1. Fidel Castro led Cuba for five decades and was the world's third longest-serving head of state, after Britain's Queen Elizabeth and the King of Thailand.
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  2. Despite assassination plots, an invasion and five decades of economic sanctions, Fidel Castro outlasted nine U.S. presidents, from Eisenhower to Clinton.
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  3. The CIA had a plot to use a depilatory chemical on Fidel Castro to cause his beard to fall out.
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  4. Fidel Castro holds the record for the longest speech ever delivered to the United Nations: 4 hours and 29 minutes, on Sept. 26, 1960.
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  5. Fidel Castro was born on a Friday the 13th.
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  6. In 1940, 12-year-old boy Fidel Castro wrote a letter to President F. Roosevelt to request a $10 bill because he had never seen one before.
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  7. The CIA operation to invade Cuba and take down Castro was dubbed "Operation Castration."
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  8. Fidel Castro has said that he saved ten working days a year by not bothering to shave.
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  9. In 2007, the CIA released documents that revealed the agency's collaboration with the italian mafia in a failed 1960 attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro.
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  10. There's one kosher butcher in Cuba. Fidel Castro personally allowed him to stay and serve 1,500 people practicing Judaism.
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  11. Three of Fidel Castro's sons are named after Alexander the Great: Alexis, Alejandro, and Alexander.
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  12. When Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, he immediately ordered all game sets of Monopoly to be destroyed.
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  13. Nelson Mandela co-authored a book with Fidel Castro.
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  14. Because Fidel Castro has chosen not to create a cult of personality, inside Cuba there are no streets, buildings, institutions or localities named for him.
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  15. Fidel Castro took personal responsibility for the persecution suffered by homosexuals in Cuba.
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  16. Fidel Castro banned The Beatles and other bands in Cuba in 1964. He changed his mind two years later.
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  17. Fidel Castro's father joined the Spanish Army in the late 19th century to fight against Cuban independence.
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  18. Fidel Castro made Cuba the first Communist country in the Western Hemisphere.
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  19. Fidel Castro once ran for Congress as a candidate for the opposition Orthodox Party. But the election was scuttled because of a coup staged by Batista.
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