Fidel Castro was the Cuban President since 1976 and served as Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, though both positions were relatively similar. While Fidel Castro has been accused of limiting free speech in Cuba and some credit his time in power to be due to his oppressive rule, other people feel that Fidel Castro has really done good things for Cuba and his government is still strongly supported by a majority of the Cuban people. During the 1960s, Fidel Castro was involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis which occurred after he started supporting the Soviet Union; Fidel wanted nuclear weapons on Cuban soil to protect Cuba from the U.S., though the conflict eventually was resolved and nuclear weapons were taken out of Cuba, much to Fidel's dismay.
During the Cold War, several attempts were made against Fidel's life and the CIA was known to have tried some unorthodox methods of assassinating him; though all attempts failed and the CIA eventually stopped in their attempts. However, Fidel Castro's health has been diminishing in recent years and some speculate that he may not live that much longer, though Fidel still manages to give his long speeches and he still makes the effort to appear to be as lively as possible, still sporting the same military uniform that he has worn ever since his earlier days.
Cuba is still in economic turmoil and with the United States embargo against Cuba; some people speculate that Fidel's communistic stance will not be able to keep the country running. Though Fidel insists that the country is doing quite well at the moment, considering the circumstances, and he believes that most of the Cuban people still support him and his policies, which appears to be true due to recent studies. Regardless, while Fidel Castro may have done some controversial things throughout his career, he loves his country and managed to stay in power for 48 years, though whether he did such through appropriate means is still questionable. Fidel Castro is 81 years old, and even though he was even too sick to come to his birthday celebration, Fidel still says that he is still in enough health to rule Cuba. In 2006, his younger brother Raul has attended to Fidel's administrative duties. Fidel's health has deteriorated in recent months; he resigned from his post on 18 February 2008, with his brother Raul have officially becoming President on 24 February.