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Here's A Bunch Of Pictures Of Fidel Castro Chilling In New York City

Before he was the repressive dictator scorned by the American public, he was just another tourist.

Posted on December 17, 2014, at 5:25 p.m. ET

One of the side effects of the travel ban on Cuba, parts of which were modified on Wednesday, is that former Cuban premier Fidel Castro hasn't been able to visit the country outside of trips to the United Nations in decades.

Timothy Clary/AFP / Via Getty Images

But he wasn't always a repressive dictator scorned by the American public. In fact, just four months after his takeover of Cuba in 1959, Castro visited New York City. And he had an awesome time.

According to the New York Daily News, he "hired a public relations firm, ate hot dogs, kissed ladies like a rock star, and held babies like a politician."
Carl Gossett/New York Times Co. / Via Getty Images

According to the New York Daily News, he "hired a public relations firm, ate hot dogs, kissed ladies like a rock star, and held babies like a politician."

This is Castro being invited to the New York Press Photographer's Ball.

Hulton Archive / Via Getty Images

This is Castro hugging some adorable children at the Bronx Zoo.

According to the caption that came with the photo, Castro is hugging Donna Friedman and Lisa Langer. "Castro also fed animals, munched a hot dog and patted a tiger."
NY Daily News / Via Getty Images

According to the caption that came with the photo, Castro is hugging Donna Friedman and Lisa Langer. "Castro also fed animals, munched a hot dog and patted a tiger."

This is Fidel Castro eating ice cream on the Bronx Zoo train.

Meyer Liebowitz/New York Times Co. / Via Getty Images

This is Fidel Castro eating an all-American hot dog, also at the Bronx Zoo.

Hal Mathewson/New York Daily News / Via Getty Images

This is Fidel Castro feeding elephants at the Bronx Zoo. He really likes the zoo.

Meyer Liebowitz/New York Times Co. / Via Getty Images

This is Fidel Castro signing an autograph for 19-year old Gladys Feijoo, receiving a kiss in turn.

George Lockhart/NY Daily News / Via Getty Images

This is Fidel Castro with a bunch of children wearing beards.

Apparently the children attended a Queens school with his son, who was secretly living in the U.S. while his father was leading the Cuban Revolution.
George Mattson/New York Daily Archive / Via Getty Images

Apparently the children attended a Queens school with his son, who was secretly living in the U.S. while his father was leading the Cuban Revolution.

This is Castro having dinner in Harlem.

Hulton Archive / Via Getty Images

He also visited Washington, DC during that trip. This is Castro addressing the American Society of Newspaper Editors during a meeting.

Keystone / Via Getty Images

But don't worry, he made it back to New York the next year. This is Fidel Castro shaking hands with Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser after a meeting with him in 1960.

Keystone / Via Getty Images

BONUS: This is Fidel Castro being a stone cold fox during a visit in 1955.

Winning hearts and minds. Mostly hearts.
AFP / Via Getty Images

Winning hearts and minds. Mostly hearts.

In case you've forgotten, 55 years, several assassination attempts, and numerous years of denouncing America — which he once called "a vulture...feeding on humanity" – this is what he looks like now.

Handout / Reuters

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