Name: Fidel Castro

Alive: 1926-

Bio: Fidel Castro was born August 13th 1926. He studied law at the University of Havana. In 1953 Fidel tried to overthrow the current Cuban President Fulgencio Batista and failed – he was then sentenced to a year in prison. After his sentence he became committed to the Cuban revolution and played a key part in the movement, leading the revolution to victory by promoting a popular Marxist-Lenin ideology and using contemporary Guerrilla Warfare to overthrow the Republic of Cuba. He eventually became Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959-1976 and President from 1976-2008. Castro’s conversion of Cuba into a communist state, through nationalisation and state-socialist reforms, led to an alliance with the Soviet Union, making it a major world player during the Cold War as a result of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Quotes:

“A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past””

“Capitalism is using its money; we socialists throw it away”

“I think that a man should not live beyond the age when he begins to deteriorate, when the flame that lighted the brightest moment of his life has weakened”

Popular Culture:

“Fidel” – film, 2002

“The Cuban Missile” – season 2, episode 16 of “Seven Days”, 2000

“Che!” – film, 1969

Further Reading:

  • Notable works of Castro: My Life (1993), History Will Absolve Me (1999), Fidel and Religion (2006)
  •  Georgie Ann Geyer, Guerrilla Prince: The Untold Story of Fidel Castro (1991)
  • Leycester Coltman, The Real Fidel Castro (2003)