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Marxist Cuban political leader Fidel Castro helped lead the Cuban Revolution, and served as president of Cuba from 1976 to 2008.
A look at the CIA's failed attempts at the assassination of Fidel Castro.
A brief look at Fidel Castro and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
CIA and a Cuban brigade planned an invasion on Castro and Cuba, but the plan quickly unravelled.
A brief history of the Cuban Revolution and the rise of Fidel Castro.
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Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was born near Birán, Cuba, on August 13, 1926. In 1959, Castro used guerilla warfare to successfully overthrow Cuban leader Batista, and was sworn in as prime minister of Cuba. As Cuban prime minister, Castro's government established covert military and economic relations with the Soviet Union, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis. He served as prime minister until 1976, when he became president of Cuba.
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926 (though some say he was born a year later), near Birán, located in Cuba's eastern Oriente province. Fidel Castro was the third of six children, including his two brothers, Raul and Ramon; and three sisters, Angelita, Emma and Augustina. His father, Angel, was a wealthy sugar plantation owner originally from Spain. His mother, Lina Ruz Gonzalez, had been a maid to Angel's first wife, Maria Luisa Argota, at the time of Fidel's birth. By the time Fidel was 15, his father dissolved his first marriage and wed Fidel's mother. At age 17, Fidel was formally recognized by his father and his name was changed from Ruz to Castro.
Educated in private Jesuit boarding schools, Castro grew up in wealthy circumstances amid the poverty of Cuba's people. He was intellectually gifted, but more interested in sports than studies. He attended El Colegio de Belen and pitched for the school's baseball team. After his graduation in late 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana and became immersed in the political climate of Cuban nationalism, anti-imperialism and socialism.
In 1947, Castro became increasingly passionate about social justice. He traveled to the Dominican Republic to join an expedition attempting the overthrow of the dictator Rafael Trujillo. The coup failed before it got started, but the incident didn't dampen Castro's passion for reform.
Soon after his return to the university in Havana, Castro joined the Partido Ortodoxo, an anticommunist political party founded to reform government corruption in Cuba. Its goals were nationalism, economic independence, and social reforms. Its founder, Cuban presidential candidate Eduardo Chibas, lost the 1948 election. Despite the loss, Chibas inspired Castro to be an ardent disciple. Chibas considered another run for president again in 1951. He hoped to expose the government's corruption and warn the people about General Fulgencio Batista, a former president who was planning a return to power. But the presidential hopeful's effort was cut short after supposed allies refused to provide evidence of government wrongdoing. Chibas shot himself during a radio broadcast after his inability to keep his promise.
In 1948, Castro married Mirta Diaz Balart, who was from a wealthy family in Cuba. They had one child, Fidelito. The marriage exposed Castro to a wealthier lifestyle and political connections. Castro pursued his political ambitions as a candidate for a seat in the Cuban parliament, but a coup led by General Fulgencio Batista successfully overthrew the government and cancelled the election.
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