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TheDailyBeast: World Leader Mugshots

Fidel Castro

On July 26, 1953, 26-year-old Fidel Castro led an attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba in an attempt to overthrow the country’s dictator, Fulgencio Batista. The rebels were heavily outnumbered in the failed assault, but Castro escaped and hid in the countryside until he was finally arrested on Aug. 1. At the subsequent trial, Castro spoke in his own defense—declaring “history will absolve me”—but he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Believing the rebels were no longer a threat, the newly reelected Batista granted Castro and others in the movement amnesty and released them in 1955. Four years later, Cuba had a new jefe.


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