Fidel Castro Biography
Fidel Castro the leader of Cuba has been a thorn at the US government’s side for decades now. With his communist views and repression, many Cubans have escaped from Cuba to start a new life in the US. However, while many people may have heard of Fidel Castro and Cuba, not many will know about his life. So, here is a Fidel Castro biography that will give you an insight into this man’s life and views.
He was born on 13th August 1926 as Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz in the Oriente province of Cuba, close to Biran. He has six siblings, 2 brothers named Raul and Ramon, and 4 sisters. Unlike what people may think, Castro actually came from a rich family. His father owned a sugar plantation and was from Spain. His mother was initially a maid to the father’s first wife and had Fidel out of wedlock. However, when Castro was around fifteen years old, his father ended his first marriage and formally wed Castro’s mother. And, when Castro reached the age of 17, he was finally recognized formally as the son and this prompted the change of the family name from Ruz to Castro.
Castro was sent to private boarding school run by Jesuit priests. While he was good in his studies and intelligent, Castro was more interested in participating in sports. He was part of the baseball team in school. After he finished his schooling, he entered the University of Havana to study law in the year 1945. It is then that Castro got introduced to the ideas of nationalism, socialism and anti imperialism. At university, Castro also became active in politics. He joined a group called Caribbean Legion that consisted of political exiles from different Caribbean countries. The aim of the group was to remove the dictators in the different Caribbean countries. This was in the year 1947.
In the year 1948, Castro went to Botota, which is located in Columbia with the intentions of interrupting the Pan American Union Conference. However, at that time Jorge Eliecer Gaitan was assassinated and this caused riots to break out across the country. Instead of sitting quietly, Castro jointed the riots to help the rioters. This was his first ever experience of an uprising led by people.
He returned to Cuba and married Mirta Diaz-Balart in the year 1948. She studied with him at the university. The couple had just one child from the union.
Castro finished his law studies in the year 1950 and setup a private practice. However, he still wanted to be active in politics. So, when elections were called in 1952, Castro decided to stand for elections. However, just before the ballots could be cast, General Fulgencio Batista led a coup. This saw the government being toppled and even the elections were cancelled.
Castro was against the coup and Batista. Initially, he tried to get rid of Batista using judicial methods. When that did not succeed, he started putting together a rebel force. On 26th July 1953, Castro, along with Raul, his brother, and around 160 rebels attacked the second biggest military base in the country. This base was called Moncada Barracks and was located in Santiago de Cuba. The attacked failed, and the Castro brothers were caught and tried. Castro was given fifteen years sentence, but was set free after serving 2 years.
After being released, Castro made his way to Mexico where he began getting a rebel force ready. He wanted to launch the 26th of July Movement, named after the failed attack of the military base. Finally, on 2nd December, 1956, Castro and the rebels arrived in Cuba. However, Batista’s army managed to repel the rebels, and most of them were killed. Just few of the rebels along with Castro, Che Guevara and Raul managed to escape.
Castro spent the next 2 years using guerilla warfare tactics against Batista’s forces and because of the oppression by the army, he got many people to join his rebel forces. Soon, Castro and his rebels were taking control of Cuba town by town, and Batista was losing support among the people. Finally, Castro was successful in getting rid of Batista, who escaped from the country on 1st January 1959.
The same month, Manuel Urrutia was made into the president and Castro was selected to head the military forces of the country. However, by 1959, Castro became the undisputed leader of Cuba, a position he held on to right until February 2008. He handed over the reins of his country to his brother, Raul.
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