Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Key dates in the life of Fidel

Posted to the web on: 02 August 2006

HAVANA — A selected list of key events in the life of Cuban President Fidel Castro.

‖ August 13 1926: Castro is born in Biran, southeastern Cuba. He is the third of seven children of Spanish immigrant Angel Castro and Cuban Lina Ruz.

‖ 1947: Joins a failed coup attempt against Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo.

‖ 1949: Under death threat from rival politicians, he flees to New York for a time.

‖ 1952: Fulgencio Batista takes power in a coup, sparking protests from Castro, who goes underground with his anti- government activities.

‖ 1953: Leads a failed attack on Santiago de Cuba’s Moncada military barracks — 69 of the 111 men who took part are killed and Castro is arrested. He is sentenced to 15 years in jail.

‖ May 15 1955: Gets out of jail under amnesty and establishes and heads the July 26 Movement.

‖ July 7 1955: Flees to Mexico where he meets Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

‖ December 2 1956: Lands in southeastern Cuba with 81 fighters and launches a 25-month-long military campaign in the Sierra Maestra region.

‖ January 1 1959: Batista flees. Castro enters Havana on January 8. He is appointed prime minister in February.

‖ March 10 1959: Foils a US assassination plot against him.

‖ 1960: Establishes diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

‖ 1961: The US severs diplomatic relations with Cuba.

‖ April 17-19 1961: Defeats 1400 anti-Castro fighters in the US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion.

‖ 1995: Visits China for the first time.

‖ 1998: Welcomes John Paul II in his historic visit to Cuba.

‖ 1999: Presides over Latin American summit in Havana and launches Cuban drive to get Florida to give up Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez, who after a seven-month tug of war is returned to his father in Cuba.

‖ June 23 2001: Passes out during a public event in Havana.

‖ March 2003: Orders the arrest of 75 opposition leaders.

‖ October 20 2004: Falls while giving a speech in Santa Clara, injuring his left knee and right arm.

‖ April 2005: Signs an alliance with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez.

‖ July 31 2006: Announces a temporary transfer of power to his brother Raul Castro after undergoing what he called delicate intestinal surgery. Sapa-AFP

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