Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator since 1959. The former leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled the country on January 1st 1959. Castro had been sent to prison for his attack against the Batista government, but was released in 1955 and he was exiled to Mexico, where he met Che Guevara. He began to recruit and train followers. One night they boarded a boat and sailed to Eastern, Cuba, where he set up a camp. He and his followers mounted an attack against Batista forces and acquired weapons. Cuban citizens supplied he and his men with food.
In 1958, Batista fell out of favor with the US government, who cut off his supply of weapons. That was the beginning of the end for him and by time he left in 1959, Castro was able to march right in and take over the government. He traveled to the United States and was given a hero’s welcome by the liberals in America. Returning to Cuba, Castro began executing his enemies en masse and he nationalized American businesses worth one billion dollars. He aligned Cuba with the Soviet Union that provided him with money and weapons and eventually led to the Cuban missile crises.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, Castro saw his longtime ally and financial benefactor abandon him and after he had surgery in 2006, his health began to go downhill and in 2008, he had to cede power to his brother Raul. His health continued to deteriorate until finally, he succumbed to them.
Fidel Castro dead at 90.