Interesting Facts About Fidel Castro: The Cuban Revolutionary Leader

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro

On November 25, 2016, the world woke up to the shocking news of the death of Fidel Castro, Cuban revolutionary leader. He was ninety years old. Fidel Castro, an iconic figure who turned Cuba into a socialist territory and triggered the Cold War will always be remembered as one of the worst dictators.
Fidel Castro is a former political leader and the Cuban dictator. He was born on August 13th, 1926 to Angel Castro, a sugar cane farmer, and Lina Ruz Gonzalez. Fidel attended a private boarding school as a kid but preferred sports to school. He eventually managed to study law at the University of Havana where his interest in anti-U.S intervention and activism grew.
He became the president of the University Students Federation and started to oppose the corrupt government of Cuba. His political ambitions led him to overthrow the government of the day in Cuba and served as Cuba’s Prime Minister from 1959-1976, and as the president of Cuba from 1976-2008, when he resigned because of health issues.
Under his leadership, Cuba became a single-party socialist state; he spearheaded the nationalization of business and industry, and various state socialist reforms were implemented throughout society.
While many people know of Fidel Castro as a Cuban dictator, facts about his life remain a mystery to some. We have gathered eight most interesting facts about Fidel Castro which you probably didn’t know.
1. According to the UN website, Fidel Castro holds the record for delivering the longest speech ever to the UN: four hours and twenty-nine minutes, on September 26, 1960.
2. Despite the numerous plots, fifty years of economic sanctions, and a US-backed exile invasion, Castro outlasted 9 presidents of United States, from Dwight Eisenhower to Bill Clinton. He eventually stepped down while former President George W. Bush was in office.
3. Castro claimed he survived 634 assassination attempts, primarily planned by the US-based exile organizations and CIA. They may have included a toxic cigar, poison pills, a chemically tainted diving suit, and exploding mollusks. Another alleged plot involved providing him powder which would make him remove his beard and thus, undermine his popularity.
4. Castro led Cuba for 50 years and became the third-longest-serving head of state in the world, after the King of Thailand and Queen Elizabeth of Britain. In July 2006, he temporarily surrendered power to his own brother Raul for him to undergo an intestinal surgery. In 2008, the handover of power became official.
5. Sparked Cold War due to his good relationship with the Soviet Union. Castro’s warm relations with the Soviet Union alarmed the United States and unsuccessfully attempted to remove him from power by economic blockade, assassinations, and counter-revolution, including the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.
To counter these threats, Castro established a strong alliance with the Soviets and even moved on to allow them to keep nuclear weapons on the island; thus, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis -a defining occasion of the Cold War—in 1962.
6. Castro really liked Cuban cigars. He used to chomp on Cuban cigars but abandoned them in 1985. Some years later he summarized the danger of smoking tobacco by mentioning that “The best thing you can do with this box of cigars is given them to your enemy.”
7. One of his successful pet projects was a cow named Ubre Blanca (or the White Udder) which produced a prodigious amount of milk. In the 1980s, it became a propaganda tool for the collectivized agriculture of Cuba. In fact, Ubre Blanca is in the Guinness Book of Records for the highest milk yield by a cow in a single day – 110 liters (29 U.S. gallons).
8. Castro divorced because of a Love Letter Switch. Mirta divorced Fidel Castro when he was in jail. The reason for this divorce was that Fidel’s love letters to another woman, Natalia, and the letters to his wife, Mirta were switched. Later, Revuelta revealed that she believes this wasn’t accidental.

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