Fidel Castro and Cuba
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born in 1926
near Birán in Orient Province.
He attended many different schools such as:
Santiago de Cuba’s La Salle School, Dolores
Colegio, Belen Secondary School, and in
1945 the University of Havana Law School.
Castro got involved in politics while attending
the Law School.
The Party of the Cuban People
Founded by Eduardo Chibás.
The 5 principles of the party are:
- Building a strong sense of national identity among
- Opposing the influence of foreign nations in Cuba’s
- Supporting social justice
- Establishing economic independence
- Distributing the nation’s wealth through government
control of natural and economic resources.
Castro attended the Ninth Pan American
Union conference in 1948.
A few days after the conference, Jorge
Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated.
Student riots broke out in the streets after
the assassination and Castro was blamed
for instigating the uprising.
This was a turning point in Castro’s
Castro was cynical about Cuban electoral politics. He
believed that they were rigged and the U.S.
controlled Cuban Politicians. This led him to form the
Radical Action Ortodox wing in 1948.
In the 1952 elections, Castro ran for a seat in the
Cuban House of Representatives to become leader
of the Ortodox party. Before the elections could
happen Fulgencio Batista staged a coup d’etat and
established a dictatorship.
This made Castro’s cynicism turn to rejection of
26th of July Movement
On July 26, 1953, Castro and his followers attacked
the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba.
1000 trained soldiers manned the barracks and there
were around 150 revolutioinaries.
Over half of Castro’s followers were captured,
tortured, or killed.
Castro was captured and along with the other
prisoners went on trial from August to October of
He was sentenced to 15 years for conspiring to
overthrow the Batista government. He served less
than 2 years.
Castro got out of prison in May of 1955 and
left for Mexico.
Ernesto “Che” Guevara joined Castro and in
November of 1956 they sailed back to Cuba.
Their plan was to form a revolutionary force in
the Sierra Maestra.
Batista’s army met them at Playa Colorado
and only a dozen men escaped.
Castro established military and political
This was an attempt by the Batista
Government to stop Castro in 1958.
In May 1958, Batista gave General Eulogio
Cantillo the mission to destroy Castro and his
The first attack was on June 28, 1958.
The Battle of La Plata took place on July 11.
The Battle of Las Mercedes was the third and
Ousting of Batista
Castro’s troops had spanned over the island
and Batista’s government had lost much of its
support by mid 1958.
In December 1958, Che Guevara led guerrilla
units to attack the city of Santa Clara.
On January 1, 1959, Batista fled to the
Some Effects of the Revolution
The illiteracy rate went down from 30% in 1958 to
Health care and education are free to all Cuban
The life expectancy went up from 55 years to 76
The number of hospitals has gone up from 97 in 1958
Supporters of Batista were executed.
Freedom of speech was suppressed.
In 1959 both the Agrarian Reform Law and the Urban
Reform Law were passed.