//
you're reading...
Daily History

August 13 1926 Fidel Castro born


Fidel Castro

On August 13th 1926, Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro was born in the Oriente province of eastern Cuba. The son of a Spanish immigrant who had made a fortune building rail systems to transport sugar cane, Fidel attended Roman Catholic boarding schools in Santiago de Cuba.

He became involved in revolutionary politics while he was a student and in 1947 took part in an abortive attempt by Dominican exiles and Cubans to overthrow Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. In the next year, he took part in urban riots in Bogota, Colombia. The most outstanding feature of his politics during the period was his anti-American beliefs; he was not yet an overt Marxist.

In 1951, he ran for a seat in the Cuban House of Representatives as a member of the reformist Ortodoxo Party, but General Fulgencio Batista seized power in a bloodless coup d’etat before the election could be held. Various groups formed to oppose Batista’s dictatorship, and on July 26, 1953, Castro led some 160 rebels in an attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba–Cuba’s second largest military base.

Castro hoped to seize weapons and announce his revolution from the base radio station, but the barracks were heavily defended, and more than half his men were captured or killed in the attempt. Castro was himself arrested and put on trial for conspiring to overthrow the Cuban government.During his trial, he argued that he and his rebels were fighting to restore democracy to Cuba, but he was nonetheless found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Two years later, Batista felt confident enough in his power that he granted a general amnesty to all political prisoners, including Castro. Castro then went with his brother Raul to Mexico, and they organised the revolutionary 26th of July Movement, enlisting recruits and joining up with Ernesto “Che” Guevara, an idealist Marxist from Argentina.

On December 2, 1956, Castro and 81 armed men landed on the Cuban coast. All of them were killed or captured except for Castro, Raul, Che, and nine others, who retreated into the Sierra Maestra mountain range to wage a guerrilla war against the Batista government.

They were joined by revolutionary volunteers from all over Cuba and won a series of victories over Batista’s demoralised army. Castro was supported by the peasantry, to whom he promised land reform, while Batista received aid from the United States, which bombed suspected revolutionary positions.

By mid-1958, a number of other Cuban groups were also opposing Batista, and the United States ended military aid to his regime. In December, the 26th of July forces under Che Guevara attacked the city of Santa Clara, and Batista’s forces crumbled. Batista fled for the Dominican Republic on January 1, 1959.

Castro, who had fewer than 1,000 men left at the time, took control of the Cuban government’s 30,000-man army. The other rebel leaders lacked the popular support the young and charismatic Castro enjoyed, and on February 16 he was sworn in as prime minister of the country’s new provisional government.

The United States initially recognised the new Cuban dictator but withdrew its support after Castro launched a program of agrarian reform, nationalised U.S. assets on the island, and declared a Marxist government. Many of Cuba’s wealthiest citizens fled to the United States, where they joined the CIA in its efforts to overthrow Castro’s regime.

In April 1961, with some training and support by the CIA, the Cuban exiles launched a disastrously unsuccessful invasion of Cuba known as the “Bay of Pigs.” The Soviet Union reacted to the attack by escalating its support to Castro’s communist government and in 1962 placed offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba. The discovery of the missiles by U.S. intelligence led to the tense “Cuban Missile Crisis,” which ended after the Soviets agreed to remove the weapons in exchange for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba.

Castro’s Cuba was the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere, and he would retain control of it into the 21st century, outlasting nine U.S. presidents who opposed him with economic embargoes and political rhetoric.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Castro lost a valuable source of aid, but he made up for it by courting European and Canadian investment and tourism. In late July 2006, an unwell Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his younger brother Raul. He officially stepped down in February 2008.

This Day In History

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “August 13 1926 Fidel Castro born

  1. Fidel Castro has been one of the most colorful and sharpest thorns in the side of Washington. An interesting man.

    Posted by swabby429 | August 13, 2012, 00:51
  2. Reblogged this on The Busy Post and commented:
    NOW I KNOW WHERE BARRY HAS BEEN!

    Posted by The Busy Post | August 13, 2012, 07:43
  3. On 13 August 1961 the Berlin Wall was built in order to protect the peasant’s and worker’s state from capitalism. It turned out to be a prison wall.

    Posted by Christoph | August 13, 2012, 22:01
  4. This is exactly how i see Ernesto Che Guevara: As an idealist with strong marxist thinking. As he has studied medicine i also believe that he was driven by a strong humanist ideal to help people.

    Posted by Christoph | August 13, 2012, 22:08
  5. ‘an idealist Marxist from Argentina’ This is exactly how i see Ernesto Che Guevara. An idealist with storng marxist influences. As he was a medical doctor i also believe that he was driven by humanist ideas to help people.

    Posted by Christoph | August 13, 2012, 22:10
  6. What an interesting personality.

    Posted by Anne Bonney | August 13, 2012, 23:26
  7. happy birthday fidel

    Posted by pdlyons | August 16, 2012, 03:31

Leave a Reply to swabby429 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,937 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Chinese Arctic incursion spooks US lawmakers

Chinese Arctic incursion spooks US lawmakers

China is using the Arctic and seas only miles away from Alaska as a staging area to undermine U.S. national security, top lawmakers and experts say. Newly released images reveal a fleet of Chinese warships conducting operations in American waters off the coast of Alaska, prompting Coast Guard vessels to track and communicate with the […]

China declares all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

China declares all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

China intensified its crackdown on cryptocurrency on Friday, declaring all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies illegal and issuing a nationwide ban on cryptocurrency mining, the power-hungry process in which vast computer networks compete for newly created crypto tokens. Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, dropped as much as 7 percent, to around $41,100, on the news, but […]

China plans tax crackdown on richest entertainers, including online influencers

China plans tax crackdown on richest entertainers, including online influencers

China is set to conduct regular tax investigations into top entertainers including online influencers, promising serious punishment for offenders amid a deepening crackdown on the entertainment industry and lucrative culture of fandom. High-income celebrities who self-report offences by the end of the year, however, may receive reduced penalties or exemptions, the country’s taxation authorities said […]

Xi Jinping’s effort to return to socialism

Xi Jinping’s effort to return to socialism

For decades life in China had evolved around its home-grown version of let-it-rip capitalism. Despite being technically a “communist” country, the government had put its faith in trickle-down economics, believing that allowing some people to become extremely rich would benefit all of society by dragging it out of the disastrous quagmire of Chairman Mao’s Cultural […]

China is financing infrastructure projects around the world – many could harm nature and indigenous communities

China is financing infrastructure projects around the world – many could harm nature and indigenous communities

China is shaping the future of economic development through its Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious multi-billion-dollar international push to better connect itself to the rest of the world through trade and infrastructure. Through this venture, China is providing over 100 countries with funding they have long sought for roads, railways, power plants, ports and […]

China’s military has an Achilles’ heel: Low troop morale

China’s military has an Achilles’ heel: Low troop morale

The Chinese Communist Party has unintentionally revealed weaknesses of the country’s military. One indication came with the building of facilities for launching new intercontinental ballistic missiles in an inland desert region. The other was a series of further attempts to increase childbirths, including measures to help reduce the costly burden of educating children. Behind these […]

Cadence Column: Asia, September 20, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, September 20, 2021

China steps up expansion via Hong Kong elections. Seven editors are banned from Wikipedia on concerns of not acting in good faith and with relation to China. The US sails through the Taiwan Straight again, this time a destroyer. Taiwan wants more backup runways for fighter jets. Escalations only continue and no side shows any […]

China adds powerful new ship to maritime patrol fleet

China adds powerful new ship to maritime patrol fleet

China has added a new powerful ship to its fleet of maritime patrol vessels in the South China Sea, state media has reported. The 5,560-ton Hai Xun 03 was launched on Tuesday and will become the largest ocean patrol ship under the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), the official China News Service reported, adding that […]

A lesson in political economy on investments in China

A lesson in political economy on investments in China

Paul Krugman, the eminent Nobel laureate in economics, recalls how companies are different from nations and their reasons. Business managers have different perspectives. It is economists – not managers – who place the question of foreign trade, the balance of payments and the exchange rate at the center of their reflections. Since 1989, China and […]

Are China’s climate promises just a load of hot air? (Yes!)

Are China’s climate promises just a load of hot air? (Yes!)

China is prepared to hold its cooperation on climate issues hostage to Western concessions elsewhere. Few cities in China represent the country’s addiction to coal more than Tianjin, where Alok Sharma travelled this week to talk about cooperation on climate issues. It sits on the coast of one of China’s most polluted regions, and its […]

%d bloggers like this: