Fidel Castro returns to Cuban spotlight (2)

20:06, August 18, 2010      

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Castro was born into a wealthy family in southeast Cuba on Aug. 13, 1926, in what was then Oriente Province. He graduated from the University of Havana with a law degree and quickly became involved in politics.

On July 26, 1953, Castro led more than 100 followers to launch a failed attack on the Moncada barracks against the regime of President Fulgencio Batista in the eastern city of Santiago.

Castro and his brother Raul survived but were imprisoned.

"History will absolve me," declared Castro at the end of a famous four-hour speech made at his trial over the failed attack, which launched his revolutionary movement.

Amnestied after two years, Castro continued to campaign against the Batista regime while in exile in Mexico, and established a guerilla force known as the July 26 Movement.

On Dec. 2, 1956, Castro, his brother Raul and 80 other men landed in southeastern Cuba on the ship Granma to continue the fight against Batista, whose regime had become a byword for corruption, decadence and inequality. They finally overthrew the dictator on Jan. 1, 1959, opening a new chapter in Cuban history.
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