Fidel Castro (born in 1927) is a Cuban Communist politician, prime minister 1959-1976 and president from 1976.
He led two unsuccessful coups against the right-wing Batista regime and led the revolution that overthrew the dictator in 1959.
From 1979 he was also president of the non-aligned movement, although promoting the line of the USSR, which subsidized his regime.
Of wealthy parentage, Castro was educated at Jesuit schools and, after studying law at the University of Havana, he gained a reputation through his work for poor clients. He opposed the Batista dictatorship, and took part in an unsuccessful attack on the army barracks at Santiago de Cuba in 1953. After some time in exile in the USA and Mexico, Castro attempted a secret landing in Cuba in 1956 in
which all but 11 of his supporters were killed. He eventually gathered an army of over 5,000 which overthrew Batista in 1959 and he became prime rninister a few months later. His brother Raul was appointed minister of armed forces.
The Castro regime introduced a centrally planned economy based on the production for export of sugar, tobacco, and nickel. Aid for development has been provided by the USSR while Cuba joined COMECON, the economic association of Communist countries, in 1972. By nationalizing US-owned businesses in 1960 Castro gained the enmity of the USA, which came to a head in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. His regime became socialist and he espoused Marxism-Leninism until in 1974 he rejected Marx's formula 'from each according to his ability and to each according to his need and decreed that each Cuban should 'receive according to his work'. Since 1990, events in E Europe and the disintegration of the USSR have left Castro increasingly isolated.
Why is Fidel Castro famous?
Fidel Castro is a Cuban revolutionary and politician.