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Fidel Castro Quotes That Provide Insight Into Cuba’s Former President

Fidel Castro was a Cuban revolutionist and politician who served as Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976 and President from 1976 to 2008. Castro was the son of a wealthy Spanish farmer. While studying law at the University of Havana, he became exposed to leftist ideas like socialism and was particularly influenced by Karl Marx. There are many Fidel Castro quotes about revolutions and socialism.

Castro took part in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia and began planning to overthrow Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. He spent a year in prison after a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953.

Following his imprisonment, he went to Mexico and formed the revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, with his brother and Ernesto “Che” Guevara. When he returned to Cuba, he helped lead the Movement in overtaking Batista’s forces using guerilla warfare. In 1959, Castro became Cuba’s Prime Minister, assuming military and political control after successfully overthrowing Batista.

Cuba underwent some significant political changes under his administration. Cuba became a one-party communist state where industry and business were nationalized. The government took control of the press and the suppressed incidents of internal dissent. They implemented many socialist reforms throughout society, introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare.

This led to conflict with the United States, which escalated when Cuba aligned with the Soviet Union. That is why there are several Fidel Castro quotes that reference the United States.

Don’t forget to also check out these Ernesto “Che” Guevara quotes to ignite your revolutionary spirit.

Inspirational Fidel Castro quotes we can all agree on

1. “The people respect and believe in men who fulfill their duty.” — Fidel Castro

2. “Defending peace is the duty of all.” — Fidel Castro

3. “Something must be done to save humanity! A better world is possible!” — Fidel Castro

4. “Men do not shape destiny, Destiny produces the man for the hour.” — Fidel Castro

5. “Ignorance is the root of many ills. Knowledge must be the fundamental ally of nations that aspire, despite all their tragedies and problems, to become truly emancipated, to build a better world.” — Fidel Castro

6. “Cynicism is something which has become symbolic of imperial policy.” — Fidel Castro

7. “I have always fought for concrete facts, for justice.” — Fidel Castro

8. “As we know, while our species remains alive, everybody has the sacred duty to be optimistic. Ethically, any other behavior wouldn’t be admissible.” — Fidel Castro

9. “No one even knows one percent of the fabulous history of Man; but thanks to history, we know about occurrences that go beyond the limits of the imaginable.” — Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro quotes about revolution

10. “I began the revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and a plan of action.” — Fidel Castro

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11. “A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.” — Fidel Castro

12. “A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past.” — Fidel Castro

13. “The revolution is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters.” — Fidel Castro

14. “No thieves, no traitors, no interventionists! This time the revolution is for real!” — Fidel Castro

15. “A revolution is not a bed of roses.” — Fidel Castro

16. “At times, I’ve referred to Christ’s miracles, and have said, ‘Well, Christ multiplied the fish and the loaves to feed the people. That is precisely what we want to do with the Revolution and socialism.'” — Fidel Castro

17. “To the accusation that Cuba wants to export its revolution, we reply: Revolutions are not exported, they are made by the people.” — Fidel Castro

18. “I am not a communist and neither is the revolutionary movement.” — Fidel Castro

19. “I am Fidel Castro, and we have come to liberate Cuba.” — Fidel Castro

20. “It constitutes a superhuman effort to lead any people in times of crisis. Without them, the changes would be impossible.” — Fidel Castro

21. “Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me.” — Fidel Castro

22. “I will never retire from politics, the revolution, or the ideas I have.” — Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro quotes about the United States

23. “I don’t think it is so difficult to solve the problems between Cuba and the United States; it all depends on whether there is a dialogue, a discussion, or if the prejudices and hatred of people like the extremists and terrorists from the Cuban community, who try to impose their policies, prevail.” — Fidel Castro

24. “The United States tyrannizes and pillages the globalized world with its political, economic, technological, and military might.” — Fidel Castro

25. “Someday, the capitalist system will disappear in the United States, because no social class system has been eternal. One day, class societies will disappear.” — Fidel Castro

26. “Our position is that we do not accept conditions of any kind which may affect the independence and sovereignty of our country just with the view to solve economic problems existing between the United States and Cuba.” — Fidel Castro

27. “Many things shall change in Cuba, but they shall change because of our efforts and despite the United States. Perhaps that empire shall crumble first.” — Fidel Castro

28. “The United States is preparing a bloody drama for Latin America.” — Fidel Castro

29. “We have the lowest student-teacher ratio and spend five times as much on schools than war – the opposite of what the United States does.” — Fidel Castro

30. “We have always been prepared to negotiate with the U.S. government everything that has to do with bilateral relations, on a basis of the strictest mutual respect for the sovereign rights of each country. We will never try to ask the government of the United States to change its economic and political system.” — Fidel Castro

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31. “I almost laughed about the Machiavellian plans of the presidents of the United States.” — Fidel Castro

32. “Some time ago, the United States was an English colony. If an Englishman were asked if the United States would be independent, he would have said no, that it would always be an English colony.” — Fidel Castro

Famous Fidel Castro quotes about socialism, capitalism, and communism

33. “They talk about the failure of socialism, but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia, and Latin America?” — Fidel Castro

34. “There is not Communism or Marxism, but representative democracy and social justice in a well-planned economy.” — Fidel Castro

35. “I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy; it is gross; it is alienating… because it causes war, hypocrisy, and competition.” — Fidel Castro

36. “I am a Marxist Leninist, and I will be one until the last day of my life.” — Fidel Castro

37. “Nothing in the world is irreversible, not even capitalism.” — Fidel Castro

38. “Capitalism is using its money; we socialists throw it away.” — Fidel Castro

39. “My idea, as the whole world knows, is that the capitalist system now doesn’t work either for the United States or the world, driving it from crisis to crisis, which are each time more serious.” — Fidel Castro

40. “Every country must be absolutely free to adopt the type of economic, political, and social system that it considers convenient.” — Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro quotes about humanity and the world

41. “What prevails in every corner of this globalized world is the real struggle of our species for its own survival.” — Fidel Castro

42. “The human being is a strange mixture of blind instinct, on one hand, and conscience, on the other.” — Fidel Castro

43. “There is often talk of human rights, but it is also necessary to talk of the rights of humanity. Why should some people walk barefoot, so that others can travel in luxurious cars? Why should some live for thirty-five years, so that others can live for seventy years? Why should some be miserably poor, so that others can be hugely rich? I speak on behalf of the children in the world who do not have a piece of bread. I speak on the behalf of the sick who have no medicine, of those whose rights to life and human dignity have been denied.” — Fidel Castro

44. “Humanity can learn from those who have broken their chains. Those who have chained humanity for centuries cannot teach humanity anything.” — Fidel Castro

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45. “The fact is, when men carry the same ideals in their hearts, nothing can isolate them – neither prison walls nor the sod of cemeteries. For a single memory, a single spirit, a single idea, a single conscience, a single dignity will sustain them all.” — Fidel Castro

46. “The equal right of all citizens to health, education, work, food, security, culture, science, and wellbeing – that is, the same rights we proclaimed when we began our struggle, in addition to those which emerge from our dreams of justice and equality for all inhabitants of our world – is what I wish for all.” — Fidel Castro

47. “The ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor, and the hungry, but they cannot kill ignorance, illness, poverty, or hunger.” — Fidel Castro

48. “The world has not yet reached the point which, in my view, is an essential condition for the survival of our human species: access by all the peoples to the material resources of this planet.” — Fidel Castro

49. “Social struggles have been taking place throughout millennia, since human beings, by resorting to wars, were able to take hold of a surplus production to satisfy the essential needs of life.” — Fidel Castro

50. “More than 820 million people in the world suffer from hunger, and 790 million of them live in the Third World.” — Fidel Castro

What did you learn from these Fidel Castro quotes?

The United States opposed Castro and Cuba’s new form of government. The US attempted to remove him by assassination, economic blockade, and counter-revolutions.

After the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961, Castro allowed the Soviets to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, as a way to combat the threat from the US. This resulted in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Castro also supported anti-imperialist revolutionary groups abroad. The Cuban government backed the establishment of Marxist governments in Chile, Nicaragua, and Grenada.

These actions made Cuba more of a focus globally than it had been before. Castro was in power until 2006 when he transferred responsibility to his brother, Vice President Raúl Castro, who was elected as president in 2008.

Castro was the longest-serving non-royal leader in the 20th and 21st centuries. Castro was a controversial figure who revolutionized an entire country, and people have polarizing views on him and his policies.

Those who supported him saw him as a champion of socialism who secured Cuba’s independence while helping to advance the nation’s interests. His critics claim he was a dictator whose administration perpetrated human rights abuses and caused many Cubans to flee an impoverished Cuba. Castro himself claimed, “I am just a man.”

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Fidel Castro quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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