History Of Fidel Castro
The history of Fidel Castro is truly amazing. Looking at the leader he became, one would think that he came from impoverished family. However, this was not the case. He grew up in a wealthy family and received a proper education. He studied law at the University of Havana, and it was here that he first got interested in politics.
During this time, rich Americans used to come to Cuba to enjoy themselves and set up businesses. However, majority of the population in this island nation was poor. Castro saw inequality in terms of money around him and this was something he could not tolerate. So, when People’s Party started exposing corruption in the government, he joined the party as a member. The party was led by Eduardo Chibas.
In 1952, Cuba faced a coup and the reins of power were taken over by General Fulgencio Batista. Not only did the general called the elections in the country, he even tried to suppress the people. Castro decided then that in order for the People’s Party to come to power, he would have to get rid of the general. First he tried to approach courts to fight the general, but this did not work. Then Castro realized that he would need a revolution to get his party into power.
With his brother’s help, Castro formed a rebel group that attacked Moncada Barracks on 26th July 1953. However, this attacked failed miserably and Castro was arrested. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. After serving 2 years, he was given amnesty. On being released, Castro shifted his base to Mexico where had the good fortune of meeting Che Guevara. Along with Che, Castro planned to get rid of Batista.
Castro returned to Cuba with his rebel group in 1956 December and attacked the army. However, once again the attack failed and Castro and few surviving rebels were forced to retreat to Sierra Maestra. Once the rebels were safe, Castro began helping the peasants and poor villagers. This made him popular amongst them. This also allowed Castro to recruit people to fight for his cause. After forming and training a new group of rebels, Castro finally launched a complete attack on Batista’s army in 1958. Castro’s rebels were victorious and finally in January 1959, Batista fled from Cuba to take refuge in Dominican Republic.
After the victory, Castro was made into the leader. He immediately began to nationalize businesses owned by Americans, so that money generated could help pay for development. The island nation’s poor populace did not have access to basic health care and education. And, Castro thought that these measures would help. However, in retaliation, the US sanctioned trade embargo against Cuba. The US used to be Cuba’s biggest buyer of sugar. After the trade embargo, Castro looked towards erstwhile USSR for help and support. The Russians saw this as a chance to forge a relationship with Cuba, which just at a distance of ninety miles from Florida coast.
Then came the Bay of Pigs invasion in the year 1961, as an attempt by the Americans to overthrow Castro. However, this invasion failed, but it pushed Cuba towards Russia even more. Castro realized that his country would not be able to take an American attack, so allowed Russia to place nuclear missiles on the island nation. As a result, America got upset, as it saw this move as aggression against her.
The Americans tried several times to assassinate Castro and even discredit him. However, all these attempts failed. In the mean time, Castro ensured that free education and health care were available. However, the trade embargo imposed by the US severely crippled Cuba’s economy.
In the year 2006, Castro suffered from intestinal bleeding after a surgery. He called upon his brother, Raul, to lead the country while he got better. Finally, in the year 2008, Castro decided to give up his presidency in favor of his brother due to old age.
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