ALS in Spanish, signed “F. Castro R.,” one page, 8.5 x 11, Hotel Vedado letterhead, March 10, 1946. Scarce letter to classmate Porfirio Delange by the 19-year-old Castro, soliciting support for Castro's campaign to become president of the FEU (Federation of University Students). In part (translated): "The elections in the law school will be held on the morning of the 18th of this month. I will thank you for assisting and supporting the triumph of our candidacy." In very good condition, with light toning and splitting along the intersecting folds, and some paper loss affecting a single word of text. Accompanied by a provenance statement from the wife of the original recipient, stating that her husband had been a classmate of Castro's at the University of Havana School of Law, but, recognizing him as a 'gangster,' left Cuba in exile upon Castro's rise in 1959.
During his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency of the Federation of University Students, Castro put forward a platform of 'honesty, decency and justice' and emphasized his opposition to corruption, which he associated with US involvement in Cuba. He became an outspoken critic of the corruption and violence of the regime of Cuban President Ramon Grau, and became increasingly involved with leftist student groups. Growing increasingly radical, Castro joined an attempt to overthrow Trujillo-led Dominican government in 1947, before returning home to stoke student protests in Havana. After obtaining his doctorate in law in September 1950, Castro co-opened an unsuccessful law firm before entering parliamentary politics as a Partido Ortodoxo candidate. When General Fulgencio Batista launched a coup and overthrew the elected presidency, Castro brought legal challenges against him. When this proved ineffective, he began to think of other ways to oust Batista—culminating in his own revolutionary movement that would seize the Cuban government at the end of the decade.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.