Fidel Castro: Early Life

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Analise and Discus the Influences and events of significance in Fidel Castro’s early life that lead to his abandoning mainstream politics and becoming the leader of the Cuban revolution.

FIDEL CASTRO

Fidel Castro was born to quite wealthy parents, attended exclusive religious schools for the wealthy, and eventually studied law at university. How is it that a man of this privileged upbringing, became the leader of a socialist revolution in Cuba, brought the world to the brink of destruction, and ultimately became one of the most famous political leaders in the history of Latin America. The answer can only be found by closely analyzing Castro’s history, his political development and the significant events and influences in his life that brought him to abandon mainstream politics and become the revolutionary that he was. In this assignment I will be analyzing the significant stages and factors of Castro’s early life that helped to create the revolutionary that he became. I will be looking at Castro’s upbringing in Biran; his first small acts of rebellion and his rebellious nature; his experiences and education while studying at university; and his frustration with the Batista coup of 1952.

“A man is not entirely the master of his own destiny. A man is also the child of circumstances, of difficulties, of struggle. Problems gradually sculpt him like a lathe sculpts a piece of metal. A man Is not born a revolutionary, I’d venture to say.” (Fidel Castro)

Fidel Alejando Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926 on a sugar plantation in the remote province of Biran in the east of Cuba. His father Angel Castro came from an poor peasant family in Spain. At the end of The Second War Of Independence Angel immigrated to Cuba. He eventually made a small fortune by using his natural management skills working in the sugar industry. Angel was a strong and very hard working man. Fidel’s experiences while growing up in Biran played an important role in his early upbringing. If he had of been born in an upper-class neighborhood playing with the children of wealthy citizens, he would not have become the person he is today. As it was, Castro was the only boy from and affluent family in the whole of Biran. His peers were all the sons of peasants who worked on the farms. He talked to, ate with and often lived with people of the most humble origins. He had no sense of superiority that may have resulted from the financial and social standing of his family.

“I remember the illiterate unemployed men who would stand in line near the cane fields, with nobody to bring them a drop of water, or breakfast, or lunch, or give them shelter, or transport.” (Fidel Castro)

The area surrounding his fathers land was dominated by sugar mills owned by the infamous U.S owned ‘United Fruit Company’. It was on this land that the injustices of the working conditions of the poor became most apparent to him. It may well be that he was already beginning to realize as hid did later in life that because the company that owned the many sugar mills was based over seas, the owners and managers of the company had little or no interest or thought for their workers in Cuba. His father, however, worked beside his employees everyday observing their lives and circumstances. He was far more compassionate and thoughtful of the men under who worked for him than were the large US companies.

Castro’s thoughts on the lack of concern for workers demonstrated by the US companies likely became one of the driving forces in his mind when he sought to Nationalize foreign owned land at the conclusion of the Cuban Revolution.

Castro has a history of rebelling against authority as a young boy. This rebelliousness would continue throughout his life. His father was a strict authoritarian occasionally becoming quite violent. It is likely that Castro’s rebellious nature found it roots in rebelling against his father’s authoritarianism. As early as his primary...
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