The following 2002 biography is also
a fascinating example of how the Cuban electoral system works. Any
voter can run for office (voting age is 16) simply by being nominated. The candidate fills out a biography which
is then posted throughout the nieghborhood they're running from; below is the one filled
out by Fidel Castro (who of course has to be elected like everyone
else). Bribery (known in the U.S. as "campaign contributions") and paid advertising are not allowed. For a thorough-going look
at one election, as well as an excellent overview of modern Cuban
history, read 'Democracy in Cuba' by the Canadian professor Arnold
August. This book can be purchased through Canada-Cuba Distribution,
1-888-691-0101 (toll-free in the US and Canada), email: email@example.com.
Candidate for Deputy
For the National Assembly of Popular Power
Santiago de Cuba
Name: Fidel Castro Ruz
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party,
President of the Councils of State and Ministers
Member of Organizations:
Founder of the Communist Party of Cuba
Born 13th of August, 1926 at Biran in the former
Cuban Province of Oriente. His father, Angel Castro Argiz, son of
poor farmers in Galicia, was a large landowner and sugar cane colonizer.
His mother, Lina Ruz Gonzalez, came from a family of farmers from
Province of Pinar del Rio.
Learned his first letters in a rural public school
at Biran and continued his primary education in private catholic
schools, La Salle and Dolores in Santiago de Cuba. Began studies
for his Bachelors at the Dolores College and completing at Belen
College of the Company of Jesus, in Havana, where graduated with
a Bachelor of Letters, in June 1945. He distinguished himself as
an athlete during his last years of senior secondary studies.
In September 1945 he entered the University of
Havana studying law, social sciences and diplomatic law, and he
immediately became politically active in the students movement where
he denounced and began opposing the corrupt government of the day.
He became a leader of the Federation of University Students and
was an outstanding member of several progressive anti-imperialist
student organizations, among them: The Committee for the Independence
of Puerto Rico, The 30th of September Committee - as a founder
and The Committee for Dominican Democracy, where he was president.
As part of his political activity within the university
students he organized and participated in innumerable mass actions
of protest and against the social and political situation in the
country and on more than one occasion he was beaten and incarcerated
by the repressive forces. During his years at the university he
became a Marxist-Leninist as a result of the study of the classic
literature of Marxism and his analysis of the problems facing Cuban
Between July and September 1947 he joined an expeditionary
contingent organized to fight against the regime of dictator Rafael
Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, but the expedition
was prevented from arriving at its destination.
As a student leader he traveled in 1948 to Venezuela,
Panama and Colombia in activities linked to the organization of
the Congress of Latin American Students that might be held in Colombia
whose main objectives was the struggle for Panamanian sovereignty
of the Canal Zone, the independence of Puerto Rico and elimination
of colonialism in Latin America. In April of that year he went to
Bogotá when the so-called Bogotazo (Coup de etat) and he
participated with the Colombian people in the popular insurrection
motivated by the assassination of the liberal leader, Jorge Eliecer
In 1950 he became doctor of civil law and lawyer
of diplomatic law. As a graduate lawyer he mainly worked in the
defence of poor people.
As founder of the Cuban Peoples Party (Orthodox),
a party with a progressive tendency, he actively participated, from
1948, in the political campaigns of this party, in particular of
its main leader, Eduardo Chibas. Within this political organization
he actively worked to develop among the young militants of the party
more radical and combative positions, After Chibas, in 1951, he
reinforced his campaign to uncover the corruption of the government
of President Carlos Prio.
After Batistas coup d etat on March
10th 1952 he was one of the first in denouncing the reactionary
and illegitimate character of the regime and he called for its overthrow.
Seeing the lack of inertia of the traditional political forces he
organized and insured the training of a great contingent of more
than 1,000 young workers, employers and students, mainly of Orthodox
affiliation. With 160 of these men on July 26th 1953 he attacked
the military headquarters in Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo in an action
conceived as the beginning of the armed struggle and the overthrow
of the Batistas Regime.
Put in jail by the repressive forces a few days
after the military failure suffered in this action he was tried
and condemned to 15 years in prison. Facing the court which judged
him he assumed his own defence and pronounced his speech known as
"History will Absolve Me" in which he explained the program
for future revolution in Cuba.
From the prison he continued his work denouncing
the tyrannical regime and at the same time he reorganized his revolutionary
plans and deepened the theoretical and ideological preparation of
He was freed in May 1955 because of an amnesty
decreed as a result of the strong pressure and the popular campaigns.
In the subsequent weeks he displayed an intense work of agitation
and denunciation and founded the 26th of July Movement to continue
the revolutionary struggle.
Knowing the impossibility of continuing the struggle
against Batistas tyranny by legal means he went to Mexico
in July 1955 in order to organize from exile the Popularized Army
of Insurrection against the dictatorial regime. In very bad economic
conditions and submitted to constant vigilance and persecution by
Batistas agents he organized widely in Mexico and the United
States. Meanwhile he continued an intense campaign of promoting
the ideas and the objectives of the insurrectional movement and
building unity of the revolutionary forces in Cuba.
Fidel landed on the south coast of the former
province of Oriente on December 2nd 1956 leading 82 expeditionaries,
arriving on the Yacht Granma, beginning the revolutionary war in
the Sierra Maestra Mountains. In his position as commander in chief
of the rebel army, he directed the military action, the revolutionary
struggle of the rebel forces and the 26th of July Movement during
25 months of war. He directly commanded column number 1 "Jose
Marti" and personally participated in almost all the most important
operations, combat and battles carried out in the territory of the
First Rebel Front. After the military collapse of the tyranny, as
a result of its defeat by the rebel army, a coup d etat was
carried out in the capital, promoted by the U.S. government. Fidel
convoked all the people to the revolutionary general strike, supported
by all the workers and he ordered them do not stop the fight but
continue the combat. This caused the total defeat of Batistas
At the end of the insurrectional fight, he assumed the charge of
commander in chief of the armed forces. On February 13th 1959 he
was nominated prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government.
Fidel directed and participated in all the actions
carried out for the defence of the country and the Revolution in
cases of military aggression from foreign origins or activities
of counterrevolutionary gangs within the country, mainly the defeat
of the invasion organized by the CIA at Playa Giron in April 1961.
He led the Cuban people during the dramatic days of the so-called
October Crisis in 1962. On behalf of the Revolutionary Power he
declared the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution on April
the 16th 1961.
Fidel was general secretary of the Integrated
Revolutionary Organizations; general secretary of the United Party
of the Cuban Socialist Revolution. Starting from the constitution
of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba in October
1965, he became the First Secretary of its Politburo, being ratified
by the 5 congresses of the Communist Party held since its creation.
He was elected deputy of the National Assembly
of the Popular Power, representing the Municipality of Santiago
de Cuba, in its subsequent sessions. Since the creation of the National
Assembly he has been president of the Council of State and President
of the Council of Ministers.
He has led official Cuban missions to more than
Between 1960 and 1979 he intervened at the General
Assembly of the United Nations. In 1995 he participated in a special
session in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations
and in the Summit of the Millennium convoked by this organization
in 2000. He led the Cuban delegations to Non-Alignment Movement
Summits in Argel (1972); Havana (1979); New Delhi (1983); Harare
(1987); Cartagena de Indias (1995) and Durban (1998). Between 1979
and 1983 he was president of the Non-Alignment Countries Movement.
He has led Cuban delegations to the first 10 Ibero-American Summits:
Guadalajara (1991); Madrid (1992); Salvador de Bahia (1993); Cartagena
de Indias (1994); San Carlos de Bariloche (1995); Vina del Mar (1996);
Margarita (1997); Oporto (1998); Havana (1999); Panama (2000), as
well as the Ecologic Summit at Rio de Janeiro (1992), the Summit
on Social Development in Copenhagen (1995): the Summit on Human
Settlements at Istanbul and FAO Summit on Food (1996); CARIFORUM
Summit (1998) of the Association of Caribbean States; the Summit
of Latin-America, the Caribbean and the European Union (1999); the
World Conference Against Racism (2001) and the Summit on Finance
for Development (2002) among others.
He has received more than one hundred high Cuban
and foreign decorations as well as numerous academic distinctions,
honorary degrees from institutes of higher education in Latin-America
He has promoted, all over the world, the third
world battle against the established world economic order, mainly
against the external debt, the bad use of resources as a consequence
of military spending and neo-liberal globalization as well as his
efforts for the unity and the integration of Latin-America and the
He has led the brave actions of the Cuban people
to face the effects of the economic blockade imposed on Cuba by
the U.S.A. for more than 40 years and the consequences in the economic
field of the collapse of the European socialist community. He has
promoted a strong effort of the Cuban people to the big difficulties
as a result of these factors; its resistance during the so-called
Special Period and the re-starting of growing and economic development
of the country.
He is the main promoter and organizer of the intense
political battle of the Cuban people for the elimination of United
State laws which support the blockade and the economic war against
Cuba; the aggression on immigration mainly against the Helms-Burton
Law and the Cuban Adjustment Law among others.
He leads the campaigns, programs and actions as
part of the battle of ideas carried out by the Cuban people. Among
them the programs to elevate the general culture of the Cuban people.
Across this 44 years of Revolution he encouraged
and directed the fight of the Cuban people for the consolidation
of the revolutionary process toward socialism, the unity of the
revolutionary forces of the whole people, the economic and social
transformation of Cuban society, the development of education, health,
sport, culture, science, the defence of the country, the facing
of foreign aggression, the leading of an active external policy
of principals, the actions of solidarity with the people who fight
for independence and progress and the deepening of the revolutionary,
internationalist and communist conscience of