Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born August 13, 1926, is a former head of state and head of the Cuban government. It has been a key leader of the Cuban revolution, he served as premier of the island from February 1958 to December 1976, and later as president of the State Council of Cuba since its inception until his resignation from this office in February 2008. He currently serves as first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, a position he has held since its inception in 1965. On February 24, 2008, the National Assembly elected Raúl Castro to succeed him as president of Cuba.
Critics and advocacy organizations Human Rights denounced the government as a dictatorship. Many observers such as Amnesty International have criticized the authoritarian drift. The academic and writer Jacobo Machover even talk of "absolute power".
This view is disputed by his supporters. The figure also enjoys a certain popularity among politicians of the left (Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales ...) and intellectuals (Eduardo Galeano, Adolfo Perez Esquivel) Latin America, Africa (Nelson Mandela), Europe (Danielle Mitterrand, Jack Lang ...) and even the United States, where the Reverend Jesse Jackson, former candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election, declared in 1984 that Fidel Castro was "the most honest politician and the most courageous that [he has] ever met".
Coming to power in February 1959, shortly after the Cuban Revolution (1958-1959), which overthrew the dictatorial regime of General Fulgencio Batista, he stopped all his functions as head of state February 24, 2008. His brother, Raul Castro  as vice president was then elected as head of state by the National Assembly.
Fidel Castro, his brother Raul Castro's Lieutenant and Dr. Ernesto Guevara (the "Che") gave the revolution, officially nationalist initially oriented Marxist-Leninist "in the early 1960s, when the confrontation with the American administrations of the time. The country approached the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Following the revolution, the Cuban government, under the leadership of Castro, his brother and Che Guevara, progressively creating a single-party socialist republic. The Cuban constitution guarantees that the party does not take a position on the elections and he does not name a candidate, they are suggested by citizens at meetings of workers and neighborhoods.
Fidel Castro was first held the office of Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then from 2 December 1976, as president of the Council of State (Head of State) and Prime Minister (head of government). It is also a member of Santiago since 1976, and First Secretary of Communist Party of Cuba since its restructuring in 1965. Re-elected unopposed [ref. necessary] every five years, Fidel Castro was in power against eleven U.S. presidents: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton, G. Bush and Obama.
Since his removal from power, Fidel Castro, if he no longer handles the daily affairs, remains present and influential in Cuban society. He has published a book "La Paz en Colombia" ("Peace in Colombia"), freely downloadable, and is involved in the political debate by multiplying his thoughts on the current through periodic reviews Cuban press. In addition, he regularly receives dignitaries and heads of state like his friend, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
Born in Biran, near Mayarí in Holguín Province (formerly called Provincia de Oriente), August 13, 1926, Fidel Castro spent his early years on the farm of a wealthy family but very complicated. The son of Angel Castro Argiz, illiterate Galician immigrant, became wealthy landowner, Creole and his cook, Lina Ruz Gonzalez, while Don Angel is still married and not divorce his wife neglected. Seven children born outside marriage, Fidel is the 3rd and 4th Raúl. Fidel, illegitimate child, is placed at the age of 5 years in Santiago de Cuba, and will be baptized, unknown father, in January 1935. It will be officially recognized by his father, and take the name of Castro, in December 1943.
After studying with the Jesuits, especially at Belen College in Havana, Fidel Castro entered the University of Havana in 1945 where he earned a law degree in 1950. In April 1948, he was 22 years, he participated in Bogotazo, riots in Bogota, resulting in the assassination of the liberal left, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, who had just been elected President of Colombia, who made 3000 deaths . The exact role of Fidel Castro in these events is poorly known.
After his years at university or even at that time, in connection with settlements of accounts between rival gangs or individuals. According to one of his biographers, he would become a paid agent around 1948 by the KGB. This hypothesis is not supported by historians working on the Castro revolution and was in contradiction with the proclamations of the Castro era and the fact that the groups they are involved or for some non-Communist.
Marriage and opposition to Batista
In October 1948, he married his first wife, Mirta Diaz Balart, sister of Minister of Interior Batista, from a bourgeois family of the Oriente. The family still plays a certain role in the anti-Castro community in Miami (a Diaz-Balart [What?] Is a senator from Florida, chief lobbyist for anti-Castro U.S.). They spend their honeymoon in New York. The marriage lasted only a few years. From 1950 to 1952, he devoted himself to law, then submit to Parliament for the "Orthodox Party. But the coup by General Fulgencio Batista, who overthrew the government of Carlos Prio Socarrás, cancels the elections. Castro Batista attack to justice, accusing him of violating the constitution, but his request is inadmissible.
Organization of the armed struggle and exile
Castro then organizes an armed reaction by attacking the Moncada Barracks July 26, 1953, but it is a disaster. Eighty of the attackers are killed and Castro is arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison. It was here that he wrote his speech: "History Absolve Me" impassioned speech defending his actions and explaining his thesis policy. Released during a wave of amnesty in May 1955, he fled to Mexico and the United States with his brother Raul, where he reorganized the resistance to Batista. They are called the July 26 Movement. At that time, Castro is defined as a follower of the Jeffersonian philosophy and adheres to the formula Lincoln cooperation between capital and labor.
On December 2, 1956, he returned secretly to Cuba with 82 other exiles including Che Guevara, on the pleasure boat Granma in the Eastern Province (south-eastern Cuba). When Castro and his men landed, Batista's army was waiting. After several days of fighting, only 16 of the 82 men involved have survived. They take refuge in the Sierra Maestra where they lead a guerrilla war against Batista's army, supported by the U.S. government provides money and weapons. Batista makes a strategic mistake by not pushing them not to sea: he said that no one survives in the Sierra Maestra, but Castro and his men deny the facts. Among the survivors are Che Guevara, Raul Castro and Camilo Cienfuegos.
Winning popular support, the movement includes close to 800 men. The revolutionary movement is also very popular in the United States, The New York Times and CBS sent their journalists, Castro appears as a hero of democracy. The U.S. government, embarrassed by the brutality of the Batista regime, withdrew military aid that brought him and begins to see an alternative to Castro in Batista. On May 24, 1958, Batista sends seventeen battalions (over 10,000 men) against Castro during Operation Verano. Although outnumbered, Castro won victories, aided by mass desertions in the army of Batista. During the cons-offensive by the fall of 1958, the revolutionary forces took Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city, and Santa Clara. On December 31, 1958, while the situation is very uncertain, Batista fled the country with 40 million dollars to the Dominican Republic and Franco's Spain. On 1 January 1959, Castro and President-elect Carlos Rivero Agüero overfly the country and Castro's forces took Havana January 8, 1959. The credit of Castro to the Cuban population is enormous. A first provisional government is established, involving all the forces of opposition to Batista. The government aims to prepare for elections within 18 months. Cuba should, however, face growing opposition to U.S. nationalist reforms that Castro wants to bring. Soon he will face a fundamental choice, either abandon the reforms desired or nationalist move towards full nationalization of industry, banking and land reform to respect his family first and foremost. The Castro government will move towards the second option.
Castro is first and foremost a man of power, he soon realizes that the only organized force in Cuba, which survives in the chaos of the Revolution, the Communist Party which is his brother Raul is a member. It happens once an alliance with him, which accepts more quickly than it had shown a lot of passivity while Castro led his guerrillas. Castro immediately give serious pledges to PC: nationalization of key sectors of the economy, energy and the sugar industry, whilst providing speedy trials followed by executions of former Batista supporters, members of the military or Police and the oligarchy.
The United States quickly recognized the new regime, and Fidel Castro became prime minister in February. But tension grows as they begin to expropriate U.S. industries such as United Fruit, offering compensation solely based on property taxes that they had arranged to maintain artificially low. On June 6, 1958, Fidel Castro wrote a letter yet in the Sierra Maestra, which was later published by one of his supporters Carlos Franqui in which he explains: "When this war is over, start a war for me more important, longest: the one I'm going to wage against the North Americans. I am sure this will be my true destiny. In April 1959, Castro met with Vice President Richard Nixon at the White House. It is said that Eisenhower avoided Castro, claiming a round of golf, to leave with him and Nixon discuss whether it was communist. Castro's economic policies had alarmed Washington, which thought it had pledged allegiance to the Soviet Union. Following the meeting, Nixon explained that Castro was naïve, but not necessarily Communist. He is a reformer, humanist and then explains: "Human sacrifice Capitalism Communism ... sacrificing human rights. "
It was not until 1960 that approximates Mikoyan and began a sharp turn toward the Russian regime. In February 1960, Castro signed an agreement with the USSR for the purchase of oil following the refusal of U.S. refineries located in Cuba expropriated to provide it. The United States suspended shortly after diplomatic relations with the island. Much to the concern of the Eisenhower administration, Cuba gradually shrinking ties with the Soviet Union. Number of agreements are signed between Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev on substantial assistance in economic and military. In 1968, Fidel Castro does not condemn the Soviet military intervention in Czechoslovakia to crush the Prague Spring.
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