Fidel Castro’s birthplace a hotbed for his revolutionary ideas
In the deep fields of Cuba’s northeastern countryside lies a cluster of wooden houses painted in brilliant yellow. It draws thousands of local and international visitors a year due to its historical significance.
Town Biran, the birthplace of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, appears ever more bustling, as the national hero turns 90 years old on August 13.
The 11,700 hectares of family estate is where the Cuban leader started his life.
His father, Angel Castro, was a Spanish migrant and wealthy landowner. He planted and sold sugarcanes and timbers in the area and developed the zone’s first cattle-raising facility.
The old Castro bought the estate in 1915 and employed local farmers as well as Jamaican and Haitian migrants living nearby.
There he met Lina Ruz, a young peasant, who he later married and together had seven children.
Young Castro’s childhood influenced him a lot, as he shared emotions with the rural children, whose families faced poverty, illiteracy and domination.
(Soundbite, Spanish) Lazaro Castro, Biran Museum Director
“This is the site where it all started and where ideas of social justice first flourished in Fidel. Without these experiences it would not have been possible.”
After Castro took power in 1959, the estate was subject to his land reform and the family property was reduced to 28 hectares.
Fidel’s mother, Lina Ruz, lived here until her death in 1963.
Since 2002, the site has been a museum, displaying the early history of Fidel Castro and his family.
Visitors who roam the complex can see Fidel Castro’s crib, the bedroom he shared with his brothers, pictures of their childhood, a cock-fighting arena where his father’s birds fought, and even a 1920 Ford motor.
Over 27,000 people visited the complex in 2015, two-thirds of them Cubans, while in the first half of this year 22,000 people came to the estate. ■