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Transcript of Fidel Castro
The Controversial Cuban Political Leader
Short Term Effects of Castro's Rule
Longer Term Rule
April 1961 - "Bay of Pigs" evidenced deteriorating U.S./Cuba relations
1962 - Soviet Union secretly stationed ballistic missiles in Cuba
Ended when USSR withdrew nuclear weapons from Cuba
+ U.S. withdrew theirs in Turkey and stop pursuit of Castro
Cuban economy failed reduction of dependence on cane sugar.
(His brother) Raúl was minister of the armed forces
In 1980 Castro flooded around 125,000 immigrants to U.S.
Full Name: Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz
Country of Origin: Cuba
Predecessor: Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar
Government under his rule: Communist Marxist
How did Fidel Castro's decision to transform Cuba into the Western Hemisphere's
Communist state affect the future of the country?
Birth Name: Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz
Birthday: August 13, 1926
Birthplace: Near Biran, Cuba
Ángel Castro y Argiz (immigrant from Spain)
Lina Ruz González (servant of Mr. Castro's first wife)
Educated in private Jesuit boarding schools
The Budding Revolutionist
Moved to Catholic High School Belén in Havana
1945 - entered the School of Law of the University of Havana
Pursued interest in politics
1947 he joined failed attempt to overthrow Gen. Rafael Trujillo.
April 1948 - Participated in urban riots in Bogotá, Colombia
First Taste of True Political Power
After graduation in 1950, began practicing law
Joined reformist Cuban People’s Party (Partido Ortodoxos)
Gained candidacy in Havana’s H.R. – elections scheduled for June 1952
Married wealthy classmate Mirta Díaz Balart
Comparison of Governments Before and After Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro's Rebellion
Castro opposed right-winged and Americanized rule
Conjured several legal cases against the government, but failed
On July 26, 1953, led a (suicidal) attack in Santiago de Cuba
Most rebels were killed and Castro, arrested
Sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
He and brother Raúl were released in a political amnesty in 1955
After failed "Granma" expedition on 1956, Fled to Mexico
Organized Cuban exiles into to revolutionary group
"The 26th of July Movement"
1955 - "July Movement" began as Castro formed a disciplined guerrilla force.
Predecessor: Government Before the Fidel
(Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar)
ruled Cuba twice first in 1933–44 with an efficient government
second in 1952–59 as a dictator before being deposed by Castro
First Rule and Government
1940 - Elected President, supported by “Democratic Socialist” coalition
Governed country effectively in his 4-year term
During rule, supported capitalism and admired the United States
Endorsed by Communist Party of Cuba due to Batista's support for labor unions
Carried out major social reforms and established numerous economic regulations and pro-union policies
Second Rule and Government
In 1944, left Cuba after term ended
In March 1952, Deposed Pres. Carlos Prío Socarrás through military coup
Returned as a brutal dictator
Heavily controlled the university, the press, and the Congress
Embezzled huge sums from a soaring economy.
Described his new system as "disciplined democracy"
Castro considered Batista's rule as one-man dictatorship
Manipulated 1954 and 1958 elections
"I am Fidel Castro and we have come to liberate Cuba." ~Fidel Castro
Batista became more right-winged
Solidified ties with both the wealthy elite and the United States
Severed diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union
Suppressed trade unions and persecuted Cuban socialist groups
Movement adopted a reform program believing in
Distribution of land to peasants
nationalization of public services
Castro beat Batista's poorly led armed forces
Castro’s 800 guerrillas defeated Batista's 30,000-man professional army.
Castro’s successfully initiated national propaganda
Batista fled on January 1, 1959
1) Castro commanded armed forces of president Manuel Urrutia
In February 1959, Castro effectively became Premier
Supported by nation, promised to restore the 1940 constitution
Mainly: To govern by Capitalist/Semi-Democratic (More conservative and free) Principles
Create an honest administration
Reinstate Full Civil and Political Liberties
Undertake Modern Reforms
Mainly: Socialist/Marxist (More radical policies) principles
Landholdings were split and limited for each owner
Unsuccessfully attempted to raise tourism industry
Politician Salary Decreased, Low-Level Civil Servants Salary Increased
Cuba’s private commerce and industry were nationalized
Standard of Living was emphasized at the economy’s cost
American businesses and agricultural estates were expropriated.
Education was heavily prioritized
Healthcare was nationalized
Infrastructure was also focused on
Water and Sanitation were improved
Houses were constructed to lessen and combat homelessness
Effects of Policies
Please lower class and students (majority of population)
Alienated middle class emigrated to Florida causing economic “brain drain”
Productivity decreased and the country's financial reserves were drained within two years.
[CIA-supported militant anti-Castro groups] went against Castro
War against the Bandits
Cold War between
U.S a capitalist liberal democracy -and-
Soviet Union (USSR), a Marxist-Leninist socialist state
Against U.S., Castro sided with USSR, establishing relations with several Marxist-Leninist states
Castro responded by removing and nationalizing the refineries.
US’s answer = cancelled import of Cuban sugar
Castro’s response = nationalize most U.S.-owned assets on the island, including banks and sugar mills.
Finally, U.S. ended import of Cuban sugar, the country's primary export.
2003 -National Assembly confirmed Castro 5 more years as president
Arrested independent journalists and activists in new crackdown on dissidents
July 31, 2006 - Fidel Castro officially passed power to brother Raúl
Reason: Recovery from surgery for serious intestinal illness.
In February 2008, officially declared won't accept further presidency terms.
"I do not bid you farewell. My only wish is to fight as a soldier of ideas.” ~Fidel Castro
Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 surprised him
= generous Soviet subsidies to Cuba.
Castro countered resulting economic decline by:
allowing some economic liberalization while retaining tight controls of government
Long Term Effects of Rule
Cuba under Castro relied heavily on foreign exports
U.S.'s ceased sugar cane import; this incapacitated economy
Soviet Union's collapse = cease of Cuban aid = debilitated economy *suffer
In result, left/raised country to be independent and sulf-sufficient
Transformed Cuba into a Communist State
The United States feared Communism
North Americans generally dislike totalitarian leader
Executed several hundred opponents and jailed several more.
Seized and nationalized land previously, deteriorating ties with U.S.
Currently, Cubans build rafts to illegally emigrate to Florida
8,000 specific victims of the Castro regime
-- including 5,775 firing squad executions
1,231 extrajudicial assassinations
984 deaths in prison.
Body count is expected to reach 17,000 --
Including 10,000+ Cubans dead at sea while fleeing Castro's
To which Castro responded with:
"Condemn me, it doesn't matter," Castro once said.
"History will absolve me."
Established a genuine communist state where
The people share labor and rewards
At the cost of privation, corruption and repression.
Known for long beard
+ Frequently appeared publicly in green military fatigues
Famous for long speeches; once for over 7 hours!
Timeline of Events *So Far
August 13, 1926:
Castro is born in Biran, southeastern Cuba, the third of seven children.
: Joins a failed coup attempt against Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.
October 12, 1948:
Marries Mirta Diaz-Balart. They spend their honeymoon in the United States.
His first son, Fidelito, is born. Under death threats from rival politicians, he moves to New York for a time.
Graduates from University of Havana with a doctorate in law.
: Fulgencio Batista takes power in a coup, sparking protests from Castro, who goes underground with his anti-government activities.
Leads a failed attack on Santiago de Cuba's Moncada military barracks. Castro is arrested and dozens of his men are jailed.
Files for divorce from Mirta.
Early May 1955
: Batista grants amnesty to Castro, who goes to Mexico to plot invasion of Cuba
May 15, 1955
: Gets out of jail under amnesty and establishes the July 26 Movement.
July 7, 1955:
Flees to Mexico where he meets Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Maria Laborde, who would give birth to Castro's son Jorge Angel.
March 3, 1956:
Daughter Alina Fernandez Revuelta is born. The mother is Naty Revuelta.
December 2, 1956:
Lands in southeastern Cuba on the ship Granma with 81 fighters and launches a 25-month-long military campaign in the Sierra Maestra mountains.
February 16, 1957
: Meets Celia Sanchez, who becomes his main lifetime partner and right-hand aide until her death in 1980.
January 1, 1959:
Batista flees the country. Castro makes a victorious entry into Havana on January 8 and is appointed prime minister in February.
March 10, 1959
: Foils a US assassination plot against him.
April 15-27, 1959
: Meets US Vice-President Richard Nixon in the United States.
Oct 19, 1960
: United States begins partial economic embargo.
1960: Establishes diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
The United States severs diplomatic relations with Cuba. Castro meets Dalia Soto del Valle, with whom he has five children.
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APA formatting by BibMe.org.
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April 17-19, 1961:
Defeats 1 400 anti-Castro fighters in the US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion.
: “Cuban Missile Crisis” The Soviet Union deploys missiles in Cuban waters but eventually agrees to withdraw them in exchange for guarantees the United States would not invade Cuba.
: Castro makes his first visit to the Soviet Union.
October 15, 1967:
Castro announces that "Che" Guevara was killed in Bolivia.
: Sends troops to help Angola independence fighters.
Hosts non-aligned movement summit and becomes its president until 1982.
Allows a refugee exodus of 125,000 on the Mariel boatlift to the United States.
: Stops smoking his cherished Cohiba cigars for concerning health reasons
: Criticises Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika in the Soviet Union.
: Cuba economy greatly suffers following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
: Castro visits China for the first time.
: Welcomes Pope John Paul II on his historic visit to Cuba.
: Launches a successful campaign for the return of six-year-old Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez from Florida.
: Orders the arrest of 75 opposition leaders.
October 20, 2004
: Falls while giving a speech in Santa Clara, injuring his left knee and right arm.
: Signs an alliance with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, whose country's oil is key to keeping Cuba's economy afloat.
July 31, 2006
: Temporarily transfers power to his brother, Defense Chief Raul Castro, 75, after what a statement attributed to him called delicate Intestinal Surgery.
Late November-December 3, 2006
: Fails to appear during celebrations for his 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the landing of the Granma.
February 19, 2008
: Castro relinquishes power in a message, writing: "I neither will aspire to nor will I accept the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief."