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Abroad, Castro supported anti-imperialist revolutionary groups, backing the establishment of Marxist governments in Chile, Nicaragua and Grenada, as well as sending troops to aid allies in the Yom Kippur War, Ogaden War and Angolan Civil War.
These actions, coupled with Castro's leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1979 to 1983 and Cuba's medical internationalism, increased Cuba's profile on the world stage.
After participating in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, launching a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953.
After a year's imprisonment, Castro traveled to Mexico where he formed a revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, with his brother Raúl Castro and Che Guevara.
Returning to Cuba, Castro took a key role in the Cuban Revolution by leading the Movement in a guerrilla war against Batista's forces from the Sierra Maestra.