The 26th of July Movement in Cuba 1953

[ 1953 ]

This was the guerrilla movement and rallying cry of Fidel Castro (1926-) as he sought to gain support of the Cuban people for the overthrow of Cuba's dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar (1901-73). July 26, 1953, commemorates the day on which Castro and about 200 young Cuban rebels attacked the Moncada army barracks at Santiago, Cuba. The effort was a futile one, and most of the attackers were killed. Fidel and his brother Raul (1931-) managed to escape. Months later they gave themselves up to stop Batista's brutal police from persecuting innocent people in Santiago who were accused of being part of the anti-government campaign. Castro was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Cuba's Isle of Pines but was pardoned after serving only 11 months. He went to Mexico and then returned to continue the fight against Batista. Castro's disastrous but daring 1953 attack and his long speech of self-defense at his trial made him a hero among the Cuban masses, especially among the young people.

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