Beginning of the Cuban Revolution
On August 5, 1951, Eduardo Chibas, leader of the Cuban Orthodox Party committed suicide during a radio broadcast. Chibas was probably the most important Cuban leader at that time, recognized for criticizing government corruption and gangsterism.
Before shooting himself, Eduardo Chibas announced that Fulgencio Batista was planning to take power through a military coup. On March 10, 1952, three months before presidential elections, Fulgencio Batista staged a coup with the support of the army and took power.
Eager to consolidate its regime, Batista has adopted a hard line against the Communist Party and other opposition movements. The US, fearing the rise of communism in Cuba, chose to support the dictatorial regime.
In this context, on July 26, 1953, Fidel Castro organized the assault on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba, the second largest military garrison in the country, an action that would be the beginning of popular insurrection to overthrow the dictatorship, but his failure temporary reinforced the regime. Unable to oppose Batista, Fidel Castro fled to Mexico.
Victory of the Cuban Revolution
In Mexico, Castro organized the expedition of the Gramma yacht that landed in Cuba in November 1956. Despite its initial defeat, Castro and his 26th of July Movement (M-26) created a guerrilla force in Sierra Maestra, Oriente province. This would be the main base of the Rebel army.
From 1956 until 1958, the armed forces led by the dictator Batista tried unsuccessfully to destroy the Rebel base. Also, the general strikes of city workers and peasants from sugar fields played an important role in the victory of the Cuban revolution.
After defeating the military siege on Sierra Maestra, at the end of 1958, the columns of the Rebel Army led by Che Guevarra and Camilo Cienfuegos defeated Batista’s army in the battle of Santa Clara.This decisive victory of the insurgents has accelerated the fall of Batista’s regime. A five-day general strike made it possible for the insurgents to enter Havana in January 1959, marking the end of the dictatorship.
Main consequences of the Cuban Revolution:
-Cuba becomes the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere.
-nationalization of the industry.
–a new agrarian reform. The properties were to be redistributed and foreigners were no longer allowed to buy Cuban land
-education and health have become the main priorities of the government led by Castro.
-mass literacy campaigns were launched, new schools and universities were created
-free services were established (water, electricity, gas, telephones).
-the revolutionary government tried to reduce wage differences between workers.
-approximately 1 million Cubans, dissatisfied with Fidel Castro’s policies, have left the country.
-the US issued an economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba.
For a better understanding of the most important historical event in Cuba, here are some unique photos that show us the triumph of the Cuban Revolution: