Fidel Castro, the iconic figure who held the reins of power in Cuba for nearly five decades and turned his country into the first communist enclave in the Western Hemisphere, took his last breath on Friday, 25th November, after being ill for years. It was confirmed by his brother, Raul Castro, who has been President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba since 2008. When Fidel died, he was at the age of 90. During his lifetime, his revolution achieved numerous things for the country and country’s people. Here are some facts that are close to his life as well as his revolution:
For starter, Fidel Castro or Fidel Alejandro Castro was born on August 13, 1926 near Biran, Cuba. His father, Angel Castro y Argiz, was a Spanish migrant and a fairly prosperous sugarcane farmer. His mother was just a household servant. Despite being illiterate, Fidel’s parents’ decision of providing good education to their children is nothing short of praiseworthy. Hence, Fidel was sent to attend a Roman Catholic Boarding school, where he obtained his primary education and later on sent to Catholic high school in Havana where he showed his outstanding athletic skills.
At the age of 8, Fidel was baptized a Catholic and joined many Jesuit-run boarding schools. After completing his graduation in 1945 Castro attended school of law at the Havana University, where he managed to find himself as a socialist and started participating in political activities, romantic goals and personal careers. However, his main interest was shown in the politics because of which he made a tour next to the Dominican Republic to participate in an abortive attempt of overthrowing Gen. Rafael Trujillo.
Later in 1950, Castro’s journey started with the Cuban People’s Party, campaign of which was stood against injustice, poverty, unemployment, corruption and low wages. His consideration, efforts and goodwill for the campaign soon brought him forward as a candidate for congress for the party. Election was scheduled and party was expecting a fair winner but the former Cuban President General Batista with the support of the armed forces took control of the nation and canceled the election.
At last, the revolution was the only way left for Cuban People’s Party, whereby an attempt was made to overthrow General Batista and attacked on the Army Barracks, but he failed to achieve his endeavour. Many of his groups were killed, some were captured by the army and later murdered by them. Castro was also accused of initiating for attempt to murder as well for organising an armed uprising.
In 1955, Fidel left for Mexico with his brother Raul, where he started planning again for the same purpose and met with some other revolutionaries. And finally Castro found a success in 1959, and became the Prime Minister of Cuba. A few months later, he put socialist policies into effect that were somewhat a replica to those of the communist countries.
As soon as Castro’s government formed, he started passing some new norms. Land preserved by former gen Batista and his ministers was seized and redeployed among farmers, rent rate was minimised for low paid workers by up to 50 percent and many other strict rules were passed for wrongdoings like gambling, drugs, racism, etc. He also requested Cuban people to educate their children and made education free for them. However, he also used his power for those who tried to oppose him and stated jail for them.
Moreover, he nationalized the country’s private commerce and industries such as Telephone Company, oil refineries, factories, earlier owned by the US. Soon, American commerce and agricultural estates began to be impounded by Cuban government. In 1960, most economic relations between Cuba and the United States were cut off. In the same year, Castro made some economic ties with the Soviet Union that further increased the US apprehension hence the United States broke off diplomatic ties with the country and soon ended all relations by January 1961. Albeit, the US also made some failed attempts to overthrow Cuba’s government.
In 1962, Castro voiced himself a Marxist-Leninist and proclaimed that the Cuban government was outshining communist economics as well as political policies. During 1962s to 1980s, Castro made many moves in terms of economic, military as well as started campaign against imperialism in African and Latin American countries. Later on, he switched his position from Prime Minister to President. He temporarily handed over the control of his government to his brother Raul after undergoing indisposition. In 2008, he permanently stepped down from his all government duties.
Fidel Castro, who had served head of a state as the third longest period of time, the first two being are – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and the king of Thailand, finally closed his eyes on November 25, 2016, but has left behind his memories that will never be forgotten. Read more Leadership News.