Thomas

Thomas Tsaloupis, Junior Risk Management Associate, at EasyMarkets. Equipped with a Bachelors Degree in Economics and a Masters in Investment Management, aims to assess and mitigate risk exposure of the company. Loves to drink strong coffee and browse the markets

The death of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro last month divided world leaders and market participants alike. But there’s a side of Castro that not many people talk about – namely, his personal finances.

We are all aware of what Castro thought about wealth and property, but how did this apply to his personal life? You may be shocked to learn that the former Cuban President was reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars at the time of his death.

Forbes Magazine, which is perhaps best known for tracking the net worth of the world’s richest, reported back in 2006 that Castro was among the world’s richest leaders despite his communist ideals. The publication noted that “former Cuban officials insist Castro, who travels exclusively in a fleet of black Mercedes, has skimmed profits from these outfits for years.”

A separate estimate provided by Castro’s long-time bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sanchez pegged the leader’s net worth at $168 million.[1] TheRealCuba.com, which is no doubt heavily biased against the former leader, estimates Castro’s worth at $900 million.[2] Castro’s former bodyguard also said that the Cuban leader refurbished a golf course property back in the 1970s to grow food and cattle. Castro referred to this as the “fisherman’s cottage,” but was widely known to be his luxurious summer residence.[3]

A large portion of his mind-blowing wealth came form controlling state-backed interests, such as a conventional centre, a retail chain and a pharmaceutical company.[4] Castro had of course denied the rumours of his massive wealth. This is to be expected from the leader of a party that has backtracked on economic reforms because they produced visible inequality among the poor.[5]

It’s also interesting to note that Castro was born into a wealthy family. At the time of his birth, Fidel’s farther Angel Castro owned a 25,000-acre, 400-employee sugar planation some 500 miles from Havana. That property is now part of the Castro Museum. The young Fidel was also sent to a boarding school, where he received a quality education.

While some of these claims suggest the former Cuban leader lived a life that was far removed from his communist ideals, many political commentators commend him for his commitment to the revolutionary cause. Castro infamously thwarted 60 assassination attempts throughout his political career, with some estimates as high as 600.[6] The fact that he lived so long and managed to die of natural causes is an impressive feat for a man with enemies the world over.

[1] Tim Marcin (November 28, 2016). “Fidel Castro Net Worth 2016: How Cuban Leader Built Wealth After 1959 In Communist Country.” IB Times.

[2] TheRealCuba.com. Castro the Multimillionaire.

[3] Keith Flamer (November 26, 2016). “10 Surprisi

[4] Tim Marcin (November 28, 2016). “Fidel Castro Net Worth 2016: How Cuban Leader Built Wealth After 1959 In Communist Country.” IB Times.

[5] Fidel gone and Trump looming, Cuban businesses count on more reforms.” Reuters.

[6] Patrick Oppman (November 26, 2016). “Fidel Castro Survived 600 assassination attempts, officials say.” CNN.

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