Fidel Castro Quotes That Illustrate His Defiance

On Friday, it was announced announced that Fidel Castro had died at the age of 90. His brother and current Cuban president, Raul, addressed the country, saying "The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening." He added, "Towards victory, always!" Since leading the country's communist revolution, Fidel Castro relied on speeches and fiery quotes to inspire his troops and his countrymen.

After overthrowing Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and taking power in 1959, Castro maintained an iron grip on the country until 2006 when he temporarily handed over power to Raul. In 2008, Castro officially resigned. Throughout his tenure as Cuba's leader, Castro remained committed to his communist values and his unwavering anti-capitalist stance, making him an iconic, international figure. As the New York Times' Anthony DePalma wrote in his obituary for the Cuban revolutionary, Castro's "defiance of American power made him a beacon of resistance in Latin America and elsewhere, and his bushy beard, long Cuban cigar and green fatigues became universal symbols of rebellion."

Part of Castro's ability to maintain the Cuban masses came from his potent oratory skills. As DePalma wrote Castro's "thousands of speeches, often lasting hours, imbued many Cubans with his own hatred of the United States by keeping them on constant watch for an invasion — military, economic or ideological — from the north." Below are some of Castro's most emblematic quotes.

1. Assured Of Vindication

Castro famously — and quite confidently — said on Oct. 16, 1953 when he was on trial for an attempted attack against the Cuban government, "Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me."

2. On Being A Lasting Enemy Of The United States

“For such a small country as Cuba to have such a gigantic country as the United States live so obsessed with this island,” Castro told Maria Shriver in a 1998 interview. “It is an honor for us.”

3. His Own Morality & Cuba's Future

In one of Castro's very last public appearances, Castro acknowledged his own passing might be near, but he had faith his communist revolution would live on. "The time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban Communists will remain as proof that on this planet, if one works with fervor and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need and that need to be fought for without ever giving up."