Fidel Castro

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Fidel Alejandro Castro Rúz (born 13 August 1926) was the leader of Cuba from 1959, when, leading the 26th of July Movement, he helped overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista turning Cuba into the first socialist state in the Western Hemisphere until his resignation in February of 2008. He held the title of premier until 1976, when he became president of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers. He was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba since its inception in 1965 until his resignation, whereupon his brother Raúl (Second Secretary) became acting First Secretary.

Sourced

  • Condemn me, it does not matter: history will absolve me.
  • Ideas do not need weapons, if they can convince the great masses.
    • (Span. Original: Las ideas no necesitan ni de las armas, en la medida en que sean capaces de conquistar a las grandes masas.)
    • Speech on August 3, 1985, Source: lanic.utexas.edu.
  • This country is heaven, in the spiritual sense of the word. And I say, we prefer to die in heaven than survive in hell.
    • Speech made by Castro on February 2, 2005.
  • 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. [1]
  • 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. [2]
  • I am not a communist and neither is the revolutionary movement.
    • 1959 after the Cuban revolution, before the Communists began to gain power in the new government. So they wouldn't be crushed by the Americans. [3]
  • I am a Marxist-Leninist and I will be one until the last day of my life.
    • 1961 after the Bay of Pigs invasion. [4]
  • Armas para que? ("Guns, for what?")
    • A response to Cuban citizens who said the people might need to keep their guns, after Castro announced strict gun control in Cuba. [5]
  • 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.
    • Source: The Atheist's Bible 1st ed., ed. Joan Konner (New York, HarperCollins, 2007), 62.
  • They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?
    • 1991, during the fall of USSR. [6]

Unsourced

  • 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?

About Fidel Castro

  • 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

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