Fidel Castro was born in Biran Cuba on August 13, 1926. He was educated as a lawyer and began his career as an opponent of Cuban President Batista. In 1954, he led an unsuccessful revolt against Batista and was forced to flee the country. In 1956, he returned with a small invasion force that was also unsuccessful. After waging a guerrilla campaign for two years, he led a large-scale attack against Batista and forced him to flee the country.
Though the US initially supported him, he soon developed strong ties with the USSR, which turned that support into strong opposition. Castro, in power for decades, had been one of the world's last hold-outs as a Communist leader. He retired in 2008 turning over the leadership of the country to his brother Raul