History and heroes, Danielle Mitterrand met them on several occasions. She obtained, and this is one of his greatest victories, her president husband re? Oive in March 1995, the head of the Cuban government, Fidel Castro. The controversy was then raging. She refuted the criticism, maintaining that “Fidel Castro embodies the world, in Latin America, in France, a genuine sense of freedom.” Later, she speaks of him as “a young man who, in Cuba, there are now more than forty years has tipped the world.”
Fidel Castro is fully aware of this prestigious devotion, he relishes all, nothing more. He took full measure of the admiration it arouses in the long march of eight days began on 1 January 1959 when the dictator Fulgencio Batista left the country and that the power collapses. More than a week to go the 1000 km between his camp in the Sierra Maestra in the Cuban capital, is nothing too. Just need to set up the myth and the dissemination of images of the revolution time. The Cuban writer Severo Sarduy, died in exile in Paris, wrote that Fidel Castro prepared carefully “Christ’s entry in Havana.”
Fidel Castro does not return, this January 1, 1959, this victory as sudden. He wants to check each entry in village or town, and he wants to feel in her crushed by the sun and fatigue nights aborted flesh how this revolution is shared. More than 80% of the population supports the change, others are hiding. It is up to him to turn it into a final climax to the greatest number. He chose the register of the gesture, the only one capable of feeding myths. This is, without a doubt, that Fidel Castro has been most successful.
The official story Castro did not say how 31 December 1958, the eve of victory, is a calm day. Cubans await the new year without excitement. They know that there is in the eye of the guerrillas who harass official troops. On the military fronts, the positions are fixed: in the eastern part of the column commanded by Huber Matos advance, without more, to Santiago. In the province of Las Villas, the men of the Argentine Ernesto Guevara and Rolando Cubelas took embroidered with Santa Clara, one of the most important cities in the country, while the troops of the Second Front of Escambray attempt take embroidered with various locations.
If the situation of Batista’s army is not brilliant, the ability of the armed forces remains intact. The total guerrillas throughout the country does not exceed 3,000 men (some sources close to the legend put the number 15, 000), against 30,000 in the regular forces. The ground gained by insurgents does not exceed 2% of the territory. Fidel Castro expected in its reduced the Sierra Maestra, he is preparing for a long war of position. He did not let go for a moment to dream that the dictator will flee with his family and close associates to the Dominican Republic.
Fulgencio Batista, he took as far as rejecting it inspires. It is even more upset that he had popular support and has even, at one time been an ally of Cuban communists, the Socialist People’s Party. It does not correspond to the image of the bloodthirsty dictator right. It is a chaotic and populist caudillo, nothing more. If it is close to the North American mobster who are making deals and relax (gaming and prostitution), it supports the same sincerity with the many Spanish Republicans who were exiled to Cuba.
But panic. He wants to finish without the risk of betrayal and is lach?? by the Americans, who have never enjoyed the mestizo soldier rough manners. They also imposed an embargo on arms deliveries, and he knows they have also established relations with Fidel Castro. He prefers shabby leak an uncertain future.
When the commander of the 26th of July Movement, aged 33, heard the news at his headquarters, he aback. He launched his long, slow march to Havana, but in the opposite direction, to Santiago de Cuba, where he entered triumphantly in the evening of January 1. From the first day he shows his talent as a strategist: time control l account the situation and consolidate power?. The columns of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, halfway Havana mission is to consolidate their positions and avoid any military reaction. But the most important is to prevent other opposition groups not subject to the command of Fidel Castro take embroidered with military or strategic policy areas. Fidel Castro, in his first speech in Santiago de Cuba, calls for the consolidation of the revolution and not the power of the soviets.
At the head of barbudos, Fidel Castro knows that the revolutionary movement was not done in the name of communist ideas. He eschews any imprudence. The fight against the dictator Batista is the best shared by all opposition groups value. Their goal, modest aims to restore republican liberties undermined by the dictator since his coup in 1952.
The only certainty displayed by unqualified Fidel Castro in a mixture of nationalism and rejection of colonialism is its anti-Americanism. In a letter dated June 6, 1958, written from the Sierra Maestra, published a few years later by Carlos Franqui, one of the companions of the first hour, long exiled dissident, Fidel Castro is clearly explained: “When the war is over, I start to a larger war, longer: that I will carry out against the North Americans I’m sure it will be my true destiny “Was it communist or not in 1959..? The debate remains. For the rest, everything was said.
Fidel Castro has inherited the hatred of his father, a Spanish immigrant who arrived in Cuba in 1898 as a soldier to fight the Americans in the war with Spain. Defeated, the father remains in the isle, becomes farmer, farmer, a homeowner who lives well on his land. Fidel, he will follow his studies with the Jesuits. They instill in the student, described brilliant, fiery, athletic, articulate, a strong sense of Hispanity. After legal studies, he joined the Orthodox Party, a vaguely social democratic populist and married Mirta Diaz Balart, the daughter of a politician, a lawyer close to Batista, with whom he had a child, Fidelito .
The coup of General Batista, which ends March 10, 1952 the democratic government of Carlos Prio Socarras, plunges in the certainty that it must respond with force.
For now, on the road that leads to Havana, Fidel Castro thinks that happiness roads of Cuba, under the blazing sun and cheers in the scent of sweat and rum, and all these years control, these senseless military action he had decided and conducted. He remembers the craziest, most suicidal, that of 26 July 1953, where hundreds of young people with the Orthodox Party has attacked the barracks of the the most powerful military establishment of Santiago de Cuba Moncada. The operation, a fiasco, has resulted in dozens of deaths and prison for him and his brother Raul, which earned him the sharpest critics of the Communists, but he became a leading opposition figure and gained national political stature.
Released less than two years later with his brother, as a result of an amnesty, he went into exile in Mexico, where he is preparing the overthrow of Batista. This is where he met Ernesto Guevara. In December 1956, he landed in Cuba – they are 82 men – on a boat, the Granma. The balance will be as catastrophic as the attack on the Moncada. All will be killed or captured, with the exception of twenty who, with Fidel at their head, took refuge in the Sierra Maestra. The military issue is zero, but the huge psychological impact on the population.
Public opinion, weary Batista begins to openly protest. A wind of revolution across the country, even if nobody believes in communism, and even less in Moscow. It is simply democracy, freedom, human rights. Communism is not the concern of Cubans in the late 1950s.
Ernesto Che Guevara, he devotes an absolute hatred for Americans. He has his reasons. It was in 1954 when the military in Guatemala, with the help of the CIA led a coup against the liberal leader, Jacobo Arbenz, was democratically elected in 1950. If Che is a pro-Soviet radical tendency, Fidel, he does not yet publicly expressed on the subject. In skilful politician, he knows that the adoption of a Marxist program would take away any chance of establishing itself as the leader of this revolution.
Fidel Castro sees nothing during his long walk. He dozes of happiness. He lets himself be devoured by the crowd and the cheers. He relishes his triumph. At her side stands a man, Commander Huber Matos, who also rebelled after the coup of 1952. The teacher has won the admiration of Fidel Castro when, after ten months in Costa Rica, he landed in the Sierra Maestra in March 1958 with a plane loaded with 5 tons of weapons and ammunition, obtained with the with Costa Rican President Jose Figueres. “Fidel has played all night with weapons, shooting bullets uncontrollably, like a child on Christmas Day? L”, he said.
Mate the first time, it will be one of the first victims of taking absolute power by Fidel Castro, for the moment, sharing hugs and smiles with the future outlaw. It will give him the military command in the province of Camag??ey. It needs men of this caliber and total loyalty, it does not measure the extent to which this faithful, this humanist, a democrat is hopeless, that never stops, even in these hour of triumph, to demand the formation of a true collective leadership in the July 26 Movement, a return to the 1940 Constitution and the holding of elections. In vain. Fidel can accept the possibility that it opposes in the months following the pro-communist drift supported by his brother Raul and Ernesto Guevara. But he can not admit that he has resigned, more importantly with respect necessarily guilty.
He can not imagine for a moment that this good guy he holds in his arms entering Havana narrowly escapes in October, the firing squad. He does not want “to make a martyr”, then send it to rot in a cell for twenty years in appalling conditions described in a book-poignant testimony, and night fell. Of the victorious Cuban prisons, (ed. Les Belles Lettres, 2006) revolution. In Havana, Fidel Castro also find the popular and charming Commander Camilo Cienfuegos, another hero of the revolution, it disappears forever work him in trouble conditions in October 1959?. His body was never found.
The American Tad Szulc, correspondent for the New York Times, following the Cuban revolution. He was in Havana in 1959. His fascination, but equal to the Lider Maximo did not stop to show how Fidel Castro has become in a short time a “ruthless and cunning dictator who betrayed liberal democracy in whose name he had first joined millions of Cubans to his cause. ” His biography of Cuban leader Castro: thirty years of absolute power (Payot, 1987), remains to this day one of the most valuable to understand what “romantic intractable” which became the most famous of twentieth-century Latin American leader.
When entering Havana on January 8, 1959, Fidel Castro can not imagine for a moment how the fa? Ades of the wonderful city, built from 1513 by the Spaniards and fa? Onn??e for more than four centuries will become after decades of tropical socialism the dilapidated temple, a museum populated ruins open. Yet it is still beautiful the capital, on January 8, but very quickly the gray, dirt houses columns, recessing holes ant roads, form a horror scenery that disappears for a few hours, that? from the night.
The revolutionary just completed its triumphal march in the capital of one of the richest countries on the continent. Since the early 1940s, Cuba has experienced steady growth and is, with Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, among Latin America’s most developed countries.
According to Ginsburg atlas of the global economy in 1953, Cuba is ranked 22nd out of 122 countries assessed, the per capita income up to the equivalent to the level in Italy. The population is 80% literate and health indicators are similar to those in industrialized countries, and many Spaniards and Italians emigrated to Cuba in search of better living conditions.
Prostitution is no more prevalent than in Europe or Latin America, it has nothing to do with the mess that become authentic Cuba serving brave sailors of the Soviet fleet and more during the decade 1990, where the sexual mass tourism, which remains the symbol Varadero, grew so overwhelming in the rat race for dollars launched by the authorities.
Fidel Castro is fully aware of the reality that Cuba took possession of it, it is enough to scratch the memories and history books to convince the world that Cuba was a nest of misery must the hello to the revolution he led. He did not even think about it, the servants of the revolution that will accomplish this work designate deletion. Cubans between fatigue and irony, say very quickly that “in the eye everything is rationed, except police and disillusionment.”
Havana released in the early days of 1959, euphoria reigns. The three-day beard, neglected, is military distinction and causes honors. “With his beard and his romantic allure of Christ on a spree, piers on the ground, feet on the ground to receive the ambassador of the United States boots,” according to the description given by Carlos Franqui, Fidel Castro is required masterfully as Hollywood figure in this revolution.
For now, a week after the fall of Batista, the commander draft a provisional government, which include, he assured, no military leader. He and his companions are not there, and he told all his commanders that “as the moral guardians of the revolution”, which will ensure “that the promises made to the people to be held.” It is not long resist this stupid promise and becomes in February Prime Minister. This is only the first step toward making embroidered with all levels of power, and the postponement of the elections he had never promised to hold in eighteen months.
Obviously, he’s running the country and rotates with the zeal of his brother Raul and Ernesto Guevara the revolutionary tribunals and executions. His new government recognized by the major world powers, including the United States, is reassuring. He is Fidel Castro, who, abandoning his car reluctantly go to Washington in April, explaining that his government is “no communist” and the desire to Cuba is to “maintain good relations with the United States. ” Agrarian reform enacted May 17 causes stupor. But the visit to Havana, in February 1960, the Vice-Chairman of the USSR, Anastas Mikoyan, who seals the restoration of diplomatic relations severed in April 1952 marked the end of an observation period.
After months of tension, the announcement on 7 august 1960, expropriation and nationalization of large U.S. companies, confirms the radical orientation of the regime that is taking place in Havana. The logic of confrontation leads to the rupture of diplomatic relations between the two countries by President Eisenhower, January 3, 1961, two years after the collapse of the Batista regime. Cuba then switches into the Soviet orbit during the Cold War becomes a pious decal, tropical version of the popular democracies dependent on Moscow.
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