FILE - This June 10, 2016 file photo shows a family photograph of the Castro brothers, from left, Fidel, Raul and Ramon, on the wall of the room they
FILE - This July 19, 2003 file photo shows the 1953 mug shots of Fidel Castro, left, and his brother Raul, framed and on display at the Siboney Museum
FILE - In this March 14, 1957 file photo, Fidel Castro, the young anti-Batista guerrilla leader, center, is seen with his brother Raul Castro, left, a
FILE - This combination of two file photos shows Fidel Castro smoking a cigar in Havana on April 29, 1961, left, and his brother Raul Castro, right, i
FILE - In this Jan. 2, 1966 file photo, Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro, right, President Osvaldo Dorticos, center, and Armed Forces Chief, Commande
FILE - In this April 21, 1981 file photo, Cuba's Defense Minister Raul Castro, from left, front, his brother President Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega,
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 1983 file photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro and his brother Raul, head of the Cuban Armed Forces, watch as the first group of
FILE - In this Feb. 8, 1986 file photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro, left, joins hands with his younger brother Raul Castro, chief of the Cuban Armed
FILE - In this April 3, 1989 file photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro and his brother, Defense Minister Gen. Raul Castro, left, escort Soviet Union Pr
FILE - In this April 13, 2000 file photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro, first vice president and head of the Cuban Armed F
FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2001 file photo, Cuban leader Fidel Castro delivers a speech seated next to his brother, Defense Minister and first Vice Presi
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2002 file photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro, left, seated next to his brother Defense Minister Raul Castro and first Vice Pre
FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2006 file photo, Cuba's acting President Raul Castro sits next to the chair usually occupied by his older brother Fidel Castro
FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2012 file photo, Fidel Castro attends a National Assembly session in which his brother Cuba's President Raul Castro accepted a
FILE - This April 19, 2016 file photo shows a rare public appearance by Fidel Castro, supported by Cuban President Raul Castro, right, and second secr
FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2016 file photo, women hold a portrait of the late Fidel Castro, and of his brother Cuba's President Raul Castro, as they wait
FILE - In this Dec. 4, 2016 file photo, Cuba's President Raul Castro receives the ashes of his older brother Fidel Castro from an honor guard before p
FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2017 file photo, a man watches President Donald Trump's inauguration speech on television, backdropped by a wall adorned with
HAVANA (AP) — The men who have run Cuba for nearly six decades began life in a remote, rural part of the island known as Biran, sons of a wealthy farmer.
Both Fidel and Raul Castro turned to radical politics at a young age as they went to school first in the eastern city of Santiago, later at the University of Havana.
They burst into prominence in 1953 leading a quixotic, failed attack on the Moncada military barracks in Santiago hoping to topple the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Both were imprisoned, were freed in an amnesty and went into exile in Mexico, where they organized a guerrilla band that returned to Cuba by boat, the Granma, in 1956.
Despite initial setbacks, the bearded guerrillas operating in the eastern mountains steadily gained support across the country. On Jan. 1, 1959, Batista fled and Fidel Castro became the unquestioned leader of Cuba, with his younger brother put in charge of the armed forces.
Fidel Castro's government initially executed or imprisoned many foes, and veered to Soviet-backed socialism in the early 1960s. Cuba backed revolutions across Latin America, and while most of those failed, the Castros' resistance to U.S. domination inspired millions across the continent and beyond.
Fidel Castro's control survived repeated U.S. plots to overthrow or kill him, and even the hardships that followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which had kept the island's economy afloat. But illness finally forced Fidel to turn over power in 2006 to Raul, who formally became president two years later.
Fidel died in 2016 and Raul, who turns 87 in June, has announced that he will step aside as president this month — though he plans to remain in what is probably a more important position: head of Cuba's lone permitted party, the Communist Party.