FIDEL CASTRO BIOGRAPHY

Fidel Castro was born August 13, 1926, in Mayari municipality, province of Oriente.

As a child Fidel Castro attended Catholic schools in Santiago de Cuba and Havana.

In 1945, Fidel Castro attended the University of Havana and graduated 1950 with a law degree.

Married Mirta Diaz-Balart in 1948. Had a son, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, born in 1949. However, they divorced in 1954.

Fidel Castro was a vocal opponent of the dictator "Fulgencio Batista". Fulgencio Batista had overthron the government of President Carlos Prio Socarras in a coup. Castro also was a member of the social-democratic Ortodoxo party. On July 26, 1953, Fidel Castro led an attack on the Moncada army barracks that failed. Castro was tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Fidel Castro was later granted amnesty in 1955.

Castro went into exile in Mexico. Here, Fidel Castro founded the 26th of July Movement. In December 1956, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and a small band of supporters, returned to Cuba and launched a successful guerrilla war. Batista fled Cuba, on Jan. 1, 1959.

Castro assumed power and established close ties with the Soviet Union. Fidel Castro established a "socialist" state, and nationalized industry and collectivized agriculture. In 1960, Castro confiscated the oil refineries, sugar mills, and electric utilities, that belonged to the United States. The U.S. government imposed economic sanctions on Cuba. In 1961, the U.S. Government tried to overthrow Fidel Castro in what became known as the "Bay of Pigs" Invasion.

Fidel Castro has played a major role in representing the interests of the Third World Countries in numerous forums. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba was placed under enormous difficulties, but these days is experiencing good solid growth. On February 24, 2008, the National Assembly elected Raśl Castro to succeed Fidel as the President of Cuba.

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