Castro Ruz, Fidel

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Castro Ruz, Fidel


Born Aug. 13, 1927, in Biran, Oriente Province. Statesman, politician, and military figure of Cuba, with the title of commander in chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba. The son of an affluent landowner.

Castro graduated from the law department of the University of Havana, receiving a doctorate in law in 1949, after which he practiced law for a time. In the early 1950’s he joined the Party of the Cuban People (the Ortodoxo). In 1952 the party nominated him for deputy to the National Congress of Cuba, but the elections were never held because in March 1952 the reactionary pro-American military headed by General Batista y Zaldivar staged a coup d’etat and established a dictatorship. The Ortodoxo Party gradually disintegrated in the struggle against the dictatorship. Castro succeeded in rallying a small group of former members of the party and began to prepare the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship. On July 26, 1953, members of the group made an armed attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The action was cruelly suppressed, and Castro was tried by a military tribunal. At the trial he delivered the speech History Will Absolve Me, which was a devastating critique of Batista’s bloody dictatorship and a program for the national liberation struggle and revolutionary transformation of Cuba. The tribunal sentenced Castro to 15 years in prison, but he was amnestied in May 1955 under the pressure of public opinion. He emigrated in the same year to Mexico.

In December 1956 a group of revolutionaries headed by Castro landed in Oriente Province on the Granma, a small yacht. The group, which over time became the rebel army, initiated a partisan struggle against the dictatorial regime. After the victory of the revolution and the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship on Jan. 1, 1959, power in Cuba was assumed by the democratic forces rallied around the rebel army headed by Castro. In February 1959, Castro became prime minister of the revolutionary government of the Republic of Cuba. On Apr. 16, 1961, he declared that the Cuban revolution was a socialist revolution. During the April 1961 invasion of Cuba by hirelings of US imperialists at Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs), Castro directed the operations that routed the interventionists. Initially secretary of the national leadership of the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations and then secretary of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution, Castro was elected first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba in October 1965. Castro received an honorary degree of doctor of law from the M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1963, the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Between Nations in 1961, the title Hero of the Soviet Union in 1963, and the Order of Lenin in 1972. He has been awarded the Joliot-Curie Gold Peace Medal and has received a number of awards from many countries.


[Discursos pronuciados…, 1965–1968. ] Havana, 1968.
In Russian translation:
Rechi i vystupleniia. Moscow, 1960.
Rechi i vystupleniia, 1961–1963. Moscow, 1963.
Nashe delo pobezhdaet: Rechi i vystupleniia, 1963–1964. Moscow, 1965.
Pust’ vechno zhivet bessmertnyi Lenin! Moscow, 1970.
Sila revoliutsii —v edinstve. Moscow, 1972.
Budushchee prinadlezhit internatsionalizmu. Moscow, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The announcement was accompanied by a picture of Wright in a classic Cuban guayabera shirt, arm in arm and sharing cigars with a likewise attired Ramon Castro Ruz, Fidel Castro's older brother.