Fidel Castro (1926 – 2016) was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who led the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976, and then as President from 1976 to 2008.
Castro was the architect of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, which overturned the right-wing authoritarian government and turned the nation into a one-party socialist state.
Castro remains one of the most divisive political figures of the 20th century, revered by many as a champion of social justice and anti-imperialism, and hated by others as a brutal dictator.
Prior to his death in November 2016, Castro was listed on the PFC40 Autograph Index as the world's most valuable living signature, with the price of his autograph having risen 16.9% per annum since 2000.
This certificate was awarded to a Marcial L Gomez Calderius in December 1982, in recognition of his work with the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR).
This CDR remains active today and serves as the eyes and ears of the Cuban government at ground level. Every neighbourhood has its own branch, with 75% of Cuba’s 11.2m population registered in the organisation.
Every local resident has a file, which is regularly updated on information with their personal relationships and activities. The CDR also performs less sinister operations, including blood drives and recycling initiatives.
This is a large and fine example of Castro’s signature, executed in blue ink. The certificate itself measures 10.8 x 8.5 inches and is in good condition. A minute tear to the bottom right does not detract.