Fidel Castro (1926 – 2016) was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who led the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976, and then as President from 1976 to 2008.
Castro was the architect behind the Cuban Revolution in 1959, which overturned the right-wing authoritarian government and turned the nation into a one-party socialist state.
Castro remains one of the most divisive political figures of the 20th century, revered by many as a champion of social justice and anti-imperialism, and hated by others as a brutal dictator.
Prior to his death in November 2016, Castro was listed on the PFC40 Autograph Index as the world's most valuable living signature, with the price of his autograph having risen 16.9% per annum since 2000.
This signed certificate measures 16.6" by 11.7", and was presented to Yumey Lopez Gonzales on July 26, 2001.
Signed certificates such as this were presented to members of the University Brigades of Social Work, student groups formed to research social and living conditions within Cuba.
The translated certificate reads in full:
"In the name of the revolution we congratulate you for your participation in the university brigades of social work that did an excellent job in the neighbourhoods of the capital. We look forward to you as an active member of the glorious university student federation, the cooperation to create in our homeland a still more just and humane society that today is within reach of our intelligent, selfless and brave people."
The certificate is signed boldly by Castro in blue ink, and features a horizontal crease, along with minor wrinkling and soiling.