He took part in an aborted 1947 plan to overthrow Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo and was at a youth conference in Colombia when riots broke out and some 2,000 people died.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista by uniting a disparate opposition and outsmarting a bigger, better-equipped Cuban military. Even his critics would sometimes find themselves oddly charmed by such encounters.Long-winded, intolerant and unusually for a Cuban - awkward on the dance floor, he was not embraced by his fellow students at first but eventually emerged as a leader.Even before leading the 1959 revolution that propelled Cuba toward communism and onto the Cold War stage, Castro saw greatness in himself.S."
When this war has ended, a much bigger and greater war will start for me, a war I shall launch against them.But Castro also mined Cuban nationalism and Latin American pride, stirring resentment of U.His alliance with the Soviet Union put him at the center of the Cold War, most notably when the 1962 Cuban missile crisis took the world to the brink of nuclear war.Tall and physically commanding, fastidious in his attire, he often built to a crescendo of indignation, gesturing firmly with lawn mower cable long-fingered, well-manicured hands.Pardoned in 1955, he went into exile in Mexico where he met Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara.He managed to preserve his revolution despite constant U.Throughout, Castro lectured Cubans.Castro never allowed statues of him to be erected or streets to be named after him, saying he did not want a cult of personality.
He attended the Jesuit-run Belen School in the capital and then studied law at the University of Havana, plunging into the violent politics of the time and starting his drift leftward.He was a global celebrity, his beard, military fatigues and big Cuban cigars making him instantly recognizable."Men do not shape destiny. hostility to boosting potato production."He was a night owl.Castro toppled the unpopular U. 17, 2014, Raul Castro cut a deal to restore diplomatic ties with the United States. A magnificent orator who instinctively altered his cadence to fit the moment, he re-trod history and delved deep into detail about Cuban independence heroes, plans to "perfect" the revolution and the declared evils of U.S. When Batista staged a coup and halted the elections, Castro began plotting armed rebellion.Permanent struggleKnown by the militaristic title of "El Comandante," in some ways Castro was always replaying the exhilaration of revolt, exhorting Cubans to fight one battle after another, from confronting U.
Instead, almost killed by a serious intestinal illness, he was forced to step aside in 2006 and he formally handed over to his younger brother, Raul Castro, in 2008.Castro denied Batistas claims that he was a communist but decades later he told Spanish journalist Ignacio Ramonet in a book "100 hours with Fidel" that by 1952, "I was already a convinced Marxist-Leninist.S.Castro, who has died at the age of 90, was at once idealistic and pragmatic, sharply intelligent and reckless, charismatic and intolerant. When U.Ambushed at landing by government troops, only 12 of the 82 rebels on board made it to the rugged Sierra Maestra mountains. Nevertheless, the cult was everywhere. 13, 1926, Castro grew up as a privileged son on his fathers plantation in the eastern village of Biran, where his playmates were children of impoverished workers living in thatched huts with dirt floors."
I have sworn that the Americans will pay very dearly for what they are doing," he said in a letter to close friend and aide Celia Sanchez.Critics saw in him a stubborn bully who violated human rights, jailed his critics, banned opposition parties and wrecked Cubas economy. speeches by talking for nearly 4-1/2 hours.