1. Fidel Castro led Cuba for five decades and was the world's third longest-serving head of state, after Britain's Queen Elizabeth and the King of Thailand.
  2. Despite assassination plots, an invasion and five decades of economic sanctions, Fidel Castro outlasted nine U.S. presidents, from Eisenhower to Clinton.
  3. The CIA had a plot to use a depilatory chemical on Fidel Castro to cause his beard to fall out.
  4. Fidel Castro holds the record for the longest speech ever delivered to the United Nations: 4 hours and 29 minutes, on Sept. 26, 1960.
  5. Fidel Castro was born on a Friday the 13th.
  6. In 1940, 12-year-old boy Fidel Castro wrote a letter to President F. Roosevelt to request a $10 bill because he had never seen one before.
  7. The CIA operation to invade Cuba and take down Castro was dubbed "Operation Castration."
  8. Fidel Castro has said that he saved ten working days a year by not bothering to shave.
  9. In 2007, the CIA released documents that revealed the agency's collaboration with the italian mafia in a failed 1960 attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro.
  10. There's one kosher butcher in Cuba. Fidel Castro personally allowed him to stay and serve 1,500 people practicing Judaism.
  11. Three of Fidel Castro's sons are named after Alexander the Great: Alexis, Alejandro, and Alexander.
  12. When Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, he immediately ordered all game sets of Monopoly to be destroyed.
  13. Nelson Mandela co-authored a book with Fidel Castro.
  14. Because Fidel Castro has chosen not to create a cult of personality, inside Cuba there are no streets, buildings, institutions or localities named for him.
  15. Fidel Castro took personal responsibility for the persecution suffered by homosexuals in Cuba.
  16. Fidel Castro banned The Beatles and other bands in Cuba in 1964. He changed his mind two years later.
  17. Fidel Castro's father joined the Spanish Army in the late 19th century to fight against Cuban independence.
  18. Fidel Castro made Cuba the first Communist country in the Western Hemisphere.
  19. Fidel Castro once ran for Congress as a candidate for the opposition Orthodox Party. But the election was scuttled because of a coup staged by Batista.
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