Former Cuban president and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro died at the age of 90 Friday night. Castro is known across the world as a communist revolutionary who overthrew the then Cuban president Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Castro then launched a guerrilla war against the Batista administration with the help of another well-known revolutionary Che Guevara and took control of the military and political system of the country.
Castro, born in 1926 in the south-eastern Oriente Province of Cuba got involved in leftist politics while studying at the University of Havana and began his campaign against the right-wing administrations in Colombia and other countries eventually converting Cuba into a one-party socialist state and establishing the first communist administration in the West.
Here’s a look at his journey:
1953 – Fidel Castro was imprisoned along with 25 of his comrades after a failed attempt to overthrow Batista administration in the Moncada Barracks attack. On July 26, 1952, he carried out the attack on the military garrison outside Santiago de Cuba, Oriente but failed. The government responded with a crackdown on the revolutionaries leading to imprisonment and execution of many.
1955 – He was released from the prison along with others under an amnesty deal backed by US and major corporations. The same year, both Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro fled the country to evade arrest following another crackdown.
1956 – In Mexico, he founded a revolutionary group called the ’26th of July Movement’. With the help of Raul Castro and Che Guevara, he began a guerrilla war against the Batista administration. He started gaining control over several areas in 1958 after government forces withdrew from the Sierra Maestra region following an attack by the guerrillas.
1959 – Fidel Castro managed to overthrow Fulgencio Batista and assumed control of military and political operations in Cuba. He set up first-ever socialist state in the western hemisphere alarming United States.
1961 – After ending diplomatic relations with Cuba, CIA started supporting dissenters in an aim to invade the country and overthrow the Castro government. This led to the Bay of Pigs invasion in April as the Brigade 2506 launched an attack but were forced to surrender by Castro’s forces on April 20.
1976 – After serving as the 16th Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 till 1976, Castro became the President of the country. He also headed the Central Committee of Communist Party of Cuba as its First Secretary throughout the period.
2006 – After undergoing a surgery for intestinal bleeding, he delegated his presidential duties to brother Raul Castro who then formally became the president in 2008.
Earlier this year in April, Castro made a rare appearance since his retirement and addressed the final day of the country’s Communist Party congress. He was a leader who managed to maintain a socialist state for five decades even after US intervention.
(With inputs from agencies)