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July 2023: 70 años since the assault on the Moncada Barracks


Young revolutionaries, with their immense capacity to dream of utopias, are often the protagonists of the most epic battles in history, those fought to free humanity from oppression and misery.

Seventy years ago, Fidel Castro and a group of young dreamers were the protagonists of one of the greatest episodes in hostory, because they changed the history of Cuba. This was the assault on the Moncada Barracks, which began the armed struggle against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. 

In 1952, Batista canceled the elections, proclaimed himself “provisional president” and suspended political and constitutional rights. A pro-Yankee and anti-people dictatorship was born.

The Batista regime was characterized by repression and the profound social deprivation to which Cubans were subjected. The time had come to put an end to such abuses and that was the goal set by the Centennial Generation, as the young heroes who decided to take Moncada in Havana were baptized. The plan included taking another barrack in Bayamo as well.

The operation took place on July 26, 1593. Fidel, alongside his brother Raul and 133 comrades, divided into three groups and attacked the two barracks simultaneously at 5:15 in the morning. They had few weapons but plenty of courage and dignity because their cause represented the Cuban people.

However, the dictatorship had been warned two days before the attack so it inevitably failed. The battle lasted more than two hours and left eight young revolutionaries dead. Fidel had no choice but to order a retreat. The dictator, however, would later order the killing of ten captured rebels for each dead soldier and thus ended the lives of 50 more revolutionaries. Others were tried and sentenced to prison.

Although the operation failed, the young dreamers and their commitment awakened national conscience and the assault on Moncada would become the starting point of the guerrilla struggle that would culminate with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

Click here to download the printable version of the calendar and hang it on your wall.

Text: Andreína ChávezArtwork: Ingrid Neves.


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