|Birth Day:||June 3, 1931|
|Birth Place:||Biran, Cuba|
Cuban politician and revolutionary who became the President of Cuba in 2008 after the death of his brother Fidel Castro. In 2017, after Donald Trump was sworn in as the President of the United States, Castro became a vocal critic of Trump's policies.
|#1||Manuel Castro Argota||Brother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#2||Ramón Castro Ruz||Brother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#3||Fidel Castro||Brother||$900 Million||N/A||90||World Leader|
|#6||Mariela Castro||Daughter||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||58||Activist|
|#7||Ángel Castro y Argiz||Father||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#8||Alina Fernández||Niece||N/A||N/A||64||Celebrity Family Member|
|#12||Alejandro Castro Espín||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He was a member of the 26th of July Movement in 1958 that attacked the Moncada Barracks, and he spent 22 months in prison as a result of this and was exiled to Mexico.
Raúl Castro's travels and contact with Soviet KGB agent Nikolai Leonov — whom he met in 1953 during a trip to the Soviet-bloc nations and again in 1955 during his exile in Mexico City — facilitated Cuba's close ties with the Soviets after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Leonov would later become the USSR's KGB agent in Havana.
In 1953, Raúl served as a member of the 26th of July Movement group that attacked the Moncada Barracks; he received a 13-year prison sentence and spent 22 months in prison as a result of this action. During his subsequent exile in Mexico, he participated in the preparations for the expedition of the boat Granma to Cuba.
When the Granma landing failed and the 82 expeditionaries were detected by government troops soon after, Raúl was one of only 12 fighters who managed to reach a safe haven in the Sierra Maestra mountains, forming the core of the nascent rebel army (see the Cuban Revolution). As Fidel's brother and trusted right-hand man, and given his proven leadership abilities during and after the Moncada attack, he was given progressively bigger commands. On 27 February 1958 Raúl was made comandante and assigned the mission to cross the old province of Oriente leading a column of guerrillas to open, to the northeast of that territory, the "Frank País Eastern Front".
On 26 June 1958, Raúl Castro's rebels kidnapped ten Americans and two Canadians from the property of Moa Bay Mining Company (an American company) on the north coast of Oriente Province. The next day rebels took hostage 24 US servicemen on leave from the United States naval base at Guantanamo Bay. This incident brought total kidnapped hostages to 36 (34 US and 2 Canadian citizens).
Regarding the captured Batista government soldiers, Raúl Castro notes in his war diaries: "All three were brought food and told that they would be released and only their weapons would be kept. They had money and watches we needed, but according to our principles, we didn't touch them. In the territories under guerrilla control, it created an autonomous structure by establishing hospitals, schools and several material manufacturing plants. In 1958, he was also at the origin of the M-26 intelligence services.
By October 1958, after reinforcement by Fidel, the brothers had about 2,000 fighters and were operating freely throughout Oriente province. In December, while Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos were operating in Santa Clara, Fidel and Raúl's army laid siege to Maffo, capturing it on 30 December. Their victorious army then headed to Santiago de Cuba, capital of Oriente province.
In response to the victory by Che Guevara at the Battle of Santa Clara, the U.S.-backed President Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba in the early morning of 1 January 1959. The two Castro brothers with their army arrived on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba and said their forces would storm the city at 6 P.M. on 1 January if it did not first surrender. The commander (Colonel Rego Rubido) surrendered Santiago de Cuba without a fight. The war was over and Fidel was able to take power in Havana when he arrived on 8 January 1959.
Castro married Vilma Espín, a former Massachusetts Institute of Technology chemical engineering student and the daughter of a wealthy lawyer for the Bacardi rum company, on 26 January 1959. Vilma became president of the Cuban Federation of Women. They have three daughters (Déborah, Mariela, and Nilsa) and one son (Alejandro) Castro Espín.
He served as a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and Second Secretary of its Politburo from the Party's formation in October 1965; also as First Vice President of the Cuban Council of State of the National Assembly of People's Power and Council of Ministers when these were established in 1976. He was appointed Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces when it was founded in October 1959 and served in that capacity until February 2008.
In the 1969 American film Che!, Castro was played by Paul Bertoya. In the 2002 film Fidel, he was played by Maurice Comte. In the 2008 American biographical film Che, he was played by Rodrigo Santoro.
On 31 July 2006, Fidel Castro's personal secretary, Carlos Valenciaga, announced on state-run television that Fidel Castro would provisionally hand over the duties of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (party chief), President of the Council of State of Cuba (head of state), President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba (prime minister), and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to Raúl Castro while Fidel underwent and recovered from intestinal surgery to repair gastrointestinal bleeding.
Raúl is considered by some to be less charismatic than his brother Fidel Castro, who remained largely out of public view during the transfer-of-duty period. His few public appearances included hosting a gathering of leaders of the Non-Aligned nations in September 2006, and leading the national commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the landing of the boat Granma, which also became Fidel's belated 80th-birthday celebrations.
After assuming what was envisioned as a temporary control over the presidency in 2006, on 24 February 2008 Raúl Castro won election as the new President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers during a legislative session held at Cuba's Palace of Conventions in Havana. The 597 deputies unanimously elected a 31-member Council of State for a term of five years, which in turn elected Raúl as president. His administration subsequently announced several economic reforms. In March 2008 the government removed restrictions on the purchase of numerous products not available under Fidel Castro's administration - including DVD-players, computers, rice cookers, and microwaves. In an effort to boost food production, the government allowed private farmers and cooperatives to lease idle state-owned land and moved much of the decision-making process regarding land use from the national level to the municipal level.
In an interview in 2006, following his assumption of presidential duties, Raúl Castro commented on his public profile stating: "I am not used to making frequent appearances in public, except at times when it is required ... I have always been discreet, that is my way, and in passing I will clarify that I am thinking of continuing in that way".
On 1 May 2007 Raúl presided over the May Day celebrations in Havana. According to Granma the crowd reached over one million participants, with delegations from over 225 organizations and 52 countries.
Their daughter Mariela Castro currently heads the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, while Déborah is married to Colonel Luis Alberto Rodríguez, head of the Armed Forces' economic division. Vilma Espín died on 18 June 2007; a daughter and some relatives of Raúl are believed to reside in Italy.
Raúl Castro said in a 2008 interview: "The American people are among our closest neighbors. We should respect each other. We have never held anything against the American people. Good relations would be mutually advantageous. Perhaps we cannot solve all of our problems, but we can solve a good many of them."
In March 2009, Raúl Castro dismissed some officials.
In April 2011, Raúl announced a plan of 300 economic reforms encouraging private initiative, reducing state spending, encouraging foreign investment and agrarian reforms. He also announced a limitation on presidential terms, including his own.
On 24 February 2013, Cuba's parliament named Raúl Castro to a new five-year term as president and appointed Miguel Díaz-Canel as his first vice president. Castro announced that day that he would step down from power after his second term as president ended in 2018.
On 10 December 2013, Castro, in a significant move, shook hands with and greeted American President Barack Obama at the Nelson Mandela memorial service in Johannesburg.
On 17 December 2014, Castro and Obama made separate announcements that efforts to normalize relations between the two nations would begin with the re-establishment of embassies in Havana and Washington. The embassies had previously been dissolved in 1961 after Cuba became closely allied with the USSR.
On 20 July 2015, Cuba and the United States officially resumed full diplomatic relations with sections of "Cuban interests" in Washington, D.C., and "U.S. interests" in Havana upgraded to embassies.
After a meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican City on 10 May 2015, Castro said that he would conditionally consider returning to the Roman Catholic Church. He said in a televised news conference, "I read all the speeches of the pope, his commentaries, and if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the [Roman Catholic] church. I am not joking." The pope visited Cuba before his September 2015 visit to the United States. Castro said: "I promise to go to all his Masses and with satisfaction," when Pope Francis visited Cuba in 2015. Castro considered Christ a communist stating, "I think that's why they killed Jesus, for being a communist, for doing what Fidel defined as revolution... changing the situation."
On 20 March 2016, Obama made a visit to Cuba to meet with Castro. It was the first visit of a sitting U.S. president to Cuba in 88 years.
Speaking in 2017, Raúl Castro was highly critical of Donald Trump's proposition of the Mexican wall and restrictive trade policy. He called his plans egotistical and for the border, irrational. "You can't contain poverty, catastrophes, and migrants with walls, but with cooperation, understanding, and peace," Castro said. The U.S. President-elect also targeted Raúl in a tweet, saying, "If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal".
Raúl Castro surprised a top American envoy in September 2017 while discussing sonic attacks on American diplomatic staff. He denied involvement but allowed FBI rare access to investigate the incident that has left 21 people with hearing loss and brain damage.
In 2018, he was selected as a candidate for the National Assembly of People's Power by the Segundo Frente municipality in Santiago de Cuba, regarded as the cradle of the Cuban Revolution.
Miguel Díaz-Canel took over as President of Cuba (President of the Council of State) on 19 April 2018. Raúl Castro remains First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (in office since 19 April 2011).
In September 2019, Castro was sanctioned and barred from entering the United States due to support of the Nicolás Maduro government in Venezuela during the presidential crisis and the alleged human rights abuses caused by the government.
Currently, Raul Castro is 90 years, 1 months and 22 days old. Raul Castro will celebrate 91st birthday on a Friday 3rd of June 2022.
Find out about Raul Castro birthday activities in timeline view here.