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Profile of Fidel Castro
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Castro quickly started to make changes in Cuba
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Hello, I'm Milo for About.com, and today we are talking about Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro, born Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, was the dictatorial leader of Cuba for nearly five decades. Born August 13th, 1926 in the southeast part of Cuba in what was then the Oriente province, Castro was the illegitimate son of a wealthy sugar plantation owner and his maid. His father eventually married his mother and recognized Fidel as a son giving him his last name Castro. Castro attended Catholic schools as a youth and then went on to enroll in law school at the University of Havana in 1945. It was during this time that Castro started to become interested in politics. After graduating from law school, Castro started to practice law. In 1948, Castro married Mirta Diaz Balart, who had been a student with Castro at the University of Havana. The couple had one child together but divorced 7 years later. In 1961, Castro began a relationship with Dalia Soto del Valle, with whom he had five more children. Castro and Dalia eventually married in 1980. Fidel Castro was very concerned with the corrupt practices of the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista, who had taken over Cuba during a coup in 1952. At first, Castro, as a lawyer, attempted to use legal measures to oust Batista, but he was unsuccessful.  Unable to use legal means to free Cuba of Batista, Castro attempted to use force. In 1953, Castro attempted a coup by attacking the Moncada Barracks; however, Castro was captured and spent two years in jail.Castro spent the next few years gathering and training revolutionaries in Mexico and then landed in Cuba in December 1956. For two years, Castro and his men fought in a guerilla war, eventually taking control of Cuba in January 1959. Castro quickly started to make changes in Cuba converting it into a Communist country. He then went on to alienate Cuba from the United States and to build strong ties with the Soviet Union. The US eventually led a trade embargo against Cuba due to the radical policies that were being implemented. Fidel Castra as the Cuban DictatorOver the next almost 50 years Castro ruled Cuba as a dictator, bettering the lives of Cubans in areas such as health care and education but at the cost of human rights, freedom of expression, and religion.  He is also accused of taking extreme reprisals against any who voiced disagreement with his regime. In 2006, due to serious health problems Fidel Castro handed over control of Cuba to his brother Raul. Fidel Castro is mostly retired from the public sphere and his health condition is kept top secret. For more excellent, insightful, and interesting information on the 20th Century, check us out at About.com. 
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