|Full Name||Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz|
|Who||President / Prime Minister of Cuba|
|Birth Date||August 13, 1926|
|Education||University of Havana|
|Father||Angel Castro y Argiz|
|Mother||Lina Ruz Gonzalez|
Mirta Diaz Balart
Dalia Soto de Valle
four other siblings
Fidel Angel Castro Diaz Balart
Antonio Castro Soto de Valle
Alejandro Castro Soto de Valle
Alexander Castro Soto de Valle
Angel Castro Soto de Valle
Jorge Angel Castro
Castro's first entrance into national attention was in 1946, when he delivered a public speech that strongly criticized the politics and actions of Ramon Grau, who was at the time the President of Cuba. His speech landed him on the front page of three newspapers.
Castro met with Fulgencio Batista, the former President of Cuba, in 1951. Despite their similar views of politics, Castro and Batista never said anything more than general greetings to each other. A few years later, Batista and Castro would be bitter enemies, fighting for control of Cuba. Batista attempted to have Castro assassinated multiple times. When Batista was finally forced from his presidential reign in 1958, Castro intended to have tried as a war criminal, but Batista fled the country into exile.
Castro met Che Guevara in 1955, and two became friends. Castro liked and admired Guevara, calling him "a more advanced revolutionary than I was." After becoming president, Castro appointed Guevara as Governor of the Central Bank in 1959, and Minister of Industries in 1960 - high level advancements. These promotions were met with controversy due to Guevara's known radical politics. By 1962, the two men's relationship became strained, as Cuba became a more controversial and stormy place politically, and Guevara began to disagree with Castro's politics. Still, Guevara remained one of Castro's most intimate confidantes. Guevara began to lead guerilla groups a few years later, and Castro approved. However, Guevara's decision to kill American troops in Bolivia, against Castro's wishes, devastated Castro.
Camilo Cienfuegos was one of Castro's top guerillas, and a trusted long-time confidante.
After being sworn in as president, Castro went on a tour meeting world leaders. He traveled to Venezuela and met its President, Romulo Betancourt. He traveled to the U.S. and met Richard Nixon, who was then the Vice President. He intended to charm Nixon, but ended up strongly disliking him within seconds.
Castro met Sukarno, the President of Indonesia, when he visited Cuba in 1960.
In 1960, with the Cold War raging, Castro decided to become an ally of the Soviet Union, based on his contempt for the United States. He met with Anastas Mikoyan, a high ranking Soviet politician, and pledged to provide them with supplies, in return for other goods and a substantial loan.
Castro met Malcolm X in 1960.
Castro, as a fan of the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, reached out to the literary figure, and it was the beginning of a deep friendship between them. Their relationship was mainly based around literature and intellectual matters.
Castro met Nikita Khrushchev in 1960, and the two publicly condemned the United States for the poverty and racism that existed, especially for African American and Hispanic citizens. Castro liked Khrushchev, and the two men enjoyed each other's company. However, when Khrushchev refused to stand behind Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Castro felt betrayed by him.
Castro also met with Wladyslaw Gomulka, Todor Zhivkov, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Jawaharlal Nehru.
Castro's political acquaintances included Leonid Brezhnev, Alexei Kosygin (who visited him in Cuba in 1971), Agostinho Neto, Luis Cabral, Siad Barre, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Evo Morales, Cristina Fernandez, Lula da Silva, and others.
Castro visited Chilean president Salvador Allende in 1971, and voiced his support.
Castro traveled to Africa to visit the President of Ghana, Ahmed Sekou Toure, in 1971. He proclaimed Toure to be Africa's greatest leader, and in return was given an award of high honor.
After breaking off relations with Israel, Castro was seen with greater respect in the Arab world. In particular, the act was admired by Muammar Gaddafi, who became his ally and also a close friend.
Castro was a friend of ally of Maurice Bishop. Bishop was later executed by the Soviets, who were Castro's most powerful allies, putting him in a difficult situation. Despite this, Castro condemned the execution.
Mikhail Gorbachev became the Secretary General of the Soviet Union in 1985, and agreed with the U.S. to reduce support for Cuba. Castro feared that Gorbachev would eventually bring about the end of his Soviet support, and also disagreed with his politics. Gorbachev met with Castro in 1989 in Cuba.
Castro was a political ally of Panama politician Manuel Noriega, but personally hated him.
Despite being against the system of the Catholic church in general, Castro invited Pope John Paul II to visit him in Cuba in 1998.
Castro was an ally and intimate friend of Hugo Chavez. Castro was a major father and mentor figure in Chavez's life, and they formed a strong alliance between Cuba and Venezuela.
Mireya Moscoso, the President of Panama, became an enemy of Castro's in 2004, when she pardoned four exiles that had attempted to assassinate him back in 2000. In response, Castro broke off ties with Panama, though he reinstated them in 2005, after Martin Torrijos took office.
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien visited Castro in Cuba in 1998, and highlighted Canada and Cuba's friendly relationship.
After Castro recovered from an illness in 2008, George W. Bush commented "One day the Good Lord will take Castro away." Castro, an atheist, sarcastically responded "Now I understand why I survived Bush's plans and the plans of other presidents who ordered my assassination: the good Lord protected me." The quote became widely reported in world media.
Pope Benedict XVI briefly met Castro in 2012, though the Pope was vocal about his opposition of the Cuban government.