Fidel Castro: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

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Cuban leader Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1926. In 1959, he made history by using guerilla warfare to successfully overthrow Cuban leader Batista. Here are some facts you didn’t know about the dictator.

Number Fifteen: The Third-Longest Serving Head of State

He came in third because the first two spots had already been filled by the Queen of Britain and the King of Thailand. He probably would have remained there for even longer if sickness had not forced him to hand over the role to his brother back in 2006.

Number Fourteen: Fidel Castro Is in the Guinness Book of Records

He won the title of the longest speech ever made at the United Nations. This happened in the year 1960 and lasted for four and a half hours. His longest speech given in Cuba was over seven hours long.

Number Thirteen: He Claims to have Survived 634 Assassination Attempts

This sounds like almost too high of a number to actually be true, but this is what he purports. Apparently the attempts were made by the C.I.A and involved poison pills, a poisoned cigar, and a chemically tainted suit for underwater diving.

Number Twelve: He’s Outlasted 10 U.S. Presidents

Despite supposed plots made by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and economic sanctions made by America, Castro has outlasted 10 presidents. He faced a lot of scrutiny under George W. Bush in particular.

Number Eleven: Ubre Blanca

This was one of Fidel’s pet projects. A cow that produced amazing amounts of milk and became a propaganda tool for collectivized agriculture back in the ’80s. This cow is in the Guinness Book of Records for the most milk produced by a cow in one day (29 gallons!)

Number Ten: His Beard Is for Convenience

He began growing it while living in the mountains. It isn’t supposed to be a symbol of power, but rather because he once calculated the amount of time it takes to shave each and every day and concluded that there are many more important things to spend that time focusing on.

Number Nine: Long Speeches, Not Much Writing

We mentioned above how famous Castro has become for giving ridiculously long speeches, but surprisingly he hasn’t published much at all during his career. We hope you enjoyed part one of our list. Check back soon for part two.

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