Rare and Amazing Photographs of Fidel Castro from His Childhood to the 1940s
Fidel Castro has his beard touched during a visit to his hotel by youngsters who attended a Queens school with his son. The boy was secretly living here while his father led the Cuban revolution.
Fidel Castro's Cuba full of his offspring after years of womanizing by El Commandante
Fidel Castro gets a taste of America as he wolfs down hot dog at the Bronx Zoo on April 22, 1959
Fidel Castro tried to win over Cubans in speeches that sometimes lasted more than seven hours.
A four-hour and 29-minute spiel in 1960 earned Fidel Castro the Guinness Book of Records title for the longest speech ever delivered at the UN.
Gladys Feijoo, 19-year-old Miss La Prensa of 1959, kisses Fidel Castro as he signs his autograph for her collection
Cuban leader Fidel Castro is presented with an invitation to the New York Press Photographer's Ball, New York City
Even New York’s Finest couldn’t resist mugging with Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro sledding while on a visit to Moscow
In the 1950's, the American Major Leagues had a Triple-A minor league farm team, for the Cincinnati Reds, in Cuba, under the name "Havana Sugar Kings". The Sugar Kings were consistently at the top of the International League rankings and were a source of Cuban nationalistic pride. So when Castro took power in January 1959, he took steps to promote and protect the team, which was deeply in debt (and which would be cut off from the US Major Leagues in 1960). Castro formed an exhibition team made up of government officials (all former guerrillas) that would play before scheduled Sugar Kings games to raise money for the AAA team. The exhibition team took the name Barbudos, Spanish for "the bearded ones"--the nickname given to the anti-Batista guerrillas during the revolution. It was never an actual league team, it never played any games against any league team (all of its games were played against another exhibition team from the National Police), and it only lasted for a short time. Fidel himself only played in one game, on July 24, 1959, when he pitched one inning (he struck out two and gave up no runs). The Sugar Kings went on to win the International Championship for 1959.
"Fidel Castro is either incredibly naive about communism or under communist discipline. My guess is the former." - Richard Nixon
Fidel Castro: Timeline