1.Fidel Castro’s Birth
Fidel Castro is a first generation Cuba born on 13th August, 1926 in a wealthy family that lived in Oriente’s Eastern Region. His full name at birth was Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. His family owned 11000 hectares of land where they produced sugarcane, wood and cattle. His father, Angel Castro, was a Spanish immigrant while his mother, Lina Ruz, was born in Cuba to Spanish parents. Fidel Castro’s parents had six children and had learnt how to read and write despite the fact that they never attended school.
2.Early Childhood and Education
Fidel Castro attended a small school in rural Cuba until he was six when he joined a Catholic private elementary boarding school located in Santiago de Cuba. He then joined elite Jesuit High School, Colegio Belen in Havana, Cuba’s capital. Castro learned self-discipline from the Spanish priests. He was awarded in 1943 as the best high school athlete in Cuba. He visited his family during school breaks and read newspaper reports to his parents and workers about World War II and the Spanish Civil War. At age 19, Fidel Castro joined University of Havana.
3.The Global Economic Crisis
When Fidel Castro was aged three, the global economic crisis hit Cuba’s rural area. Between 1929 and 1933, there was widespread political and social upheaval in Cuba that saw Fulgencio Batista lead a military revolution backed by the U.S Ambassador that propelled a radical government to power. Batista dominated politics in Cuba until 1959.
4.Entry into Politics
University was Castro’s springboard into national politics. Following the 1944 elections, the Partido Revolucionario Cubano (PRC), also called the Autentico Party had formed government and promised key social reforms and national independence. Castro got involved in unrestrained politics and in 1947; he was involved in setting up a populist party called Partido del Pueblo Cubano. This new party was also known as Ortodoxo Party and shared similar values as PRC but said the PRC government was corrupt and had failed in delivering reforms.
5.A Utopian Socialist
Fidel Castro became a utopian socialist whose primary influence was José Martí, a Cuban patriot whose biography he read during his high school days. During his early life, Fidel Castro absorbed anti-capitalist ideas derived from the Catholic conservative counter-reformation though. In his high school days, he discovered anti-imperialist, nationalist and revolutionary writings. He familiarized himself with the radical works of Vladimir Lenin, a Russian Communist Leader and Karl Marx, a German philosopher while in University.
6.An Armed Revolution Leader
In July 1953, Fidel Castro led civilians to attach Moncada army barracks in Santiago de Cuba. This revolution failed; Castro was captured and imprisoned from 1953 to 1955 at Isle of Pines. While in prison, he organized his associates within and outside the prison. At the same time, he became a key Cuban opposition leader.
Upon release his release in 1955, he went on exile in Mexico till 1956 where he trained and organize a guerilla force. The guerilla force led an insurgency in 1957 – 1958 that collapsed the Batista Military regime. This became the first rural insurgency in Latin America to defeat an ordinary military force backed by the U.S. government.
During the nearly 50 years of his reign, there have been hundreds of attempts to end Fidel Castro’s life both by U.S’s CIA and Cuba’s rogue rebels. No single assassination by foreign forces has ever gotten close to being successful including those of CIA during the Kennedy administration.
9.Fidel Castro’s Security
Fidel Castro was one of the most physically invulnerable world leaders. An entourage with hundreds of support personnel and elite security traveled abroad with him.
10.The Best Intelligence System
Fidel Castro created security and intelligence services independent as well as within the armed forces. For a long time, Cuban intelligence was among the top in the world that demonstrated ability to thwart potential threats way before coalesce.