Ten fun facts about Fidel Castro
Fact 1Fact 4
Castro also served as the Commander in Chief of the country’s armed forces from 1959 to 2008, and served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011.
Politically a Marxist-Leninist, under his administration the Republic of Cuba became a one-party socialist state; industry and businesses were nationalized, and socialist reforms implemented in all areas of society.
Internationally, Castro was the Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement, from 1979 to 1983 and from 2006 to 2008.
The illegitimate son of a wealthy farmer, Castro adopted leftist anti-imperialist politics while studying law at the University of Havana.Fact 5
During his reign, thousands of Cubans have sought exile in the United States.Fact 6
After participating in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of the United States-backed military junta of Cuban president Fulgencio Batista, and served a year's imprisonment in 1953 after a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks.Fact 7
On release he traveled to Mexico, where he formed a revolutionary group with his brother Raúl and friend Che Guevara, the 26th of July Movement. Returning to Cuba, Castro led the Cuban Revolution which ousted Batista in 1959, and brought his own assumption of military and political power.Fact 8
In 1961, Castro proclaimed the socialist nature of his administration, with Cuba becoming a one-party state under Communist Party rule. Socialist reforms introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent.Fact 9
His sister, Juanita, lives in the U.S., and has spoken out against his policies.Fact 10
Castro is a controversial and divisive world figure, lauded as a champion of anti-imperialism, humanitarianism, socialism and environmentalism by his supporters, but viewed as a dictator who has overseen multiple human rights abuses by his critics. Through his actions and his writings he has significantly influenced the politics of various individuals and groups across the world. Go to more people facts ❯
MORE IN PEOPLE/CELEBRITIES