1959 - American children wear Castro beards made of dog fur, along with flat-brimmed army hats when playing war as rebels in Castro’s 26th of July Movement. Numerals on their caps signify the date July 26, 1953 when Castro’s revolt began. Photo by Ralph Morse in Rockaway, N.J
Today in history: January 11, 1980 - Cuban revolutionary leader Celia Sánchez dies.
Sánchez was the founder of the July 26th Movement in Manzanillo, Cuba. She was one of the first women to assemble a combat squad during the revolution. She was tasked with making all the necessary arrangements throughout the southwest coast region of Cuba for the Granma landing, and was responsible for organizing reinforcements once the revolutionaries landed. She was a member of the general staff of the Rebel Army. After the revolution, Sánchez was Secretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and served in the Department of Services of the Council of State until her death of lung cancer in 1980.
Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)
how dare you fucking defends a fucking guy who is responsible for total devastation and the deaths of millions of cubans singlehandedly? Sick fuck!
In the fifties, the Cuban people were poverty-stricken due to the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, who openly collaborated with the Mafia and was completely indifferent to popular concerns. The crime and corruption that characterized fifties’ Cuba were evident literally everywhere, and most describe it as just a bunch of gambling dens and brothels. Fidel Castro, then a young idealist law student, campaigned with many Cuban courts to remove Batista from power because he had both illegitimately seized the presidency and completely neglected the ordinary working population. However, he eventually realized those very courts were also completely corrupt, and that Batista could never be ousted by ‘legal’ means.
He then started a large guerrilla campaign, starting with the attack on the Moncada military barracks. The attack failed, however, and those revolutionaries that were captured were massacred by Batista’s troops, their bodies dumped. Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl were captured, and Fidel, being the bold law student he was, held a four-hour-long speech in his own defense, ending with the famous words “Condemn me; it does not matter. History will absolve me”. Important note: he was not yet a convinced Marxist back then. However, later realizations combined with the influence of his Marxist-Leninist brother Raúl and friend Che, along with immense anti-American sentiment, would convert him to the Communist cause.
After Castro’s guerrilla group, then called the “26th of July Movement” after the date of the failed attack, advanced on Havana, Batista fled the country along with many of his supporters and influential criminal leaders. Fidel Castro and Ernesto Guevara then started many campaigns to improve life on Cuba, such as the Literacy Campaign, the redistribution of land and universal healthcare reforms. Many bitter Batista Cubans fled to Miami and remain there today, clinging to their far-right ideals and Mafia. All these Cubans are the only Cubans we hear on the news, because they are the only Cubans whose voice is allowed on the Western news. For the most part, they are the upper-class corrupt Cubans that Castro’s campaign was directed against.
The Cuban people, contrary to what the Miami Cubans and America lead you to think, have stayed loyal to Fidel all the way through the Bay of Pigs, the Missile Crisis and the fall of the Soviet bloc. It is only in the most recent years, with Castro’s failing health and the takeover by his less charismatic brother Raúl that the Cuban people start losing faith in the revolutionary ideal, especially because of the poverty, which considerably worsened when the Soviet Union fell, as they were Cuba’s greatest trade partner. You see, ever since Castro made the socialist nature of his revolution known, the United States have held an economical embargo in place, blocking all trade between Cuba and the largest market in the world. This is the sole thing responsible for the poverty in Cuba today and the overall economical problems they have endured over the past fifty years. Today, slowly, American dollars and other currencies are creeping onto the Cuban market and tourism takes the place of sugar harvest as their primary export product.
Some more admirable actions taken by Fidel Castro are the internationalist interventions abroad in which he provided help to Marxist-Leninist groups in their campaigns against the US-backed dictatorships. He also sent the entirety of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces to defeat the South African racist army that advanced on Angola, which immensely helped the campaign of Nelson Mandela. In fact, it was Castro that trained, outfitted and funded Madiba’s ANC and its struggle until the very end. Forever after, the two men have been great friends, looking upon both their revolutionary victories as great feats against American imperialist world-domination.
It’s actually very easy to learn these things, if you are capable of looking any further than your American-influenced privatized newspapers and read an objective history book for a change.