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Communist Leon Trotsky helped ignite the Russian Revolution of 1917, and built the Red Army afterward. He was exiled and later assassinated by Soviet agents.
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Born in 1879, Leon Trotsky waged Russia's 1917 revolution alongside Vladimir Lenin. As commissar of war, he helped defeat forces opposed to Bolshevik control. He engaged in a power struggle against Joseph Stalin which led to his death.
Born in 1931, near Birán, Cuba, Raul Castro assisted his brother, Fidel Castro, during most of his life. Once Fidel assumed power, Raul became head of the armed forces and served as Cuba's defense minister. Raul became president in 2008.
Born in Argentina on in 1928, Che Guevara traveled to South America during his youth, a trip that spurred his Marxist beliefs. He aided Fidel Castro in overturning the Cuban government.
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In February, he wrote a testament expressing his final thoughts for posterity and forcibly denied Stalin's accusations. On August 20, 1940, Trotsky was sitting at his desk in his study in Mexico City. Ramon Mercader, an undercover agent for the Soviet Union's secret police, attacked Trotsky with an ice pick, puncturing his skull. He was taken to the hospital, but died a day later, at the age of 60.
For decades, Leon Trotsky was discredited in the Soviet Union,
the result of Stalin's hatred and his totalitarian control. However, 10 years after the collapse of the Soviet government, in 2001, Trotsky's reputation was officially "rehabilitated" by the Russian government. His legacy of being the most brilliant intellect of the Communist Revolution and his reputation as a tireless worker, rousing public speaker and decisive administrator was restored. Some historians believe if he had not subordinated himself to Lenin during the Bolshevik Revolution, the history of the Soviet Union might have been very different. However, Trotsky had allowed his intelligence and arrogance to antagonize those less able than himself, and in the end, alienated many around him, allowing deceitful men like Stalin to take advantage.
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