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26th of July Movement

From Academic Kids

The 26th of July Movement (Movimiento 26 de Julio) was the revolutionary organization led by Fidel Castro that in 1959 overthrew the Fulgencio Batista regime in Cuba. Its name originated from the attack on the Santiago army barracks on July 26, 1953. The movement began organizing from Mexico in 1955 by a group of exiled revolutionaries (including the brothers Fidel and Raśl Castro, and the Argentinian Che Guevara, numbering a mere 81 people). Their task was to form a disciplined guerrilla force ready to overthrow Batista. Some members of the movement remaining in Cuba carried out acts of sabotage and tried to stir up political discontent there.

On December 2, 1956, 81 men landed in Cuba, having sailed in the boat Granma from Mexico, ready to organize and lead a revolution to be rid of the Batista regime. The early signs were not good for the movement. They landed in broad daylight and were spotted by the Cuban Air Force. The landing party was split into two and wandered lost for two days, most of their supplies abandoned where they landed.

They managed to regroup, though, and headed for the Sierra mountain range. There they encountered the Cuban Army. Guevara took a minor injury to the neck during the fighting. This was the opening phase of the war of the Cuban Revolution, which continued for the next two years. It ended in January, 1959 after Batista fled Cuba on New Year's Eve. The movement's forces marched into Havana to be greeted by a general strike of the workers. Of the 82 who sailed aboard the Granma, only 12 eventually regrouped in the Sierra Maestra.

After the revolution's success the 26th of July Movement was joined with other bodies to form the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution, which in turn became the Communist Party of Cuba in 1965.


See also: Cuban Revolutiones:Movimiento 26 de Julio de:M-26-7 no:26. juli-bevegelsen

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