25 Facts About Fidel Castro You Probably Didn’t Know

Fidel Castro, a prominent Cuban politician and revolutionary, died on November 25, 2016. During his unusually long political career, Castro became a towering international figure whose importance, influence but also controversy far exceeded what would be expected from the head of state of a small Caribbean island nation. His supporters laud him as a champion of socialism and anti-imperialism whose revolutionary regime secured Cuba’s independence from American imperialism. Conversely, critics view him as a dictator whose administration oversaw human-rights abuses, the exodus of a large number of Cubans, and the impoverishment of the country’s economy. Whether you view him as a hero or villain, here are 25 Facts About Fidel Castro You Probably Didn’t Know.


Fidel Castro is the author of the longest timed speech ever delivered at the United Nations. Castro made the speech at the 872nd plenary meeting of the General Assembly on 26 September 1960. The time listed is 269 minutes (4 hours and 29 minutes).

Fidel CastroSource: beforeitsnews.com, image: commons.wikimedia.org (public domain)

Castro was known for his busy working hours, often only going to bed at 3 or 4 a.m. He even preferred to meet foreign diplomats in these early hours, believing that they would be tired, and he could gain the upper hand in negotiations.

Fidel CastroSource: wikipedia.org, image: en.wikipedia.org (public domain)

Castro claimed he survived 634 attempts or plots to assassinate him, mainly masterminded by the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S.-based exile organizations. They may have included poison pills, a toxic cigar, exploding mollusks, and a chemically tainted diving suit.

poison pillsSource: reuters.com

Castro's favorite author was American novelist Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway had one of his permanent residences in Cuba and wrote some of his famous works such as For Whom The Bell Tolls on the island. Castro and Hemingway met in 1960 at a fishing tournament in Cuba.

Ernest HemingwaySource: wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org (public domain: published b/w 1923-1963)

In 1955, after being imprisoned for two years, Castro traveled to Mexico where he formed a revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, with his brother Raúl Castro and Che Guevara, a controversial Argentine Marxist revolutionary, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist.

Che GuevaraSource: wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org (public domain)

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