- A very scarce, vintage signed photograph of Fidel Castro dated September 1955.
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.
The photograph measures 4” x 6”, and is inscribed in Spanish to Dr Almaguer Paz, “una gran luchadora por nuestra libertad” - “a great fighter for our freedom”.
Castro has signed the photograph “Fidel Castro Ruz” and dated it September 27, 1955.
The reverse bears Paz's ownership signature, an archival ink stamp and a notation indicating that the item as obtained in Havana in 1955.
In very good condition, with small spots of skinning and light staining at edges (mostly confined to the background and away from the writing).
Indistinct contrast to a few letters against the background, and slightly irregular ink adhesion.
The writing is otherwise dark, and the image remains mostly unaffected.
At the time of signing, Castro had only recently been granted amnesty for a prison sentence stemming from his leading role in the disastrous attack on the Moncanda barracks in 1953.
Having regained his freedom in May 1955, Castro regrouped in Mexico where he founded the 26th of July Movement (in reference to the Moncanda barracks attack) and planned further insurrectionary actions.
In the autumn of that same year Castro made a well-publicized visit to New York City, where he led a rally to raise funds for the revolutionary movement.
The visit raised thousands of dollars and did much to raise the profile of the Rebels' cause in the United States. It also led to Castro's arrest by the FBI, although he was soon released.
After years of struggle, Castro and followers would eventually unseat the Batista regime in 1959.
A highly rare and early signed photograph from one of the most significant political leaders of the 20th century.
Provenance: Ex Stanley Gibbons
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