Fidel Castro and Cuba

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					Fidel Castro and Cuba

 Brianna Mellen
 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.
Ortodox Party
 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
  political thought.
 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
  electoral democracy.
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.
Sierra Maestra
 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
Operation Verano
 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
  last battle.
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
  Dominican Republic.
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
    to 267.
   Supporters of Batista were executed.
   Freedom of speech was suppressed.
   In 1959 both the Agrarian Reform Law and the Urban
    Reform Law were passed.





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