Castro Ruz, Fidel

Castro Ruz, Fidel
(1927– )
   Recognized around the world the bearded, cigar-smoking Castro in his trademark military fatigues led the guerrilla struggle that overthrew the Cuban government of the dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar in 1958, and has been leader of the country ever since. Criticized by orthodox Marxists for leading a revolutionary vanguard party, the July 26 Movement, that was not MarxistLeninist, he nevertheless declared the Cuban Revolution a socialist one in 1961, and aligned Cuba with the Soviet Union. Under Castro Cuba also has given military and economic support to socialist independence movements in the Third World. He oversaw the nationalization of industry, the collectivization of agriculture, the creation of a one-party state, and the imprisonment and exile of political opponents and “undesirables.”
   Castro’s Cuba has had a particularly antagonistic relationship with the United States, which had supported Batista, backed an unsuccessful invasion attempt in 1962 (the Bay of Pigs), imposed and continues to impose economic sanctions on Cuba, and which has been behind several unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Castro. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which provided economic support to Cuba, Castro has modified policies to permit some private enterprise.
   See also Communist Party of Cuba.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.