Fidel Castro

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Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (Spanish: [fiˈðel ˈkastro]; born August 13, 1926) is a Marxist Cuban politician.[1] One of the primary leaders of the Cuban Revolution, Castro served as the Prime Minister of Cuba from February 1959 to December 1976, and then as the President of the Council of State of Cuba and the President of Council of Ministers of Cuba until his resignation from the office in February 2008. He has served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba since the party's foundation in 1961 (as the ORI, but has since December 2010 "delegated" his responsibilites due to health reasons).[2] His younger brother Raúl Castro is currently Second Secretary of the Communist Party and President of the Councils of State and Ministers and previously served under Fidel as Minister of Defence in 1959-2008.

While studying law at the University of Havana, he began his political career and became a recognized figure in Cuban politics.[3] His political career continued with nationalist critiques of the president, Fulgencio Batista, and of the United States' political and corporate influence in Cuba. He gained an ardent, but limited, following and also drew the attention of the authorities.[4] He eventually led the failed 1953 attack on the Moncada Barracks, after which he was captured, tried, incarcerated, and later released. He then traveled to Mexico[5][6] to organize and train for an invasion of Cuba to overthrow Batista's government, which began in December 1956.

Castro subsequently came to power as a result of the Cuban Revolution, which overthrew the U.S.-backed[7] dictatorship of Batista,[8] and shortly thereafter became Prime Minister of Cuba.[9] In 1965 he became First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, and led the transformation of Cuba into a one-party socialist republic. In 1976 he became President of the Council of State as well as of the Council of Ministers. He also held the supreme military rank of Comandante en Jefe ("Commander in Chief") of the Cuban armed forces.

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