president of Cuba, at a meeting of the United
Nations General Assembly
Warren K. Leffler, September 22, 1960
Fidel's full name is Fidel Castro Ruz.
He is the
communist leader of Cuba since 1959,
and will be maybe forever.
The Family of Fidel
Fidel's father, Angel Castro y Argiz,
immigrated from Spain. His mother was Lina Ruz González.
Growing up, Fidel Castro was a revolutionary with
a busy schedule. In 1947, he tried to overthrow the government of
the Dominican Republic, in 1948 it was the government of Colombia,
in 1953 it was dictator Fulgencio Batista in Cuba.
The fight against Batista escalated on July 26, 1953. Trying to
provoke an uprising, Castro found 160 like-minded revolutionaries
that were ready to die
for a worthy cause. Together they attacked the Moncada Garrison in Santiago de
But it didn't go as planned. As
expected, most men were
killed, Castro was arrested, but the mass movement
didn't find its spark.
In 1955, Fidel received amnesty, went
to Mexico, reflected, recharged, reorganized, formed the
Movimiento 26 de Julio, the 26th of July Movement, and came back to Cuba in 1956 together with
his brother Raul and
Ernesto "Che" Guevara to fight
dictator Batista as guerrillas once again.
When Fidel Castro snuggled up
with the Soviet Union, the U.S. government grew desperate, threw some
weapons into the laps of Cuban exiles, and told them to go back and get rid of Fidel.
Bay of Pigs in 1961, where Fidel had them for breakfast.
The Cuban Missile
It really got prickly when on October 14, 1962, a U.S. plane took
photographs of Soviet missiles stationed on Cuba. It was reported
that with these missiles, Fidel could target US cities with nuclear weapons.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was solved when the super powers at last
came to an agreement:
The Soviet Union
promised to remove their weapons from Cuba and the US promised
to remove their weapons from Turkey and to leave Fidel the heck alone.
Ever the revolutionary, Fidel Castro showed up with his troops in Angola and
In 1980, Fidel felt ornery and ordered to let 125,000 emigrants
out of his country at once, a time for which U.S. immigration officers
are still grateful.
In 1993, Fidel Castro's daughter,
Alina Fernandez, immigrated too. But is there any proof of her blood
relation? Some say her story has holes.
In 2006, Fidel Castro stepped back
from government affairs and his younger brother
Raul Castro took over. But Fidel
still kept going and was active on official business.
On February 19, 2008, believe it or not, Fidel announced that he
retires. Was he being serious or did he just feel ornery again? Here's a news report from that very day.
On August 13, 2011, Fidel Castro celebrated his 85th birthday. Here
is Fidel and Raul, demonstrating the kind of spirit that kept them
going since a lifetime:
Fidel and Raul Castro
File picture dated
April 19, 2011: Fidel Castro and his brother, Cuban President Raul
Castro, attending the closing session of the 6th Congress
of the party in Havana, Cuba.
Photo: EPA/BGNES on Novinite