After defeating the forces of President Fulgencio BatistaFidel Castro became premier of Cuba this day in history, Feb 16, 1959, and transformed the island country into the Western Hemisphere’s first communist state. The United States attempted to assassinate Castro hundreds of times, as well as trying to overthrow him in 1961 at the Bay of Pigs invasion which led to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Critics call Castro a dictator whose administration oversaw human rights abusesthe exodus of many Cubans, and the impoverishment of Cuba’s economy.

To view the previous Today in History Feature, click here.

Feb 16 History
Feb 16 Today in History

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