04 March, 2016
Ramon Castro, a Cuban rancher and the older brother of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and President Raul Castro, died last week in Havana at age 91.
The New York Times said his death was announced in a brief report by the Communist Party's official newspaper, Granma.
Ramon Castro and his famous younger brothers, Fidel and Raul, grew up on a farm in the village of Biran in eastern Cuba. They attended Roman Catholic schools. Ramon was born on Oct. 14, 1924.
"Once grown, Fidel and Raul headed off to Havana for studies, then the business of launching a revolution against dictator Fulgencio Batista, who seized power in a 1952 coup," reported The Washington Post.
Ramon studied agricultural engineering at the University of Havana. He and his brothers were jailed by the former government of dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1953.
After the 1959 triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel rose to power. Granma said Ramon Castro "aided his brothers' efforts as their revolution progressed," according to The New York Times.
After his brother Fidel took power, Ramon often worked as a consultant for the government ministries of agriculture and sugar. In the early 1960s, he oversaw sugar production in eastern Cuba and helped increase output.
He preferred to stay on the family farm in Biran, a rural town in eastern Cuba. His parents, Angel Castro and Lina Ruiz, had large family land holdings there, reported Reuters.
Ramon Castro was two years older than his brother Fidel and looked a great deal like his famous brother. Ramon founded several state companies, including ones that transported sugar cane and produced oranges. He also was involved in agricultural research, according to the Washington Post.
Ramon was married to Aurora Castillo and had five children.
Raul Castro, 84, replaced Fidel, 89, as Cuba's President in February 2008. Fidel resigned because of illness. Raul was his defense chief and chosen successor. He has led the Cuban government since then, and said he would step down in 2018.
I'm Mary Gotschall.
Mary Gotschall wrote this story for Learning English. She used information from Reuters, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
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Words in This Story
revolution – n. the usually violent attempt by many people to end the rule of one government and start a new one
coup – n. from the French phrase coup d'etat, meaning a sudden attempt by a small group of people to take over the government usually through violence
sugar cane – noun a tall grass that is grown in warm places as a source of sugar
successor – n. a person who has a job, position, or title after someone else