Thursday, May 20, 2010

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Fidel Castro

Castro in July of 1977. During his early years
in power he was commonly seen in public with
a cigar, which became a symbol of his persona.
First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba
Assumed office
October 3, 1965
President Osvaldo Torrado (1965-1976)
Himself (1976-2008)
Raúl Castro (2008-present)
Preceded by None (Office Created)
22nd President of Cuba
In office
December 2, 1976 – February 24, 2008[1]
Vice President First Vice President:
Raúl Castro
(Acting President after 31 July 2006)
Other Vice Presidents:
Juan Almeida Bosque
Abelardo Colome Ibarra
Carlos Lage Davila
Esteban Lazo Hernández
José Machado Ventura
Preceded by Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado
Succeeded by Raúl Castro
Prime Minister of Cuba
In office
February 16, 1959 – December 2, 1976
Preceded by José Miró Cardona
Succeeded by Merged with office of President of the Council of Ministers
Secretary-General of the Non Aligned movement
In office
September 10, 1979 – March 6, 1983
Preceded by Junius Richard Jayawardene
Succeeded by N. Sanjiva Reddy
In office
Sepetember 16, 2006 – February 24, 2008[2]
Preceded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Succeeded by Raúl Castro
Born August 13, 1926 (age 83)
Birán, Holguín Province, Cuba
Nationality Cuban
Political party Communist Party of Cuba
Spouse(s) Mirta Díaz-Balart Gutierrez (1948-1955)
Dalia Soto del Valle (1980-present)
Relations Natalia Revuelta y Clews
Fidel Ángel Castro Diaz-Balart
Alina Fernandez-Revuelta
Alexis Castro-Soto
Alejandro Castro-Soto
Antonio Castro-Soto
Angel Castro-Soto
Alain Castro-Soto
Jorge Angel Castro[3]
Francisca Pupo[3]
Alma mater
Colegio de Belen
University of Havana
Profession Lawyer
Religion None (atheist)

This is a Spanish name; the first family name is Castro and the second is Ruz.
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born August 13, 1926) is a Cuban politician. 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 until his resignation from the office in February 2008. He currently serves as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, a position he has held since its inception in 1965.
Castro was born into a wealthy family and acquired a law degree. While studying at the University of Havana, he began his political career and became a recognized figure in Cuban politics.[4] 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.[5] 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[6][7] 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[8] dictatorship of Batista,[9] and shortly thereafter became Prime Minister of Cuba.[10] 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.
Following intestinal surgery from an undisclosed digestive illness believed to have been diverticulitis,[11] Castro transferred his responsibilities to the First Vice-President, his younger brother Raúl Castro, on July 31, 2006. On February 19, 2008, five days before his mandate was to expire, he announced he would neither seek nor accept a new term as either president or commander-in-chief.[12][13] On February 24, 2008, the National Assembly elected Raúl Castro to succeed him ,

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