Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban politician and revolutionary who served as Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and President from 1976 to 2008. Politically a Marxist-Leninist, he also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Under his administration the Republic of Cuba became a one-party socialist state; industry and businesses were nationalized, and state socialist reforms implemented throughout society. Internationally, Castro was the Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1979 to 1983 and from 2006 to 2008.
The illegitimate son of a wealthy farmer, Castro adopted leftist anti-imperialist politics while studying law at the University of Havana. After participating in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista's military junta, launching a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953. After a year's imprisonment, he traveled to Mexico where he formed a revolutionary group with Che Guevara and his brother Raúl Castro, referred to as the 26th of July Movement.