The third of six children, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926 (although some sources claim that he was born a year later), in Cuba's eastern province of Oriente. His father, Angel, was a wealthy sugar plantation owner originally from Spain.
Raised in affluence while surrounded by poverty, Fidel Castro was educated in private Jesuit boarding schools. He attended El Colegio de Belen and pitched for the school's baseball team. After graduating in 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana and immersed himself in the political climate of Cuban nationalism, anti-imperialism, and socialism.
In 1947 Castro participated in a (failed) effort to overthrow the dictator Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. He then returned to the University of Havana and joined the Partido Ortodoxo, an anti-communist political party whose stated priorities were nationalism, economic independence, and social reforms. Its founder, Cuban presidential candidate Eduardo Chibas, lost the 1948 election but became a hero of sorts to Castro.
In 1948 Castro married Mirta Diaz Balart, who hailed from a wealthy Cuban family. The couple had one child, Fidelito, before the marriage was dissolved in 1955.
In 1952 Castro ran as a candidate for a seat in the Cuban parliament, but a coup led by the country's former president, General Fulgencio Batista, overthrew the existing government and cancelled the election. Solidifying his power with Cuba's military and economic elite, Batista established himself as a dictator. Castro collaborated with fellow members of the Partido Ortodoxo to organize an insurrection which they launched on July 26, 1953. The attack failed and Castro was captured and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
After being set free in 1955 under an amnesty deal with the Batista government, Castro traveled to Mexico, where he met Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Guevara became an important confidante and advisor to Castro, and the pair conspired to overthrow the Batista regime by means of guerrilla warfare.
On December 2, 1956, Castro and 81 fellow insurgents returned to Cuba, near the eastern city of Manzanillo, to begin their protracted guerrilla campaign. Castro organized resistance groups in cities and towns across the country. By January 1959, he had forced the Batista government to collapse. Batista fled to the Dominican Republic, and a 32-year-old Fidel Castro seized control of Cuba.
Fidel Castro: Leftwing Monster
Posted by Southern on Saturday, January 04, 2014 @ 20:01:28 EST (1538 reads)
Robert Redford plays a member of the Weather Underground in ‘The Company You Keep.’ The group’s real-life founder, Bill Ayers, tells Marlow Stern about its radical agenda, how we provoked North Korea, and more.
In The Company You Keep, in theaters Friday, Robert Redford stars as a former member of the Weather Underground, a group of radical anti-Vietnam War protesters that bombed numerous U.S. landmarks. He’s made a new life for himself as “Jim Grant,” a widowed father and public policy attorney in Albany, N.Y., but the FBI has been chasing him for three decades in connection with a Michigan bank robbery that left one security guard dead. When Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon), another Underground member, is arrested, an ambitious young reporter (Shia LaBeouf) exposes Grant, forcing him to go on the run.
WEATHER UNDERGROUND AYERS DOHRN
Bernardine Dohrn, former leader of the radical, anti-war movement Weather Underground, and her companion Bill Ayers are escorted by federal authorities after surrendering at Cook County Courthouse in Chicago, Ill., Dec. 3, 1989. (AP)
While the film, directed by Redford and based on a novel by Neil Gordon, is almost entirely a work of fiction, there are some parallels between Redford’s character and Bill Ayers, the real-life founder of the Weather Underground who is married to another WUO member, Bernardine Dohrn—though divulging them would give away a crucial plot twist.
In an in-depth interview with The Daily Beast, Ayers opened up about the Weather Underground, whether he has any regrets about the group’s actions—which included bombing the Pentagon, an NYPD precinct, and a Greenwich Village townhouse explosion that left three members dead—his relationship with President Obama, why he thinks Obama’s doing an awful job in office, and much more.
Posted by Southern on Saturday, January 04, 2014 @ 19:43:26 EST (298 reads)
A feminist abortion clinic that hosted a “Women for Obama” event where Obama volunteers helped with groundskeeping in a show of support for reproductive rights is profiled in the current issue of The Socialist, the official publication of the Socialist Party USA, in which a clinic official urges feminist socialists to “influence policy” and quotes a famous socialist writer.
The Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City, Iowa was the site of a Women for Obama event called “Iowa City Women for Obama Service Project at Emma Goldman Clinic,” which was promoted on the events page of Obama’s official 2012 campaign website.
“Please join women Obama supporters as we give back to those who support our reproductive rights by helping with groundskeeping at Emma Goldman Clinic. Old clothes and comfortable shoes are a must!,” the Obama campaign website reads. The event was hosted by Winnie Garet, former Obama for America staffer and current field organizer for the Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America project.
Posted by Southern on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 @ 23:28:22 EST (197 reads)
A newly released analysis of satellite imagery paints a bleak picture of North Korea’s growing gulag network.
The North’s Labour Camp No. 25, which makes up part of what campaigners call “one of the worst, but least understood and reported, human rights situations in the world,” appears to be in the midst of a dramatic expansion.
According to the Committee of Human Rights in North Korea, the camp grew at least 72% since 2003. The number of perimeter guard posts jumped from 20 in 2003 to 43 by 2010.
The group believes the gulag network expansion may be a response to purges in the lead up to Kim Jong-un’s succession.
Direct information on North Korea’s forced labour camps is hard to come by, but human rights abuses have been well-documented by defectors.
After escaping, Shin Dong-hyuk equated his experience with surviving a camp in Hitler’s Germany.
“People think the Holocaust is in the past, but it is still very much a reality,” Dong-hyk told Agence France-Presse. “It is still going on in North Korea.”
Posted by Southern on Saturday, October 12, 2013 @ 01:13:53 EDT (318 reads)