fidel castro life timeline
|Fidel Castro leads an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks, thus beginning the Cuban Revolution.
|Sunday, July 26th, 1953
|Fidel Castro declares himself at war with the President of Cuba.
|Thursday, April 5th, 1956
|The Granma yacht reaches the shores of Cuba s Oriente province and Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembark to initiate the Cuban Revolution.
|Sunday, December 2nd, 1956
|Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro s forces during the Cuban Revolution.
|Thursday, January 1st, 1959
|The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro.
|Wednesday, January 7th, 1959
|Fidel Castro s Cuban Revolution is completed with the take over of Santiago de Cuba.
|Thursday, January 8th, 1959
|Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.
|Monday, February 16th, 1959
|Cuban leader Fidel Castro nationalizes all businesses in Cuba.
|Sunday, February 21st, 1960
|French freighter La Coubre explodes in Havana, Cuba killing 100. Fidel Castro blames the U.S.
|Friday, March 4th, 1960
|Fidel Castro arrives in New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations.
|Sunday, September 18th, 1960
|Fidel Castro announces Cuba s support for the U.S.S.R.
|Monday, September 26th, 1960
|Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of CIA finances and trains Cuban refugees lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.
|Monday, April 17th, 1961
|The Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, proclaims Cuba a socialist nation and abolishes elections.
|Monday, May 1st, 1961
|In a nationally-broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.
|Saturday, December 2nd, 1961
|Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.
|Wednesday, January 3rd, 1962
|Southern Airways Flight 49 from Birmingham, Alabama is hijacked and, at one point, is threatened with crashing into the nuclear installation at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After two days, the plane lands in Havana, Cuba, where the hijackers are jailed by Fidel Castro.
|Friday, November 10th, 1972
|Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba replacing Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado.
|Thursday, December 2nd, 1976
|Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in Havana, Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro in an attempt to mend strained relations.
|Sunday, April 2nd, 1989
|Fidel Castro, Cuba s President, announces that transactions using the American Dollar will be banned by November 8.
|Monday, October 25th, 2004
|Fidel Castro hands over power temporarily to brother Raul Castro. This leads to a celebration in Little Havana [La Pequena Habana in Spanish], Miami, Florida, where many Cuban Americans participated.
|Monday, July 31st, 2006
|Fidel Castro retires as the President of Cuba after nearly fifty years.
|Sunday, February 24th, 2008
- Condemn me, it does not matter: history will absolve me.
- Ideas do not need weapons, if they can convince the great masses.
- This country is heaven, in the spiritual sense of the word. And I say, we prefer to die in heaven than survive in hell.
- Warfare is a means and not an end. Warfare is a tool of revolutionaries. The important thing is the revolution. The important thing is the revolutionary cause, revolutionary ideas, revolutionary objectives, revolutionary sentiments, revolutionary virtues!
- A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past. 
- As I have said before, the ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry, but they cannot kill ignorance, illness, poverty or hunger. 
- I am not a communist and neither is the revolutionary movement.
- I am a Marxist-Leninist and I will be one until the last day of my life.
- Armas para que? ('Guns, for what?')
- When I was a young boy, my father taught me that to be a good Catholic, I had to confess at church if I ever had impure thoughts about a girl. That very evening, I had to rush to confess my sin. And the next night, and the next. After a week, I decided religion wasn't for me.
- They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?
- On what moral grounds can the rulers of a nation in which millionaires and beggars exist; Indians are exterminated; Blacks are discriminated against; women are prostituted; and huge numbers of Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and other Latin Americans are scorned, exploited, and humiliated, speak of human rights? How can the representatives of a capitalist and imperialist society based on the exploitation of man by man, combined with egoism, individualism, and a complete lack of human solidarity, do this? How can those that train and provide military supplies to the bloodiest, most reactionary, and most corrupt governments in the world, such as those of Somoza, Pinochet, Stroessner, the guerrillas in Uruguay, Mobutu, and the shah of Iran, just to name a few, mouth this slogan? How can the leaders of a state whose intelligence agencies organized assassination attempts against the leaders of other countries and whose armies dropped explosives in Vietnam equivalent to hundreds of atom bombs, such as those that exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and who murdered millions of Vietnamese without even deigning to apologize to the country or pay indemnity for the lives lost - the leaders of a state that has traditionally intervened in Latin America, subjects the people of this part of the world to its exploiting yoke, and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of children every year due to illness and starvation - how can they speak of human rights? In short, how can the imperialist government that forcibly maintains a military base in our territory and subjects our people to a criminal economic blockade speak of human rights?
- I began revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action.
- I feel my belief in sacrifice and struggle getting stronger. I despise the kind of existence that clings to the miserly trifles of comfort and self-interest. I think that a man should not live beyond the age when he begins to deteriorate, when the flame that lighted the brightest moment of his life has weakened.
- I never saw a contradiction between the ideas that sustain me and the ideas of that symbol, of that extraordinary figure, Jesus Christ.
- I would not vote for the mayor. It's not just because he didn't invite me to dinner, but because on my way into town from the airport there were such enormous potholes.
- If there ever was in the history of humanity an enemy who was truly universal, an enemy whose acts and moves trouble the entire world, threaten the entire world, attack the entire world in any way or another, that real and really universal enemy is precisely Yankee imperialism.
- In the Third World, there are 1.3 billion poor people. In other words, one out of every three inhabitants lives in poverty.
- Men do not shape destiny, Destiny produces the man for the hour.
- More than 820 million people in the world suffer from hunger; and 790 million of them live in the Third World.
- The Cuban people refuse to be forced into consumerism, and for that we are the most democratic nation on the planet!
- The revenues of Cuban state-run companies are used exclusively for the benefit of the people, to whom they belong.
- The revolution is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters.
- Perseverance will give us our victory.
- If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, then I would win the gold medal.
- I've heard people say Jesus was a communist, who the hell cares?
- The most honest, courageous politician I have ever met. - Jesse Jackson during a 1984 visit to Havana.
- Long live the Cuban Revolution. Long live comrade Fidel Castro... Cuban internationalists have done so much for African independence, freedom, and justice. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious imperialist campaign designed to destroy the advances of the Cuban revolution. We too want to control our destiny... There can be no surrender. It is a case of freedom or death. The Cuban revolution has been a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people. - Nelson Mandela