[124], At Castro's command, the politically moderate lawyer Manuel Urrutia Lleó was proclaimed provisional president but Castro announced (falsely) that Urrutia had been selected by "popular election". Diplomatic ties were reinstalled in 2005 following the election of leftist President Martín Torrijos. [209] Feeling betrayed by Khrushchev, Castro was furious and soon fell ill.[210] Proposing a five-point plan, Castro demanded that the U.S. end its embargo, withdraw from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, cease supporting dissidents, and stop violating Cuban air space and territorial waters. In spite of all these, Raul Castro remains a revolutionary at heart. Some Americans disagreed with President John F. Kennedy's decision to ban trade with Cuba, and outwardly supported his nationalist revolutionary tactics. Following the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991, Castro led Cuba through the economic downturn of the "Special Period", embracing environmentalist and anti-globalization ideas. Under U.S. pressure, the hostages were released, and Castro welcomed them back as heroes. [84] Fidel liked him, later describing him as "a more advanced revolutionary than I was". [206] Castro urged that Khrushchev should launch a nuclear strike on the U.S. if Cuba were invaded, but Khrushchev was desperate to avoid nuclear war. In a few hours you will be victorious or defeated, but regardless of the outcome – listen well, friends – this Movement will triumph. [40], Castro co-founded a legal partnership that primarily catered to poor Cubans, although it proved a financial failure. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Castro remained the dominant figure in governance, taking the presidency of the newly created Council of State and Council of Ministers, making him both head of state and head of government. [273] In 1979, the Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was held in Havana, where Castro was selected as NAM president, a position he held until 1982. [282] Cuba's economy became even more dependent on Soviet aid, with Soviet subsidies (mainly in the form of supplies of low-cost oil and voluntarily buying Cuban sugar at inflated prices) averaging $4–5 billion a year by the late eighties. Cuba asserted that this was a manifestation of U.S. hegemony, and refused to allow an investigative delegation to enter the country. He continued to signify his willingness to renew diplomatic relations with the United States, provided that it end its trade embargo against Cuba. He became active in Cuban politics after graduating in 1950, and he prepared to run for legislative office in the 1952 elections. [324], In the early 1990s Castro embraced environmentalism, campaigning against global warming and the waste of natural resources, and accusing the U.S. of being the world's primary polluter. Tobacco products such as cigars and cigarettes were the only manufactured products among Cuba's leading exports, and even these are produced by a pre-industrial process. In the late 1980s, when the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev began to undertake democratic reforms and eastern European countries were allowed to slip out of the Soviet orbit, Castro retained a hard-line stance, espousing the discipline of communism. For the TV series, see, I joined the people; I grabbed a rifle in a police station that collapsed when it was rushed by a crowd. Most of the men were killed, and Castro himself was arrested. He came to interpret Cuba's problems as an integral part of capitalist society, or the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie", rather than the failings of corrupt politicians, and adopted the Marxist view that meaningful political change could only be brought about by proletariat revolution. [110], Batista responded with an all-out-attack, Operation Verano, in which the army aerially bombarded forested areas and villages suspected of aiding the militants, while 10,000 soldiers commanded by General Eulogio Cantillo surrounded the Sierra Maestra, driving north to the rebel encampments. Policies introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent. Their marriage would end with Castro's death in 2016. ", "Cuba's Doctors Resuscitate Economy Aid Missions Make Money, Not Just Allies", Castro: Kuwait, Iraq Invasions Both Mistakes, "Reaction Mixed to Castro's Turnover of Power", "Castro says he resigned as Communist Party chief 5 years ago", "Acting president Raul Castro says brother Fidel getting better", "Cuba's Castro says recovering, sounds stronger", "Castro elected President of Non-Aligned Movement Nations", "Bush wishes Cuba's Castro would disappear", "Fidel Castro stepping down as Cuba's leader", "Fidel Castro to turn 86, but out of view since June", "Fidel Castro sends farewell message to his people", "Cuba's Fidel Castro makes rare state TV appearance", "Fidel Castro warns of nuclear risk in 1st speech to Cuban parliament in 4 years", "Fidel Castro Addresses Parliament on Iran Issue", "Fidel Castro addresses parliament after four-year gap", "Fidel quits Communist Party leadership as Cuba looks to reform", "Cuban communists opt for old guard to lead reforms", Castro condemns NATO's 'inevitable' war on Libya, "Pope meets Cuba's Fidel Castro, slams US embargo", "Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez played role in Colombia's peace talks with Farc", "Fidel Castro to North Korea: nuclear war will benefit no one", "Fidel Castro awarded China's Confucius Peace Prize", "Fidel Castro Wins Confucius Peace Prize", "Fidel Castro appears to lend support to Cuba talks with U.S.", "Fidel Castro writes caustic note to Obama after Cuba visit", "Fidel Castro gives his 'last' party address", "Iran: Hassan Rouhani meets with Cuban leader Fidel Castro during one-day state visit in Havana", "Japan's Shinzo Abe meets Fidel Castro, discusses North Korea", "Marcelo foi um dos últimos líderes a estar com Fidel Castro", "Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro dead at 90", "Fidel Castro Laid to Rest in Cuba, Ending Nine Days of Mourning", "Fidel Castro's ashes buried in Santiago de Cuba", "Fidel Castro takes blame for 1960s gay persecution", "Americas | Ailing Castro still dominates Cuba", "What is the longest speech given at the United Nations? [239] Despite the economic issues, many of Castro's social reforms were popular, with the population largely supportive of the "Achievements of the Revolution" in education, medical care, housing, and road construction, as well as the policies of "direct democratic" public consultation. [117] Cantillo entered Havana's Presidential Palace, proclaimed the Supreme Court judge Carlos Piedra to be president, and began appointing the new government. Visiting Havana's poorest neighborhoods, he became active in the student anti-racist campaign. Some politicians suggested an amnesty would be good publicity, and the Congress and Batista agreed. [425] From 1980 until his death in 1995, Naranjo headed Castro's team of advisers. In on February 18, 1961, 400 people—mainly Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and college students—picketed in the rain outside of the United Nations rallying for Castro's anti-colonial values and his effort to reduce the United States' power over Cuba. [132] In response to popular uproar, which demanded that those responsible be brought to justice, Castro helped to set up many trials, resulting in hundreds of executions. Castro reorganised the economy on Marxist-Leninist principles. On July 31, 2006, Fidel Castro passed power on a provisional basis to his brother Raúl in order to recover from surgery for a serious intestinal illness. Soviet vessels frequented the port of Havana, Soviet-made automobiles and trucks became common in the streets, and Soviet or Soviet-bloc goods appeared…, Castro was educated in Santiago de Cuba and Havana, and, while he was still a student, he participated in revolutionary activities throughout Latin America. [55] Supplied with new weaponry, Castro intended to spark a revolution among Oriente's impoverished cane cutters and promote further uprisings. John F. Kennedy. [34] Prío faced widespread protests when members of the MSR, now allied to the police force, assassinated Justo Fuentes, a socialist friend of Castro's. Fidel Castro, in full Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, (born August 13, 1926, near Birán, Cuba—died November 25, 2016, Cuba), political leader of Cuba (1959–2008) who transformed his country into the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere. [431] He took his own life in February 2018, over a year after his father's death. Even prior to that, the staunchly anti-communist U.S. government had suspicions about Castro’s political leanings based on the content of his fiery oration—suspicions that would be confirmed in the first year of the new Cuba, as it aligned itself more and more with the Soviet Union. [436], Fidel had another daughter, Francisca Pupo (born 1953), the result of a one-night affair. [199] By 1962, Cuba's economy was in steep decline, a result of poor economic management and low productivity coupled with the U.S. trade embargo. [434], Castro often engaged in one-night stands with women,[435] some of whom were specially selected for him while visiting foreign allies. Castro was angered by Gorbachev's approach, believing that he was abandoning the plight of the world's poor in favor of détente. We are not executing innocent people or political opponents. He allowed revolutionary groups from across the world, from the Viet Cong to the Black Panthers, to train in Cuba. Retaliating, the U.S. cancelled its import of Cuban sugar, provoking Castro to nationalize most U.S.-owned assets on the island, including banks and sugar mills. [293] Castro had a lifelong love of guns,[411] and a preference for life in the countryside over the city. 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