Fidel Castro on the make

Young Fidel attempts to put the bite on Franklin Roosevelt for ten bucks.

There is in the end not too much to say about the careers of either of the two men involved in the correspondence appearing below. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, more commonly simply Fidel Castro, was fourteen years old when he wrote to the then President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Interestingly, in his letter he takes two years off his age.

However that may be, Castro, as is known, in later years went on to become a very successful revolutionary and politician. At the time he writes however he was still the illegitimate – and probably underfunded, he asks Roosevelt for a quick ten dollars – son of a plantation owner who had more or less got him out of the way by sending him off to a Jesuit boarding school in Santiago de Cuba, 90 kilometres from home.

The father was very wealthy – his sugar cane plantings near Birán in what was then the Oriente Province are said to have covered 93 km², about 23,000 acres. After the collapse of his first marriage, he took a household servant as his mistress and later as his second wife. Together they had seven children. One of these was Fidel.

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