An essay about the life and times of Fidel Castro.

Essay by TriggerHigh School, 10th grade March 2003

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Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1926. He was the son of a landowner. As a child he attended Catholic schools run by Jesuits before graduating from the University of Havana with a degree in law. Fidel married into one of Cuba's wealthiest families before the age of 21 and could have utilized his law degree to become extremely wealthy by leaching United States money from Havana's mob-controlled tourist economy.

By age 21 Fidel fell victim to his "obsession to do away with human, social and economic underdevelopment in Cuba." He was wanting to lead a mass movement for social change. Castro's early attempts failed terribly and he spent three years in jail after attacking the Moncada army barracks on the 26th of July in 1953. In his trial he delivered a speech entitled "History Will Absolve Me," which attacked the regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista. Fidel was then sentenced for 15 years but he was pardoned after a mere 2 years.

He then went into exile in Mexico where he raised money for the 26th of July movement. He was given support from the world renowned anti-imperialistic Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and others before taking the Granma to invade Cuba in 1956. Upon returning to Cuba Fidel and his men hid in the Sierra Maestra mountains where they gained support from peasants. Fulgencio Batista was forced to flee in the year of 1959. Fidel's movement to get rid of Batista and instill his own moral code was initially supported by the Catholic church.

In 1960 Fidel nationalized all U.S. properties. He also made a deal with the Soviet Union for oil. At this time a majority of the wealthy Cubans were moving to Florida to where much of there money was kept and began starting a counter-revolution.