Under Fidel Castro's rule, literacy grew dramatically, racism was eliminated, public health care was repaired and enhanced, the electric grid was expanded to the countryside, full employment was provided, and new medical facilities and schools were constructed. Fidel Castro deposed Fulgencio Batista, who had ruled Cuba with a military dictatorship.
As soon as Castro was sworn in as the prime minister of Cuba, he went on foreign diplomatic missions to the United States, Canada, Trinidad, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina in an attempt to befriend the nations and attract foreign funding. When he returned home, he appointed himself president of several institutions and started managing the economy and legislation personally.
Under Castro, the ownership of land was limited to 993 acres per owner and it was made illegal for foreigners to buy land. Soon after, Castro equalized salaries, halved rent for poor people, opened more classrooms to improve education, introduced a work-study program where students spent half their time studying and half working, opened rural health centers with free medical aid and created mandatory universal child vaccination.
Castro invested heavily into Cuban sports, making Cuba a contender in international sports. Under his rule, Cuba was the first country in Latin America to beat the United States to the gold-medal table. In 1995, he diversified the economy into tourism and biotechnology. Castro's acceptance of environmentalism led Cuba to become the first nation in the world to meet sustainable development according to the World Wide Fund for Nature's definition.