Former Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, dies at 90

Kaitlyn Steinhiser, Editor

On November 25, 2016, former Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, died at 90-years-old for unannounced reasons.

Despite his passion for spreading communism throughout Cuba, his efforts came to a sharp halt in 2006 when he became seriously ill.

During that time, his brother Raul Castro ran the country in his place. In 2008, Fidel formally turned the country over to his brother, and Raul became the president of Cuba.

By passing the power over to his brother, Castro tainted Cuba’s relations with the US once again due to the fact that this change could potentially deepen the power of Cuban dictatorships. The continuation of this dynasty was thought to be a possible catalyst in promoting totalitarian, communist government.

Surprisingly, this shift in leadership has led the icy relations between the US and Cuba to slowly thaw. Had Raul not taken over as president, Fidel’s revolutionary attitude against the US may have continued to flourish within the country of Cuba.
When US president Barack Obama met with Castro’s brother after his reign as dictator ended, Castro wrote several letters and articles expressing his negative feelings towards the US. Specifically, he expounded on the fact that he thought Cuba had no need for any help that the US was offering. This is ironic because, when Castro first came into power, one of the first things he did was make diplomatic efforts to gain foreign funding from countries such as Argentina, Canada, Uruguay, Trinidad, Brazil, and the US.

This negative attitude towards the US derived from Castro’s love of communism and the US’s efforts to eliminate that form of government. The spread of communism, or, “the Domino Effect,” as it was referred to by the US, was something that the US spent several years and large amounts of money trying to stop.
Similarly to the US’s efforts to stop communism, Castro’s efforts to allow his country to prosper under a communist regime underwent with gusto.

Aside from bolstering levels of communism in Cuba, Castro impacted the governmental nature of the world in many other ways.

For example, literacy grew dramatically during his time in power. He also supported racial equality, and unemployment throughout Cuba was at an all-time low.

Castro also turned Cuba into an international sports hotspot; he prioritized athletics, and, during his reign, Cuba beat the US to the gold medal table. Environmentalism was also a key aspect of Castro’s reign.
Despite these positive changes, Castro is still seen as a symbol of rebellion. His green fatigues, large beard, and Cuban cigars will forever be known as rebellious characteristics.

This nature fueled the aforementioned feud with the US, and it also led to events such as the Cuban missile crisis and the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Although Cuba is currently moving in the opposite direction when it comes to fulfilling Castro’s communism-filled wishes, his efforts to improve Cuba, as rebellious as they were, will be remembered by anyone affected by his passionate decisions.

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