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raul castro (1931-)

rcastroRaúl Castro, the brother of Fidel Castro, remains one of Cuba's most important leaders and was an active member of the Cuban Revolution.

Raúl was involved along with Fidel in the Moncada attack.  They were able to capture the Palace of Justice, but was forced to abandon it when the other groups' attacks failed.

He preceded his brother in going to Mexico to train the M-26-7 group and prepare for the return to Cuba.  When they came back on the Granma, Raúl was one of just 16 from the original 81 who made it to the Sierra Maestra.  Raúl was made a leader in the Rebel Army, alongside his good friend, Che Guevara.

Raúl Castro led the guerilla forces in the Northern Oriente.  He showed exceptional skill in uniting the anti-Batista movements in the area, and also established a public works corps, a health unit, air base, and a factory for producing bombs.

In 1958, Raúl launched the Second Front into the Sierra Cristal.  He established his headquarters at Mayarí Arriba.  His activities in the mountains were very successful against Batista's troops.

At one point Raúl took many American prisoners in an effort to stop the US Government from assisting Batista.  They were eventually released, however.

When Fidel left to take Havana, Raúl was left in charge of Oriente.  Later Raúl would become the commander-in-chief of the Rebel Army.

Raúl travelled often to Prague and Moscow to ask the Soviets for weapons.  The Soviet Union agreed to give Cuba modern weaponry, including SAM missiles, tanks, MiG fighters, and other equipment.

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