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One of the world’s most notorious dictators is dead. Fidel Castro died on Black Friday of this year at the age of 90.

Here are some little known facts about the Cuban leader.

Facts About Fidel Castro

  • Only two heads of state have led their countries longer than Castro. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and the King of Thailand. (Source)
  • He was hard to get rid of. Fifty years of economic sanctions, assassination plots and attempts failed to end his rein of terror over Cuba. Eisenhower to Obama is a long time. (Source)
  • Castro claimed he saved 10 working hours a year by not shaving. (Source)
  • CIA desperation. The geniuses at the CIA planned to use a depilatory chemical powder placed in his shoes designed to cause Casto’s beard to fall out. That would surely stop him. (Source)
  • He was just getting warmed up. Castro holds the record for the longest speech ever given at the UN. A whopping 4 hours and 29 minutes on September 26. 1960. (Source)
  • It’s a little ironic that Castro was born on a Friday the 13th and died on Black Friday 90 years later. (Source)
  • When Castro was 12 he wrote to President Roosevelt asking for a $10US bill because he’d never seen one before. What was the purchasing power of a $10 bill in 1940 — $172.66. (Source)
  • Someone is still patting themselves on the back for coming up with the name “Operation Castration” for the CIA plot to invade Cuba and take down Castro. (Source)
  • Strange bedfellows? In 2007 the CIA released documents showing a deal with the Italian Mafia to assassinate Castro. The mob had good reason to go along with this because under Batista the mob had a pretty sweet deal in Cuba. (Source)
  • Castro did allow one kosher butcher to remain in Cuba to serve the 1,500 people practicing Judaism. (Source)
  • Castro named each of his three sons after Alexander the Great Alexis, Alejandro and Alexander. (Source)
  • Absolutely no capitalism allowed. When Castro took power he ordered all games of Monopoly destroyed. I’m guessing he lost a lot. (Source)
  • He’s not Trump. There are no streets, buildings, institutions or other locations named after Castro anywhere in Cuba. He didn’t want to create a cult personality of himself.
  • Eventually he changed his mind. Castro banned the Beatles and other rock bands in 1964 but two years later had a change of heart. (Source)

Some Final Thoughts

No network TV, no cell phone Internet access, only state sponsored socialist programing allowed in Cuba. Maybe that will change as the old guard dies off but I wonder about the three sons. Growing up with power makes it pretty hard to give it up.

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