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The Cuban Revolution Essay

1798 words - 8 pages

The dictatorship of President Batista caught the attention of a young attorney named Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, or better known as Fidel Castro. In protest against President Batista, Castro formed and led a small group called M-26-7. The name of this group symbolized when the group attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953. This marked the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. The attack was unsuccessful and it left many of the attackers, including leader Fidel Castro, jailed while others fled the country and a few killed in the attack. After going to trial, on October 16, 1953, Castro was sentenced to 15 years in prison in the hospital wing of the Presidio Modelo ...view middle of the document...

On December 2nd, the Granma crash-landed in a mangrove swamp at Playa Las Coloradas. While heading to the mountain range of Oriente's Sierra Maestra, Castro and his crew encountered multiple attacks from President Batista’s troops. When they reached their destination, Castro realized that he only had 19 members of his crew with him. The rest were captured or killed. While setting a base, the Castro brothers along with Che Guevara and a man named Camilo Cienfuegos launched raids on small army posts to obtain weapons. The guerrilla warfare had begun and was in full swing. In January of 1957 they invaded a military outpost at La Plata. Here they were able to treat any of their soldiers that had been wounded and execute Chicho Osorio, the local mayoral who was hated by the local peasants. This execution allowed Castro and his rebels to gain the trust of the locals. Some locals even joined the crew of rebels. The number of rebels reached over 200 members. The number grew so rapidly that Fidel was able to divide his army into three platoons led by himself, his brother Raúl, and Che Guevara.
On March 13, 1957, the DRE launched an attack on the Presidential Palace. The attack failed and the local police shot founder José Antonio Echeverría dead in the process. Frank País, who was an instrumental organizer for the urban coordination of the M-26-7 while Castro was in Sierra Maestra, was also killed in the streets of Santiago de Cuba. This left Fidel Castro as the only leader of the M-26-7.
The revolution hit a significant point in March of 1958 when Castro’s guerillas increased their attacks on the military outposts and forced the government to move out of the Sierra Maestra area. By spring, the rebels were able to take control of a hospital, schools, a printing press, slaughterhouse, land-mine factory and a cigar-making factory. This left President Batista feeling under heavy pressure especially since the U.S. government decided to stop supplying him with weapons after being influenced by anti-Batista opinions among U.S. citizens. Batista decided to launch an all-out-attack called Operation Verano. The attack consisted of aerial bombings of the areas that Batista suspected of aiding the M-26-7. 10,000 soldiers commanded by General Eulogio Cantillo surrounded the Sierra Maestra, driving north to the rebel encampments. Castro and his rebels responded to these attacks with land mines and ambushes. In the summer, the M-26-7 managed to push Batista’s army out of the mountains and by November, the M-26-7 controlled most of Oriente and Las Villas, and divided Cuba in two by closing major roads and rail lines. General Cantillo had secretly agreed to a ceasefire with Castro and promised that Batista would be tried as a war criminal. Batista was somehow warned of this and early on the morning of January 1, 1959, he fled Cuba in exile with over 300 million US dollars. In Batista’s absence, General Cantillo entered Havana’s Presidential Palace and proclaimed Carlos...

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