25 Interesting And Unique Fats About Fidel Castro

The Longest Speech

The Longest Speech

Castro has been credited with delivering the longest ever speech at the United Nations, clocking in at a marathon 4 hours and 29 minutes. He made the speech at the 872nd plenary meeting in 1960.

Putting In Work

Putting In Work

He was known to work long, hours, often until the small hours of the morning. In fact, it was part of his strategy. He figured he would have the upper hand by arranging meetings for the early hours of the morning when the other party would be tired.

Evading Death

Evading Death

Castro reckoned that there were many attempts to assassinate him, mainly by the CIA. In fact, he numbered the evaded attempts at taking his life at 634. Of course, a poisoned cigar was one failed method, as was another exploding mollusk!

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Castro met his favorite writer, Ernest Hemingway, at a 160 fishing competition. The great writer had penned (in part) a few of his classics in Cuba, such as For Whom The Bell Tolls (1940).

Raúl and Che

Raúl and Che

Following a stint in prison, in 1955, Castro went to Mexico where he formed the revolutionary 26th of July Movement with his brother Raúl and Argentine guerrilla leader, Che Guevara (yes, the dude on the t-shirt).

Head of State

Head of State

Castro was the third-longest serving head of state in the world up until October of this year, when the King of Thailand died, making Castro the second-longest serving head of state on the planet, behind only Queen Elisabeth II.

Staying Power

Staying Power

Over the course of Castro's lengthy political career, he saw nine different United States Presidents in office.

He Loved Sports

He Loved Sports

Although apparently not that in to music, Castro was a noted sports fan and also did his bit to try and keep himself as fit.

Family Time

Family Time

Although he managed to keep a lot of his private life private, it is known that Castro was married five times (to different women) and had a total of eleven children.

In Time

In Time

Time magazine named Castro as one of the 100 most influential people to ever stroll the planet.

The Name

The Name

The name "Castro" belonged to his father Ángel Castro y Argiz, a Spanish immigrant. His full name is Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (Ruz was his mother's name).

Cuban Cigars

Cuban Cigars

He gave up Cuban cigars in 1985, saying "The best thing you can do with this box of cigars is give them to your enemy."

Beards and Time Management

Beards and Time Management

Castro said that, while his beard was that of a revolutionary, the real reason he chose to wear one was simply because he thought the time he wasted shaving could be used more productively.

Armed Rebellion

Armed Rebellion

As a 21-year-old, he traveled to the Dominican Republic to help overthrow the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. This would be his first taste of armed rebellion.

Communist Cows

Communist Cows

One of Castro's cows made in in to the Guinness Book of Records for yielding the most milk by one cow in one day. Notably, Castro brought this up in speeches by suggesting that this was an example of the superior ways of Communism.

Castroism

Castroism

Theodore Draper is credited with coining the term "Castroism" which he described as a mixture of European socialism and the Latin American tradition of revolution.

The Finer Things

The Finer Things

Castro would talk food with his chefs and had a keen interest in culinary matters, as well as whisky and wine.

Cuban Missile Crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis

You've probably heard the words but perhaps aren't too sure what they mean. Well, Castro formed an alliance with the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s, allowing them to place nuclear weapons on his island nation. He had seen US missiles in Turkey as a threat to Cuba and so this defining moment in the Cold War was his response.

English

English

Although fluent in English, Castro saw the language as that of his enemies, and usually refused to speak it.

Yuri

Yuri

Yuri Gagarin, the Russian cosmonaut who became the first person to go in to outer space, met Castro in 1961. This famous photo shows the two clearly getting along well.

Famous Admirers

Famous Admirers

Castro had admirers beyond his homeland and Russia. Hollywood A-listers said to admire Castro include Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, Robert Redford, and Oliver Stone.

Famous Quotes

Famous Quotes

For a man who was in office for around half a century, and considering how many speeches he made, he was bound to have some memorable quotes....

“Revolution is not a trail of roses. A revolution is a fight to the death between the future and the past,” and “Men do not shape destiny. Destiny produces the man for the hour," are to of his most famous.

On LGBT Rights

On LGBT Rights

Castro did a complete 180 on LGBT rights in Cuba. Initially, the Cuban Government under his leadership suppressed the movement by force and imprisoned them for "reeducation". However, he later expressed regret over his earlier policies. His niece is a known campaigner for LGBT rights in Cuba.

Getting Comfortable

Getting Comfortable

Almost all of the iconic photos you will ever see of Castro show him walking tall and proud in military gear, however, over the last few years of his life he could be seen sporting more comfortable attire; usually an Adidas track suit. He even wore them to official meetings where others would be dressed formally.

Besties

Besties

Castro's best friend was Hugo Chavez, the 64th President of Venezuela who died in 2013.