By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (February 16, 2024) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps provides an introduction to a dictatorial leader and political nemesis of the U.S.


On this date in 1959, revolutionary Fidel Castro became the Prime Minister of Cuba.  He continued to serve as leader of the island country until 2008.  His title was Prime Minister from 1959-1976, then President until 2008.

Under his Marxist-Leninist ideology, Cuba became the first Communist country in the Western hemisphere.  True to the tenets of socialism, industries and businesses came under government control.  As the United States objected to Castro’s policies, the leader and country became more tightly aligned with the Soviet Union and suddenly a small country became a dominant name in world politics for the missile crisis and more.

Fidel Castro was the longest serving non-royal head of state in the 20th century.  Although he continued in name as President, in 2006 he transferred his responsibilities to his eventual successor, then Vice-President Raul Castro, his brother.

Castro was known for wearing his trademark green military khakis, beard, and ever-present Cuban cigar plus very looooong speeches, which may have been influenced by his Law Degree earned in 1950.  He died in Havana on November 25, 2016.

This lovely map of Cuba with surrounding vignettes of sights and daily life is by May from 1850.

Map of Cuba – 1850 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.