February 19, 2008 / 8:32 AM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX - Quotes from Cuba's Fidel Castro

Cuban President Fidel Castro looks at a news ticker flashing on the front windows of the U.S. diplomatic mission while visiting the construction site outside the mission in Havana in this January 25, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

REUTERS - Fidel Castro formally withdrew from power on Tuesday almost half a century after he and his bearded guerrillas toppled a U.S-backed dictator in a 1959 revolution.

Here are some of his more memorable quotes:

* “Condemn me. It is of no importance. History will absolve me.” — Castro in 1953, when the young lawyer was defending himself at trial for his near-suicidal assault on the Moncada garrison in Santiago de Cuba.

* “I began the revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I would do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and a plan of action.” — Castro in 1959.

* “I’m not thinking to cut my beard, because I’m accustomed to my beard and my beard means many things to my country. When we have fulfilled our promise of good government I will cut my beard.” Castro in 1959, interview with CBS’s Edward Murrow, 30 days after revolution.

* “A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past.” — Castro in 1959.

* “I never saw a contradiction between the ideas that sustain me and the ideas of that symbol, of that extraordinary figure (Jesus Christ).” — Castro in 1985.

* “One of the greatest benefits of the revolution is that even our prostitutes are college graduates.” — Castro to director Oliver Stone in 2003 documentary “Comandante.”

* “I realized that my true destiny would be the war that I was going to have with the United States.” — Castro’s opening quote in “Looking for Fidel,” Stone’s second documentary on the Cuban leader from 2004.

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