Fidel Castro was born in 1926, or 1927 according to some biographies, in Cuba. Throughout his childhood the eventual leader of Cuba attended Catholic schools, took a liking to the Spartan regime, studied, and graduated from high school. He would not end his education at this point, however, as he continued to study from 1945-1950 and eventually graduated from the University of Havana. He received a degree in law. During this time period Castro married a woman and had a child named Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, however the marriage ended in 1954. Castro maintained a relationship with his first born son, however, and when Castro took power of the country his son served on the board of the Commission for Atomic Energy in the small country.
Castro was a member of the political party in Cuba called the Orthodox party, which is based on social democratic ideals. Castro was a very active member and an opponent of then political dictator Fulgencio Batista. In fact, Castro was such a strong opponent of Batista that he led an attack on Army barracks in 1953 to show his distaste for the dictator. The attack was not successful, however it did bring national attention to Castro. He had very strong political beliefs that were nationalistic and reformist, however he was not a Communist and did not support communism. Not long after the attack Castro was sentenced to 15 years in prison as a result of his attack on the Army barracks, however he received amnesty in 1955 and left for Mexico.
While Castro was in Mexico his hatred for Batista and disgust for his dictatorship continued to fester. So much that he initiated the 26th of July movement which was a movement based around challenging the power of Batista. Castro was supported by many others, including the famous Che Guevara. He was supported so much by these individuals that in December of 1956 this group of 80 plus men returned to Cuba and managed to begin a guerrilla war against the Batista regime.
During this time period Castro proved himself a born leader as he guided his supporters during the guerrilla war. He also proved himself an astute politician and was admired for his skills in leadership and politics. He believed he had a duty to change Cuba and worked hard to obtain the power he needed to do so. In 1959 Castro's hard work began to pay off and Batista fled the country after his army collapsed and he realized there would be no help from the northern United States to help him retain his power. When Batista fled the country it was the right time for Castro to begin his journey to political power, as he always felt he had a calling for. In 1959 his political power drastically increased when he appointed himself the premier of the country. After the oppression from Batista everyone was ready for a new leader and as Castro was giving his speech as the new premier a dove landed on his shoulder. Many interpreted this as a sign that God had sent Castro to save the Cubans. Little did they know how Castro would turn out as a political leader.
As Castro began his political career he was much more moderate than he became later in his career. So moderate in fact that his supporters included democrats and moderate thinkers. Then, radically Castro changed and the way he conducted politics became increasingly confrontational and extreme. Castro helped the majority of the country, making living conditions better for all, and because of this the country supported him in his political career and there were no political challengers, either. Even as Castro became more radical the country supported his politics.
Today, at 80 years of age, Fidel Castro is still the leader of Cuba and has been since the '50s. His political style has won him friends, and enemies, most importantly the United States that lies just a bit to the North. Today, the United States still maintains an embargo against Cuba keeping the country trapped in regards to growth and industrialization. The embargo is a partially a result of Castro's mandate to confiscate all foreign held farm and interests that existed in Cuba in the early '60s, mainly American held properties and interests. The embargo also exists due to Castro's relationship with Marxists and promoting Communist revolution. In the '60s Castro also teamed up with China and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union placed missiles in Cuba aimed at the United States. This was known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. The United States forced the Soviet Union to disarm the missiles and Castro was humbled. There was always a bit of fear on the part of the United States to have such a radical leader in a small island so close by that was intent on promoting communism and fighting democracy and the American way of life. Cuba was receiving financial aid from other countries, notably the Soviet Union, but with the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union Cuba receives very little if any foreign aid.
Today Cuba has still not developed economically, although the United States
has tried to renegotiate trade or at the very least diplomatic negotiations
with the small island. These have all failed and Castro is still as communist
as ever. Despite being old and ill, he still believes Cuba will maintain its
Communist status even after his death.