Click the above link to learn about Fidel Castro's early life and how he came to power in Cuba. You will be amazed to learn that he was at first admired in America as a revolutionary leader like George Washington--before he denounced the U.S. as imperialists and vowed that Cuba would never become an American colony.
Watch BARBARA WALTERS' 2008 interview of Fidel Castro on 20/20.
Click on link below to see Fidel Castro on FACE THE NATION in 1959, immediately after his revolutionary movement had removed Batista and he was considered a hero.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlOFbLLaOtg
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, born August 13, 1926, in Birán, Cuba, the son of a wealthy farmer, Castro adopted anti-imperialist politics while studying law at the University of Havana. After participating in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, launching a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953. After a year's imprisonment, he traveled to Mexico where he formed a revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, with Che Guevara and his brother Raúl Castro. Returning to Cuba, Castro took a key role in the Cuban Revolution by leading the Movement in a guerrilla war against Batista's forces from the Sierra Maestra mountains. After Batista's overthrow in 1959, Castro assumed military and political power. The United States was alarmed by Castro's friendly relations with the Soviet Union, and unsuccessfully attempted to remove him by assassination, economic blockade, and counter-revolution, including the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. Countering these threats, Castro formed an alliance with the Soviets and allowed them to place nuclear weapons on the island, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis – a defining incident of the Cold War – in 1962.
Adopting a Marxist-Leninist model of development, Castro converted Cuba into a one-party socialist state under Communist Party rule; the first in the Western hemisphere. Reforms introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent. Abroad, Castro supported anti-imperialist revolutionary groups, backing the establishment of Marxist governments in Chile, Nicaragua, and Grenada, and sending troops to aid allies in the Yom Kippur War, Ethio-Somali War, and Angolan Civil War. These actions, coupled with Castro's leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement and Cuba's medical internationalism, increased Cuba's profile on the world stage and earned its leader great respect in the developing world. Following the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991, Castro led Cuba into its "Special Period" and embraced environmentalist and anti-globalization ideas. In the 2000s he forged alliances in the Latin American Pink Tide – namely with Hugo Chávez's Venezuela – and joined the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. In 2006, amid rumors that he was fighting cancer, he transferred his responsibilities to Vice-President Raúl Castro, who formally assumed the presidency in 2008.
Castro is a controversial and divisive world figure. His supporters laud him as a champion of communism and anti-imperialism, whose revolutionary regime secured Cuba's independence from American imperialism. Conversely, critics view him as a totalitarian dictator whose administration has overseen multiple human-rights abuses, an exodus of more than one million Cubans, and the impoverishment of the country's economy. Through his actions and his writings he has significantly influenced the politics of various individuals and groups across the world.