Invasion in 1961 by Cuban exiles with US help ended in “Bay of Pigs Fiasco” and added to Castro‘s stature. Cuba hogged headlines in October, 1962, when the Soviet strongman Khruschev set up nuclear missiles bases in Cuba.
The world war could have erupted but was prevented by the diligence and extraordinary political foresight of President Kennedy.
Castro fell seriously ill in mid-2006 and the reports were afloat that he had suffered from an incurable disease. He was visited in the hospital by Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, who has remained loyal to the leftists in South America. President Castro had handed over his powers to his brother Raul Castro.
The NAM Summit was held, as scheduled, in Havana in September, 06, but the Cuban President could not be a participant on account of failing health. He, however, did meet some of the leaders individually including India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Though in poor health he continues to be friend, philosopher and guide of the Cuban Government. President Obama has relaxed extreme American rigid attitude adopted towards Cuba by his predecessor President Bush. He is more conciliatory.
Cuba was invited to rejoin the Organisation of American States after a gap of decades in 2009, but the former declined the offer. Cuba celebrated 50 years of Revolution in mid-2009, it has a lot to celebrate turning around a very impoverished country into a modern State with the very best of medical and educational facilities.
It is now the only socialist country in the entire, region though enjoying a nodal support from some of the likeminded Central American and South American countries.
He has been making frequent appearances and though in failing health, seems to be still in good spirits. He is often visited by the two anti-American Presidents of South America, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Juan Evo Morales of Bolivia. Castro continues to be a relentless critic and antagonist of US-sponsored capitalism.