*July 26, 1953*


Onward to Revolution
Under US Influence
*July 26, 1953*
1st Agrarian Reform Law
2nd Agrarian Reform Law
Health Care
Struggle Continues



  The Cuban Revolution 


Fulgencio Batista, strongman of the "sergeants' revolt'' of 1933, had ruled Cuba de facto for the greater part of the previous 20 years. He was running behind in the presidential elections when he staged a military coup on March 10, 1952. As president, he operated as the steward of sugar barons, banks, gambling syndicates and the great corporate interests of North America.

He answered any opposition with assassination, breaking strikes with machine-gun fire, and using repression against the Cuban people to maintain the massive exploitation of sugar workers, farmers and women. Under Batista's rule, the people were becoming poorer while Cuba was being turned into a playground for the US rich.

While the traditional politicians cowered before the coup, Fidel Castro gathered a group of young men and women around him who were willing to participate in actions to restore democracy to Cuba. Their first act was to launch an armed attack on the second largest military garrison in the country, the Moncada barracks base of the Maceo Regiment in Santiago, eastern headquarters of the military dictatorship. Their immediate objective was the armoury and its store of weapons and ammunition. If they were successful, their plan was to head for the mountains to continue the fight.

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 began with the failed attack on the Moncada Barracks, and ended in triumph with the ousting of dictator Fulgencio Batista. After a tremendous failure at Moncada, nearly all of the rebels were killed or captured. At his trial, Fidel Castro gave his famous speech, History Will Absolve Me, and was pardoned after only two years. When released, he was forced into exile for his safety.

In Mexico, he trained an army which he prepared for a guerilla war against Batista. On December 2, 1956, Castro and 82 others aboard the Granma landed in Cuba. Their numbers were quickly reduced by Batista's soldiers, but most of the important leaders made their way into the Sierra Maestra mountains. The rebel forces began to rely on the peasants for support. Batista took to ruthlessly attacking pro-Castro towns, which only stirred up more support for the rebel leader. A movement in the cities began as well. Frank País, whom Castro had left in charge while in exile, began to attack the Batista government in various ways. Anti-Batista students, though not associated with the Castro-led group of rebels, unsuccessfully led an armed assault on the Presidential Palace. On May 24, 1958, Batista launch Operación Verano.


The Pico Turquino, highest elevation of the Sierra Maestra.

Granma Expedition
After receiving U.S. congressional recognition, he became the ‘Granma’ helmsman
Cuando el Granma surcó por la Historia
Esta batalla la ganamos con las verdades
Juan Manuel Márquez: El segundo jefe del Granma
‘Let’s go on, there’s solid ground ahead’
The other Calixto García
Walking towards sunrise


Presidential Palace Attack, March 13, 1957
Cuba Suppresses Youths’ Uprising; Forty Are Killed  (N.Y. Times, March 14, 1957)
Havana Police Find Rebels’ Arms Cache (N.Y. Times, March 16, 1957)
Aquellos jóvenes del 13 de Marzo

Second Front Escambray
The DR's Decision to Fight Guerrilla War
Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo
William Morgan

Cuban Revolutionary Government Cabinet of President Manuel Urrutia Lleó, January 1959
Angry Young Cubans take over
Batista and Regime Flee Cuba; Castro Moving to Take Power; Mobs Riot and Loot in Havana
Castro's men pour into Havana
Fidel Castro: The Observer Profile
El juicio de Huber Matos


Home | Background | Onward to Revolution | Under US Influence | *July 26, 1953* | 1st Agrarian Reform Law | 2nd Agrarian Reform Law | Education | Health Care | Grenada | Struggle Continues | Comments | Bibliography

This site was last updated 06/04/14