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Biography of Fidel Castro

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Cuban leader, Fidel Castro (Ruz) was born in either 1926 or 1927 - depending whom you believe.

Castro has survived nine US presidents, and is the third-longest serving head of state (after the Queen and the King of Thailand).

In August 2006 Castro give up power temporarily (to his younger brother Raul) because of a suspected stomach ulcer and internal bleeding.

In his younger days Fidel Castro was a lawyer in Havana fighting cases for the poor and against the corruption prevalent under President Fulgencio Batista.

In 1953 the revolutionary Castro led a failed uprising and was sentenced to 15 years, but was soon released under an amnesty and he fled to the USA and then to Mexico.

In 1956 Castro secretly went to Cuba again with a small group but was ambushed and escaped to the Sierra Maestra mountains.

Third time lucky: in 1958 Castro made another attack and this time Batista was forced to flee and in February 1959, Fidel Castro became prime minister of Cuba.

Under Castro, Cuba underwent a period of reform assuming a Marxist-Leninist programme, but meanwhile elections were cancelled and repressive measures introduced against anti-communists.

In the early 60s, in particular, Fidel

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