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Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (Spanish: [fiˈðel ˈkastro]; born August 13, 1926) is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and thenPresident from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011. Politically a Marxist-Leninist, under hisadministration the Republic of Cuba was converted into a one-party socialist state, with industry and business being nationalised under state ownership and socialist reforms implemented in all areas of society.On the international stage, he also served as the Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1979 to 1983.

Born the illegitimate son of a wealthy farmer, Castro became involved in leftistanti-imperialist politics whilst studying law at the University of Havana. Subsequently involving himself in armed rebellions against right wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, hewent on to conclude that the U.S.-backed Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, who was widely seen as a dictator, had to be overthrown; to this end he led a failed armed attack on the Moncada Barracksin 1953. Imprisoned for a year, he then traveled to Mexico, and with the aid of his brother Raúl Castro and friend Che Guevara, he assembled together a group of Cuban revolutionaries, the July 26Movement. Returning with them to Cuba, he took a key role in the Cuban Revolution, leading a successful guerrilla war against Batista's forces, with Batista himself fleeing into exile in 1959.

Castrosubsequently became Commander in Chief of the armed forces and shortly thereafter became Prime Minister. His involvement in the overthrow of Batista, as well as a suspected relationship with SovietPremier Nikita Khrushchev, alarmed the United States, who through the CIA organised the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 to overthrow his government, before proceeding to orchestrate repeated...
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