Fidel Castro and Che Guevara on Cuban coins

Started by <k>, January 19, 2013, 08:25:34 PM

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<k>

From Wikipedia:

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born August 13, 1926) is a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who was Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the Commander in Chief of the country's armed forces from 1959, and as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Politically a Marxist-Leninist, under his administration the Republic of Cuba became a one-party socialist state; industry and businesses were nationalized, and socialist reforms implemented in all areas of society. Castro was also the Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement, from 1979 to 1983 and from 2006 to 2008.

Born the illegitimate son of a wealthy farmer, Castro adopted leftist anti-imperialist politics while studying law at the University of Havana. After participating in armed rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of the United States-backed military junta of Cuban president Fulgencio Batista, and served a year's imprisonment in 1953 after a failed armed attack on the Moncada Barracks. On release he traveled to Mexico, where he formed a revolutionary group with his brother Raul and friend Che Guevara, the 26th of July Movement. Returning to Cuba, Castro led the Cuban Revolution which ousted Batista in 1959, and brought his own assumption of military and political power. Alarmed by his revolutionary credentials and friendly relations with the Soviet Union, the U.S. governments of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy unsuccessfully attempted to remove him, by economic blockade, assassination and counter-revolution, including the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. Countering these threats, Castro formed an economic and military alliance with the Soviets, and allowed them to place nuclear weapons on the island, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

In 1961 Castro proclaimed the socialist nature of the Cuban revolution, with Cuba becoming a one-party state under Communist Party governance. Ideologically-based reforms introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent. Abroad, Castro supported foreign revolutionary socialist groups in the hope of toppling world capitalism, sending Cuban troops to fight in the Yom Kippur War, Ogaden War and Angolan Civil War. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Castro led Cuba into its economic "Special Period", before taking the country into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas in 2006 and forging alliances with other nations in the Latin American Pink Tide. Amid failing health, in 2006 he transferred his responsibilities to Vice-President Raúl Castro, who assumed full presidency in 2008.
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<k>

Cuba, 1 peso, 1993.  50th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada barracks.
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<k>

Cuba, 1 peso, 2009.  50th anniversary of Castro's Cuban revolution.  Raúl Castro and Fidel Castro.
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<k>

Cuba, 1 peso, 2010.  50th anniversary of Castro's meeting with Ernest Hemingway.  Castro (left) and Hemingway.
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<k>

Cuba, 1989, 1 peso.  30th anniversary of the revolution.  Fidel Castro.
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<k>

Cuba, 1989, 1 peso.  30th anniversary of the revolution.  José Martí (1853-1895), Cuban national hero (left) and Castro.
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<k>

Cuba, 1988, 20 pesos. Triumph of the revolution.
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<k>

Cuba, 1989, 1 peso.  30th anniversary of the revolution. Camilo Cienfuegos (left) and Castro.
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<k>

#8

Che Guevara




From Wikipedia:

Ernesto "Che" Guevara (1928-1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.

As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout South America and was moved by the poverty, hunger, and disease he witnessed. His burgeoning desire to help overturn what he saw as the capitalist exploitation of Latin America by the United States prompted his involvement in Guatemala's social reforms under President Jacobo Arbenz, whose eventual CIA-assisted overthrow at the behest of the United Fruit Company solidified Guevara's political ideology. Later, while living in Mexico City, he met Raúl and Fidel Castro, joined their 26th of July Movement, and sailed to Cuba aboard the yacht, Granma, with the intention of overthrowing U.S.-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Guevara soon rose to prominence among the insurgents, was promoted to second-in-command, and played a pivotal role in the victorious two-year guerrilla campaign that deposed the Batista regime.

Following the Cuban Revolution, Guevara performed a number of key roles in the new government. These included reviewing the appeals and firing squads for those convicted as war criminals during the revolutionary tribunals, instituting agrarian land reform as minister of industries, helping spearhead a successful nationwide literacy campaign, serving as both national bank president and instructional director for Cuba's armed forces, and traversing the globe as a diplomat on behalf of Cuban socialism. Such positions also allowed him to play a central role in training the militia forces who repelled the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing the Soviet nuclear-armed ballistic missiles to Cuba which precipitated the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Additionally, he was a prolific writer and diarist, composing a seminal manual on guerrilla warfare, along with a best-selling memoir about his youthful continental motorcycle journey. His experiences and studying of Marxism–Leninism led him to posit that the Third World's underdevelopment and dependence was an intrinsic result of imperialism, neocolonialism, and monopoly capitalism, with the only remedy being proletarian internationalism and world revolution. In lieu of this, Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to foment revolution abroad, first unsuccessfully in Congo-Kinshasa and later in Bolivia, where he was captured by CIA-assisted Bolivian forces and summarily executed.

Guevara remains both a revered and reviled historical figure, polarized in the collective imagination in a multitude of biographies, memoirs, essays, documentaries, songs, and films. As a result of his perceived martyrdom, poetic invocations for class struggle, and desire to create the consciousness of a "new man" driven by moral rather than material incentives, he has evolved into a quintessential icon of various leftist-inspired movements. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, while an Alberto Korda photograph of him entitled Guerrillero Heroico (shown), was cited by the Maryland Institute College of Art as "the most famous photograph in the world".

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<k>

Cuba, 1 peso, 1987.  20th anniversary of the death of Che Guevara.
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<k>

Cuba, 10 pesos, 1987.  20th anniversary of the death of Che Guevara.
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<k>

Cuba, 3 pesos, 1992.  Che Guevara.
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<k>

Cuba, 1 peso, 1997.  30th anniversary of the death of Che Guevara.
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<k>

Cuba, 5 pesos, 1999.  Che Guevara.
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<k>

Cuba, 1 peso, 1999.  Camilo Cienfuegos, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.