized and expanded, with rural health centers and urban polyclinics opening up across the island to offer free medical aid. In an desperate attempt to stop the war, Castro had a summit with Barre where he proposed a federation of Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Yemen as an alternative to war. [244], In November 1971, Castro visited Chile, where Marxist President Salvador Allende had been elected as the head of a left-wing coalition. [451] According to Balfour, Castro's domestic popularity stemmed from the fact that he symbolised "a long-cherished hope of national liberation and social justice" for much of the population. [276] For the first time, unemployment became a serious problem in Castro's Cuba, with the government sending unemployed youth to other countries, primarily East Germany, to work there. [325], Mired in economic problems, Cuba was aided by the election of socialist and anti-imperialist Hugo Chávez to the Venezuelan Presidency in 1999. Díaz-Balart and Castro divorced in 1955, and she moved to Spain, although allegedly returned to Cuba in 2002 to live with Fidelito. He joined Colegio Dolores in Santiago de Cuba before joining El Colegio de Belen in Havana. Diplomatic ties were reinstalled in 2005 following the election of leftist President Martín Torrijos. The U.S. responded by ending diplomatic relations, and it increased CIA funding for exiled dissidents; these militants began attacking ships that traded with Cuba, and bombed factories, shops, and sugar mills. However, the Granma's journey ultimately lasted seven days, and with Castro and his men unable to provide reinforcements, País and his militants dispersed after two days of intermittent attacks. [430] Fidelito grew up in Cuba; for a time, he ran Cuba's atomic-energy commission before being removed from the post by his father. [45] He was instead nominated as a candidate for the House of Representatives by party members in Havana's poorest districts, and began campaigning. [203] Although conflicted, Castro agreed, believing it would guarantee Cuba's safety and enhance the cause of socialism. [26] The protests, accompanied by a crackdown on those considered communists, led to violent clashes between activists and police in February 1948, in which Castro was badly beaten. [135], On 16 February 1959, Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba. The relationship was a love match, disapproved of by both families, but Díaz Balart's father gave them tens of thousands of dollars, along with Batista,[31] to spend on a three-month New York City honeymoon. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Fidel-Castro, PBS - American Experience - Biography of Fidel Castro, National Public Radio - Fidel Castro: From Rebel to El Presidente, Alpha History - Biography of Fidel Castro, Spartacus Educational - Biography Of Fidel Castro, Fidel Castro - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Fidel Castro - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, Ethiopia in repelling an invasion by Somalia. Adopting a Marxist–Leninist model of development, Castro converted Cuba into a one-party, socialist state under Communist Party rule, the first in the Western Hemisphere. I witnessed the spectacle of a totally spontaneous revolution ... [T]hat experience led me to identify myself even more with the cause of the people. His father, Ángel Castro y Argiz, an immigrant from Spain, was a fairly prosperous sugarcane farmer in a locality that had long been dominated by estates of the U.S.-owned United Fruit Company. [425] From 1980 until his death in 1995, Naranjo headed Castro's team of advisers. [65] Believing Castro incapable of planning the attack alone, the government accused Ortodoxo and PSP politicians of involvement, putting 122 defendants on trial on 21 September at the Palace of Justice, Santiago. [438][439], Another son known as Ciro was also born in the early 1960s, the result of another brief fling, his existence confirmed by Celia Sánchez, Castro's closest confidante and also allegedly lover. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Castro had no choice but to begin accepting some economically liberal policies as a means to keep Cuba’s economy afloat. [345] Castro criticized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, saying that the U.S.-led war had imposed an international "law of the jungle". Fidel Castro was born Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz on August 13, 1926 (some sources say 1927) near his father's farm, Birán, in southeast Cuba in what was then the Oriente Province. [92], The Granma ran aground in a mangrove swamp at Playa Las Coloradas, close to Los Cayuelos, on 2 December 1956. [354] That month, the Non-Aligned Movement held its 14th Summit in Havana, there agreeing to appoint Castro as the organisation's president for a year's term. [293] He took a great interest in gastronomy, as well as wine and whisky, and as Cuban leader was known to wander into his kitchen to discuss cookery with his chefs. [270] The Cuban intervention in Angola was envisioned as a short term commitment, but the Angolan government used the profits from the oil industry to subsidize Cuba's economy, making Cuba as economically dependent upon Angola as Angola was militarily dependent upon Cuba. He has been very careful about that. [238] When that year's production quota was not met, Castro offered to resign during a public speech, but assembled crowds insisted he remain. In 1962 the Soviet Union secretly stationed ballistic missiles in Cuba that could deliver nuclear warheads to American cities, and in the ensuing confrontation with the United States, the world came close to a nuclear war. [98] As trust grew, some locals joined the rebels, although most new recruits came from urban areas. Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has died at age 90, according to Cuban state media, confirms NPR. [287] In a July 1983 speech marking the 30th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, Castro condemned Reagan's administration as a "reactionary, extremist clique" who were waging an "openly warmongering and fascist foreign policy". It was the first time since the 1959 revolution that he ceded control. He obtained Doctor of Lawin 1950. [48] Batista moved to the right, solidifying ties with both the wealthy elite and the United States, severing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, suppressing trade unions and persecuting Cuban socialist groups. [231] Recognising Cuba's economic dependence on the Soviets, Castro relented to Brezhnev's pressure to be obedient, and in August 1968 he denounced the leaders of the Prague Spring and praised the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. [212] Castro returned to Cuba with new ideas; inspired by Soviet newspaper Pravda, he amalgamated Hoy and Revolución into a new daily, Granma,[213] and oversaw large investment into Cuban sport that resulted in an increased international sporting reputation. [399] Although his government repressed homosexuality for decades, later in his life he took responsibility for this persecution, regretting it as a "great injustice", as he himself put it. [307], With favourable trade from the Soviet bloc ended, Castro publicly declared that Cuba was entering a "Special Period in Time of Peace". Angel Castro, originally from Spain, was a wealthy man who owned large sugar plantations and did business with the American owned- United Fruit Company. There, the assassination of popular leftist leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala led to widespread rioting and clashes between the governing Conservatives – backed by the army – and leftist Liberals. CUBAN revolutionary leader Fidel Castro - who survived more than 600 assassination attempts - died in 2016 at the age of 90. Birthday August Aug 13, 1926. [264] The intervention of 17, 000 Cuban troops into the Ogaden was by all accounts decisive in altering a war that Ethiopia was on the brink of losing into a victory. [69] Castro was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment in the hospital wing of the Model Prison (Presidio Modelo), a relatively comfortable and modern institution on the Isla de Pinos. Many older members of government were to be retired and replaced by their younger counterparts. Fidel Castro (August 13, 1926 – 2016 ) Cuban revolutionary and President of Cuba. [239] Despite the economic issues, many of Castro's social reforms were popular, with the population largely supportive of the "Achievements of the Revolution" in education, medical care, housing, and road construction, as well as the policies of "direct democratic" public consultation. After the collapse of his first marriage he took his household servant, Lina Ruz González – of Canarianorigin – as his mistress and later second wife; together they had seven children, among them Fidel. [312] Castro tried improving relations with the capitalist nations. [347] In 2002, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visited Cuba, where he highlighted the lack of civil liberties in the country and urged the government to pay attention to the Varela Project of Oswaldo Payá. Publicly, he presented himself as a moderate on the world stage. [263] Barre who saw seizing the Ogaden as the first step towards creating a greater Somalia that would unite all of the Somalis into one state rejected the federation offer, and decided upon war. [376] In September 2016, Castro was visited at his Havana home by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani,[377] and later that month was visited by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. 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