HomeAboutLogin
       
       
 
90 years

   
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. Politically a Marxist–Leninist and Cuban nationalist, he also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Under his administration, Cuba became a one-party socialist state; industry and business were nationalized, and state socialist reforms were implemented throughout society.

Born in Birán, Oriente as the son of a wealthy Spanish farmer, Castro adopted leftist anti-imperialist politics while studying law at the University of Havana. After participating in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, launching a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953. After a year's imprisonment, he traveled to Mexico where he formed a revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, with his brother Raúl Castro and Che Guevara. Returning to Cuba, Castro took a key role in the Cuban Revolution by leading the Movement in a guerrilla war against Batista's forces from the Sierra Maestra. After Batista's overthrow in 1959, Castro assumed military and political power as Cuba's Prime Minister. The United States came to oppose Castro's government, and unsuccessfully attempted to remove him by assassination, economic blockade, and counter-revolution, including the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. Countering these threats, Castro formed an alliance with the Soviet Union and allowed the Soviets to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis—a defining incident of the Cold War—in 1962.

Adopting a Marxist–Leninist model of development, Castro converted Cuba into a one-party, socialist state under Communist Party rule, the first in the Western Hemisphere. Policies introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent. Abroad, Castro supported anti-imperialist revolutionary groups, backing the establishment of Marxist governments in Chile, Nicaragua, and Grenada, and sending troops to aid allies in the Yom Kippur War, Ogaden War, and Angolan Civil War. These actions, coupled with Castro's leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1979 to 1983 and Cuba's medical internationalism, increased Cuba's profile on the world stage. Following the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991, Castro led Cuba into its "Special Period" and embraced environmentalist and anti-globalization ideas. In the 2000s he forged alliances in the Latin American "pink tide"—namely with Hugo Chávez's Venezuela—and signed Cuba up to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. In 2006 he transferred his responsibilities to Vice-President Raúl Castro, who was elected to the presidency by the National Assembly in 2008.

More on this Website

 
 
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. Politically a Marxist–Leninist and Cuban nationalist, he also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Under his administration, Cuba became a one-party socialist state; industry and business were nationalized, and state socialist reforms were implemented throughout society.

Born in Birán, Oriente as the son of a wealthy Spanish farmer, Castro adopted leftist anti-imperialist politics while studying law at the University of Havana. After participating in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, launching a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953. After a year's imprisonment, he traveled to Mexico where he formed a revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, with his brother Raúl Castro and Che Guevara. Returning to Cuba, Castro took a key role in the Cuban Revolution by leading the Movement in a guerrilla war against Batista's forces from the Sierra Maestra. After Batista's overthrow in 1959, Castro assumed military and political power as Cuba's Prime Minister. The United States came to oppose Castro's government, and unsuccessfully attempted to remove him by assassination, economic blockade, and counter-revolution, including the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. Countering these threats, Castro formed an alliance with the Soviet Union and allowed the Soviets to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis—a defining incident of the Cold War—in 1962.

Adopting a Marxist–Leninist model of development, Castro converted Cuba into a one-party, socialist state under Communist Party rule, the first in the Western Hemisphere. Policies introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent. Abroad, Castro supported anti-imperialist revolutionary groups, backing the establishment of Marxist governments in Chile, Nicaragua, and Grenada, and sending troops to aid allies in the Yom Kippur War, Ogaden War, and Angolan Civil War. These actions, coupled with Castro's leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1979 to 1983 and Cuba's medical internationalism, increased Cuba's profile on the world stage. Following the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991, Castro led Cuba into its "Special Period" and embraced environmentalist and anti-globalization ideas. In the 2000s he forged alliances in the Latin American "pink tide"—namely with Hugo Chávez's Venezuela—and signed Cuba up to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. In 2006 he transferred his responsibilities to Vice-President Raúl Castro, who was elected to the presidency by the National Assembly in 2008. More...

 
    Karl Marx, Co-founder Communism
  Karl Marx, Co-founder Communism
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Marx's work in economics laid the basis for the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and has influenced m...
 
    Lenin, Founder of the Soviet Republics
  Lenin, Founder of the Soviet Republics
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He served as the leader of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917, and then concurrently as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1922, unt...
 
    Joseph Stalin, Dictator of the Soviet Union
  Joseph Stalin, Dictator of the Soviet Union
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian-born Soviet revolutionary and political leader. He governed the Soviet Union as dictator from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953, serving as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1953 and as General S...
 
    Mao Zedong, Leader Communist Party of China
  Mao Zedong, Leader Communist Party of China
Mao Zedong or Mao Tse-tung, also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary, poet, political theorist and founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he governed as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its...
 
    John F. Kennedy, 35th US President, 1961-1963
  John F. Kennedy, 35th US President, 1961-1963
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly known as Jack Kennedy, or by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until he was assassinated in November 1963. Notable events during his...
 
    Allen Ginsberg, Poet Beat Generation
  Allen Ginsberg, Poet Beat Generation
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet who vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression. In the 1950s, Ginsberg was a leading figure of the Beat Generation. Ginsberg's epic poem "Howl", in which he celebrates his fellow "angel-...
 
    Che Guevara, Marxist Revolutionary
  Che Guevara, Marxist Revolutionary
Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna, commonly known as Che Guevara, was an Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary and Cuban guerrilla leader. “Che” is an Argentine expression for calling someone's attention, and in some other parts of Latin America, a s...
 
       
 
         
          2019 © Timeline Index | Webwork.Amsterdam