National Geographic : 1991 Aug
The trademark beardis flecked with gray. At 64, Fidel Castro has outlasted seven U. S. presidents, firm in his vision of Cuba's destiny. "Socialism will be the society of the future," he said last year, even as his Soviet-bloc allies crumbled. Thirty-five years ago only about a dozen guerrillasstood by Castro's side in east ern Cuba's rugged SierraMaestra (right) to struggle for PresidentFulgencio Batis ta's overthrow. Growinghatredof the Batistaregime fueled widespread sup port.Not until 1961, two years after Cas tro came to power, did he declare himself a Marxist-Leninist.At once admiredand abhorred,Castro concedes that Cuba must change but not at the cost of social ism and the single-partysystem-or his own 32-year rule.