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Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro Dead at 90
Fidel Castro 1926  -  2016
Cuban dictator Fidel Castro born near Birán, Cuba, in 1926 whose defiance against the United States led to the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis in the
early 1960s, died November 25, 2016 at the age of 90.

He was the third of six children, including his two brothers, Raúl and Ramón; and three sisters, Angela, Emma and Agustina. His father, Ángel, was a wealthy sugar
plantation owner originally from Spain who did most of his business with the American-owned United Fruit Company, which dominated the agriculture in that region at
the time. His mother, Lina Ruz González, had been a maid to Ángel's first wife, Maria Luisa Argota, at the time of Fidel's birth. By the time Fidel was 15, his father
dissolved his first marriage and wed Fidel's mother. At age 17, Fidel was formally recognized by his father and his name was changed from Ruz to Castro.

Educated in private Jesuit boarding schools, Castro grew up in wealthy circumstances amid the poverty of Cuba but was also imbued with a sense of Spanish pride from
his teachers. From an early age, Castro showed he was intellectually gifted, but he was also something of a troublemaker and was often more interested in sports than
studies. He attended Colegio Dolores in Santiago de Cuba and then El Colegio de Belén in Havana, where he pitched for the school's baseball team as well as played
basketball and ran track. After his graduation in late 1945, however, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana and became immersed in the climate of Cuban
nationalism, anti-imperialism and socialism, focusing his energies more exclusively on politics.

Castro became increasingly passionate about social justice and he traveled to the Dominican Republic to join an expedition attempting the overthrow of the country's
dictator, Rafael Trujillo. Though the coup failed before it got started, the incident did little to dampen Castro's passion for reform, and he traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, the
following year to participate in the anti-government rioting there.   

In 1947, Castro also joined the Partido Ortodoxo, an anticommunist political party founded to reform government in Cuba. Its founder, Cuban presidential candidate
Eduardo Chibás, lost the 1948 election but inspired Castro to be an ardent disciple. He pledged to expose the government's corruption and warn the people about General
Fulgencio Batista, himself a former president, who was plotting a return to power. However, Chibás's efforts were cut short after his supposed allies refused to provide
evidence of government wrongdoing. In August 1951, Chibás shot himself during a radio broadcast.   
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Marc Rasbury, Beacon Sports Editor dies on Thanksgiving Day!  More to follow.