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My name is Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. I was born on August 13, 1926 on my father s sugar cane plantation. This was located May, which was on the coast of Cuba s Oriente Province. My father s name was Angel Castro. He was born in northwest Spain, and had come to Cuba with the Spanish Army during the Spanish-American War. My mother was Lina Ruz Go lez.
As a child, I attended well-known and prestigious catholic schools. When I was six years old, I went to Santiago to lodge at my godparents house. While I was there, I attended a local primary school in the city. Upon leaving that school, I was educated in the austere and stringent environment of Jesuit schools. The first one that I attended was in Santiago, the capital of Oriente.
After that, it was Havana. In my years of attending these schools, I stood out for being a brilliant athlete and a prevalent leader to all of my fellow classmates. I devoted my studies to legal subjects and matter and graduated in 1950. With two of my graduates, I set up a legal practice on a scanty budget in the slums of Havana.
The following three years, I defended and represented victimized workers, riff-raff, incarcerated students, and unpretentious clients while in the process of raising just enough money to pay the rent for my shabby office buildings. On July 26, 1953, I planned to seize a military barrack in Santiago along with my co-conspirators. I planned to do this by calling citizens of Cuba to rebel against their new dictator. By that time, I had gathered my own original plans of an armed attack. It was a very audacious idea, but was not as absurd as it sounded. I was given an imperative advantage because due to the location of the Oriente, I could cut it off from the rest of the island if the only road from the west could be blocked.
In a military point-of-view, I had a very safe and low-risk plan. My rebel forces were to seize the Moncada barracks and hand out weapons to the people. About 100 kilometers away, at the same time, another group would be seizing the Bayamo barracks. Their primary objective was to hold up the emplacement of reinforcements on the western road. If any flaws occurred within my plans, my rebel forces would retreat into dense wooded mountains in the Sierra Maestra, where they would form a guerilla crusade. The mission s success relied on whether or not the people of the Oriente agreed with my philosophies and rebelled with me.
In the end, the mission failed when it was executed because of a problem at the gates of the barracks involving the guards. Even though we were dressed as soldiers in uniform, we were still fired upon before we got the chance to seize the barracks. I had two more groups set behind the barracks for backup. One of these groups that were led by my brother, Raul, was positioned on the roof of a nearby building. The other group was lead by my co-conspirator Abel Santamatia, who had seized a hospital building at the rear of the barracks. They remained in the hospital not knowing that the mission had failed and were captured by soldiers and either shot in cold blood or tortured to death.
At that point, I knew that I had to depart so I fled by car with a few survivors towards the Sierra Maestra wooded mountains. After the authorities scoured the mountains, I was captured and later tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison, but I was amnestied two years later, in 1955, by Batista. I also divorced from my wife in 1955, separating my son from being with the both of us. After being amnestied in 1955, I departed from Cuba headed towards Mexico only six weeks after my release where I prepared to regroup on my plans to overthrow Cuba s dictator. There, I met a young Argentinean doctor named Ernesto Che Guevara. He had moved to Mexico and immersed himself into the works of Marx and Lenin.
Being a man with a strong determination and a clear mind, Guevara joined my expedition less than twelve hours after meeting me for the first time. My new strategy was an extension of the original plans for the Moncada assault. I would arrive with a force of men on the West Coast of Oriente where around a hundred combatants would meet them. The combined force would seize the nearby town of Niquero and then move up the coast to capture Manzanillo.
The landing would consist of uprisings and strikes in Santiago and Guantanamo. A campaign of agitation and sabotage followed, leading, I hoped, to a general strike that would topple Batista. Unlike Moncada, the new plans did not rely on a single action that might spark off an impulsive uprising. I learned yet another lesson from the spoiled 1953 attack: beyond the armed groups there had to be a grass-roots organization to provide arms, recruits, and logistic support, and to agitate among workers and civic groups for the crucial general strike. As in the Moncada plan, however, my rebel forces would move into the Sierra Madre to begin a rural guerrilla campaign should my original plans fail. For the most part, I have not attempted to make Cuba a country to want to live in.
I have not benefited the Cuban people in any way. Better life is further away than even for the average Cuban. Cuban living standards have declined sharply during the 1980 s. In 1987, for example, domestic production of all goods from farm output dropped by 3. 2 percent from the previous year. The people suffer increasingly from unemployment and underemployment. Cuba has grown in population without equal growth in jobs.
Many of these Cubans fled my program of nationalization, establishing exile communities in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Mexico. The economy remains a disaster and I haven t really had any concern for Cuba's existing assets, which include sugar and tobacco. Although Cuba had some prosperity from the sugar industry, I fell I have not used my assets to the fullest. As for the opinion of other, I have been called the worst leader in the world and others will say I have benefited Cuba. I fell that I have put some thought for my people. People say that I treat the Cuban people as if they were my children to be protected and raised.
I took over a country that had been suffering from poverty alongside with incredible riches at one time. At first, Cubans welcomed me, but my attacks on the social class system were too much for some to deal with. Revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara once said about Cuba, A lack of industry in a country is a reason for calling that country underdeveloped, and there is no doubt that Cuba fits that description. Political analysts think that as long as I am in command of Cuba, the country will remain the worst communist country in the world. I think that all of my causes and programs have benefited Cuba and it s surrounding regions greatly by enforcing a rigid and well-structured environment for my supporters to live in.
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