Officially Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban Revolutionary, leader of the 26th of July Movement and former president of Cuba until 2008; born in August 13, 1926. Fidel began his revolutionary career when he attacked a military barracks of the former Cuban leader, Fulgencio Batista in 1953. Batista had been extremely unpopular amongst the Cuban people and was even considered a tyrant. Fidel, believing in this, was arrested for his involvement in the attack and was sentenced to two years in prison. This proved to be Batista's own undoing by releasing Fidel under very little harsh circumstances. Castro, first, emigrated out of Cuba and gathered supporters from nearby countries who would help him finally crush Batista. Castro finally began making his way back to Cuba with all the revolutionaries he had recruited on December 2, 1956. However, the Granma, the ship they were riding on, was then attacked by Batista's soldiers three days later, killing the majority of Fidels revolutionaries. However, Fidel and a handful of other men escaped with their lives and hid in the nearby hills. Despite his losses, Castro wasn't ready to give up. Soon, his band of supporters grew and eventually, after years of fighting off attacks from Batista, Castro finally went on the offensive. Having gained much support, Castro met little resistance as he marched closer to the capital, Havana. Eventually, Castro captured the whole country by January 8, 1959 and Bastista was forced to flee the country. Fidel, however, cost Cuba its alliance with the U.S when he issued a communist system as a means of running the government. He then turned to the Soviet Union for a new alliance. Due to their support for Marxist-Leninism , the two countries agreed to an alliance. Castro then allowed his new ally to place missiles on the caribbean island, an act that would bring the world to the brink of a third World War. Fidel ran the country until 2008, when he handed in his resignation and gave power over to his brother. He remains alive today but in, supposedly, weak health.