Fidel Castro (1926-2016) was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who led the country from 1959 until his retirement in 2008. Born into a wealthy family, he became involved in politics as a student and formed a group that attempted to overthrow the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. After a failed attack in 1953, Castro was imprisoned but was released in 1955 and went into exile in Mexico, where he continued to plan his revolution.
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In 1959, Castro and his rebels overthrew Batista’s government, and Castro became prime minister of Cuba. He quickly nationalized industries and implemented socialist policies, aligning Cuba with the Soviet Union and sparking tensions with the United States. In 1961, the United States attempted to overthrow Castro in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, and tensions between the two countries escalated during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
Castro’s leadership was marked by his charismatic personality and his commitment to socialism, but also by his suppression of political opposition and human rights abuses. Despite criticism from the international community, Castro remained a symbol of anti-imperialism and revolution, and his legacy continues to influence politics in Cuba and beyond.
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Famous Fidel Castro Quotes
1. A revolution is not a bed of roses . . . a revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.
2. A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.
3. I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating… because it causes war, hypocrisy and competition.
4. The equal right of all citizens to health, education, work, food, security, culture, science, and wellbeing – that is, the same rights we proclaimed when we began our struggle, in addition to those which emerge from our dreams of justice and equality for all inhabitants of our world – is what I wish for all.
5. 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.
6. Men do not shape destiny, Destiny produces the man for the hour.
7. Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me.
8. They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?
9. The revolution is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters.
10. Something must be done to save humanity! A better world is possible!
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11. Homeland or death! Socialism or death! We shall overcome!
12. We do not exploit our dolphins for profit.
13. Xi Jinping is one of the strongest and most capable revolutionary leaders I have met in my life.
14. I am not a communist and neither is the revolutionary movement.
15. NATO’s brutal military alliance has become the most perfidious instrument of repression known in the history of humankind.
16. If you calculate 15 minutes a day to shave, that is 5,000 minutes a year spent shaving.
17. The fact is, when men carry the same ideals in their hearts, nothing can isolate them – neither prison walls nor the sod of cemeteries. For a single memory, a single spirit, a single idea, a single conscience, a single dignity will sustain them all.
18. No thieves, no traitors, no interventionists! This time the revolution is for real!
19. Nothing in the world is irreversible, not even capitalism.
20. A revolution is not a bed of roses.
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21. I am Fidel Castro and we have come to liberate Cuba.
22. I am a just man.
23. There is not Communism or Marxism, but representative democracy and social justice in a well-planned economy.
24. At times, I’ve referred to Christ’s miracles, and have said, ‘Well, Christ multiplied the fish and the loaves to feed the people. That is precisely what we want to do with the Revolution and socialism.’
25. Sorry, I’m still a dialectical materialist.
26. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust.
27. The people respect and believe in men who fulfill their duty.
28. Defending peace is the duty of all.
29. Christ didn’t choose the rich to preach the doctrine; he choose 12 poor ignorant workers – that is, he chose the proletariat of the times.
30. Someday, the capitalist system will disappear in the United States, because no social class system has been eternal. One day, class societies will disappear.
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31. Religious faith, like political belief, should be based on reasoning, on the development of thought and feelings. The two things are inseparable.
32. I became a Communist by studying capitalist political economy, and when I had some understanding of that problem, it actually seemed to me so absurd, so irrational, so inhuman, that I simply began to elaborate on my own formulas for production and distribution.
33. How can we help President Obama?
34. 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.
35. 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.
36. The Arab population of Palestine are victims of genocidal actions; their lands are confiscated or deprived of water supplies in the semi-desert areas, and their homes are destroyed with heavy wrecking equipment.
37. The human being is a strange mixture of blind instinct, on one hand, and conscience, on the other.
38. The people of Egypt are an intelligent people with a glorious history who left their mark on civilization.
39. I am a Marxist Leninist and I will be one until the last day of my life.
40. During the second half of the twentieth century, I had the privilege of living through years of intensive erudition, and I realized that Canadians, located in the northernmost region of this hemisphere, were always respectful towards our country.
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41. Soon, I’ll be like all the others. The time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban Communists will remain.
42. At the age of 6, a teacher full of ambitions, who taught in the small public school of Biran, convinced my family that I should travel to Santiago de Cuba to accompany my older sister who would enter a highly prestigious convent school. Including me was a skill of that very teacher from the little school in Biran.
43. I don’t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews.
44. North Americans don’t understand… that our country is not just Cuba; our country is also humanity.
45. Many things shall change in Cuba, but they shall change because of our efforts and despite the United States. Perhaps that empire shall crumble first.
46. The United States tyrannizes and pillages the globalized world with its political, economic, technological, and military might.
47. Our position is that we do not accept conditions of any kind which may affect the independence and sovereignty of our country just with the view to solve economic problems existing between the United States and Cuba.
48. I can assure you that my first and foremost interest is my country.
49. In my next incarnation, I want to be a writer.
50. I have always fought for concrete facts, for justice.
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51. Social struggles have been taking place throughout millennia, since human beings, by resorting to wars, were able to take hold of a surplus production to satisfy the essential needs of life.
52. Nature teaches us that tens of billions of light years may have passed, and life in all of its expressions has always been subjected to an incredible combination of matter and radiation.
53. What prevails in every corner of this globalized world is the real struggle of our species for its own survival.
54. I will never retire from politics, the revolution, or the ideas I have.
55. Following the missile crisis, detente started to gain ground between the United States and the Soviet Union, so the international political climate improved after that.
56. Obama has no way to conceal that Osama was executed in front of his children and wives, who are now under the custody of the authorities of Pakistan, a Muslim country of almost 200 million inhabitants, whose laws have been violated, its national dignity offended, and its religious traditions desecrated.
57. We do not need the empire to give us anything.
58. Chinese combatants, men and women, inheritors of a millennial culture, are people of uncommon intelligence and an invincible spirit of struggle.
59. As we know, while our species remains alive, everybody has the sacred duty to be optimistic. Ethically, any other behaviour wouldn’t be admissible.
60. England was the first true colonial power to use its dominion over a large part of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, North America, and many Caribbean islands, in the first half of the 20th century.
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61. Cynicism is something which has become symbolic of imperial policy.
62. I was not the son of a worker or lacking in material or social resources for a relatively comfortable existence; I could say I miraculously escaped wealth.
63. The revenues of Cuban state-run companies are used exclusively for the benefit of the people, to whom they belong.
64. Reactionaries often describe both Marx and Lenin as theorists, without taking into consideration that their utopias inspired Russia and China – the two countries called upon to lead a new world which will allow for human survival if imperialism does not first unleash a criminal, exterminating war.
65. Cuba came to be the last country to get rid of Spanish colonialism and the first to shake off the heinous imperialist tutelage.
66. Mubarak was oppressing and pillaging his own people. He was an enemy to the Palestinians and an accomplice of Israel, the sixth nuclear power on the planet, associated with the war-mongering NATO group.
67. We are proud of the history of our country; we learned it in school and have grown up hearing of freedom, justice and human rights.
68. Cuba never had advisors in Vietnam. The military there knew very well how to conduct their war.
69. Without a tutor to help me in the study of Marxism-Leninism, I was no more than a theorist and, of course, had total confidence in the Soviet Union.
70. When at just 27 years old, Qaddafi, colonel in the Libyan army, inspired by his Egyptian colleague Abdel Nasser, overthrew King Idris I in 1969, he applied important revolutionary measures such as agrarian reform and the nationalization of oil.
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71. We are political animals, as, not without reason, affirmed Aristotle, who perhaps influenced humanity’s thinking more than any other ancient philosopher through his almost 200 treatises, according to reports, of which only 31 have been preserved.
72. It constitutes a superhuman effort to lead any people in times of crisis. Without them, the changes would be impossible.
73. Senator McCain is Israel’s most unconditional ally in Mossad’s machinations, something that even his worst adversaries would have been able to imagine. McCain participated alongside this secret service in the creation of the Islamic State, which has appropriated a considerable part of Iraq as well as a third of Syria, according to its affirmations.
74. My idea, as the whole world knows, is that the capitalist system now doesn’t work either for the United States or the world, driving it from crisis to crisis, which are each time more serious.
75. The last time I visited Qaddafi was in May of 2001, 15 years after Reagan attacked his rather modest residence where he took me to show me how it had been left.
76. No one even knows one percent of the fabulous history of Man; but thanks to history, we know about occurrences that go beyond the limits of the imaginable.
77. I believe Karl Marx could have subscribed to the Sermon on the Mount.
78. I see Libya as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and a sovereign State of the nearly 200 members of the United Nations.
79. Even in the United States, the enslavement of African descendants continued until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. That brutal form of slavery was abolished there hardly thirty years before it was abolished in Cuba.
80. Even Gaddafi’s adversaries assure us that he stood out for his intelligence as a student; he was expelled from high-school for his anti-monarchic activities. He managed to enroll in another high-school and later graduated in law at the University of Benghazi at the age of 21.
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81. Although we resolutely supported the armed struggle against Batista’s tyranny, we were, on principle, opposed to any terrorist action that could cause the death of innocent people.
82. The death of Abdel Nasser on September 28, 1970, was an irreversible setback for Egypt.
83. Experience acquired in the heroic battle against Batista’s tyranny showed that the enemy, no matter what his strength, could not defeat the Cuban people.
84. The world has not yet reached the point which, in my view, is an essential condition for the survival of our human species: access by all the peoples to the material resources of this planet.
85. There is plenty of building material and more than enough manpower to make a decent home for every Cuban. But if we continue to wait for the golden calf, a thousand years will have gone by, and the problem will remain the same.
86. When the Revolution triumphed in 1959, our island was a true Yankee colony. The United States had duped and disarmed our Liberation Army. One couldn’t speak of developed agriculture, but of immense plantations exploited on the base of manual and animal labour that in general used neither fertilizers nor machinery.
87. Marx and Engels never talked about murdering the bourgeois. According to the old bourgeois concept, the judges were the ones who judged, and the executioners were the ones who executed.
88. Chavez, who came out of the ranks of the Venezuelan Army, is methodical and tireless. I have observed him over the course of 17 years, since his first visit to Cuba. He is an extremely humanitarian and law-abiding person; he has never taken revenge on anybody.
89. The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.
90. Capitalism is using its money; we socialists throw it away.
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91. The Revolution did not assume a socialist nature because of support from the U.S.S.R.; it was the other way around: support from the U.S.S.R. was produced by the socialist nature of the Cuban Revolution. To such a degree, that when the U.S.S.R. disappears, Cuba keeps on being socialist.
92. Our Revolution emerged where it was least expected by the empire, in a hemisphere where it was used to acting like an all-powerful master.
93. Born to a tribal Bedouin family of nomadic desert shepherds in the region of Tripoli, Gaddafi was profoundly anti-colonialist. It is affirmed that his paternal grandfather died fighting against the Italian invaders when Libya was invaded by them in 1911.
94. The kings of Spain brought us the conquistadores and masters, whose footprints remained in the circular land grants assigned to those searching for gold in the sands of rivers, an abusive and shameful form of exploitation, traces of which can be noted from the air in many places around the country.
95. None of us is designed for the role we must assume in a revolutionary society, although Cubans had the privilege of Jose Marti’s example.
96. The traditional stand adopted by the Cuban Revolution, which was always opposed to any action that could jeopardize the life of civilians, is well known.
97. The universities are available only to those who share my revolutionary beliefs.
98. It is a fundamental principle of criminal law that an imputed offense must correspond exactly to the type of crime described by law. If no law applies exactly to the point in question, then there is no offense.
99. I don’t think it is so difficult to solve the problems between Cuba and the United States; it all depends on whether there is a dialogue, a discussion, or if the prejudices and hatred of people like the extremists and terrorists from the Cuban community, who try to impose their policies, prevail.
100. Every citizen has the real right to receive general education and professional training at no cost, something that the United States has not been able to ensure for all its inhabitants.