Fidel Castro
by Sam Sarro

1) Profile:

Fidel Castro was a dictatorial leader of Cuba who ruled for almost 5 decades. He was born into a wealthy family on August 13, 1926, in BirĂ¡n Cuba. He went to school as a laaw student at the University of Havana where he became interested in politics. In July 1953, Castro led about 120 men in a failed attack on the Moncada army barracks in Santiago de Cuba and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Castro and his revolutionaries fought against Batista (the current leader), and overtook him in a violent battle as Castro took the position of Prime Minister. By the end of 1959, Castro's revolution had become radicalized, with purges of military leaders and the suppression of any media critical of Castro's policies. As Cuban prime minister, Castro's government established covert military and economic relations with the Soviet Union, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis. He served as prime minister until 1976, when he became president of Cuba. Castro removed opposition to his rule though executions and imprisonments, as well as through forced emigration. Hundreds of thousands of people fled from Cuba and the food shortages and poverty. Castro placed harsh laws denying freedom to businesses, media, and the people, causing extreme unhappiness.

2) Video:

  • Fidel Castro did not care about people's thoughts or feelings about his actions. He only focused on himself and what he wanted, not what was best for the country. He would not consider changing his mind. Fidel also does not follow through with his word. For example in the constitution it says if over 10,000 people sign a petition for a specific law then law will be placed. He did not honor that, he threw the petition aside when people said they wanted a democracy.

3) Poem:

Oh Castro, Oh Castro

Why don't you just go

You first seemed good but now we see

You're detrimental to our liberty

We're suffocating we need a change

Democracy is what we claim

But sadly you do not see

That you are not what's meant to be

So let us free, give us space

Then maybe we will live in a happy place

~The people of Cuba

4) Essential Question:

Do you think Fidel Castro had planned from the beginning processes of his reign to become a dictator figure and enforce such strict laws on the people, or do you think he had planned on being less strict but continuously grew more dictator-like as time went on?