How Did Fidel Castro Come To Power ?
The way Fidel Castro came to power is very interesting. He wanted to fight oppression and ended up becoming the oppressor. While he was still studying in university, Fidel became a member of the People’s Party. He found the party’s policy to fight injustice, corruption, low wages, unemployment and poverty extremely attractive. The party was led by Eduardo Chibas. However, the party lost the election. But this did not deter Castro. When Chibas killed himself, Castro decided to run for a seat.
Castro was an excellent orator and soon he was quite popular among people who used to flock to hear him speak. Also, he was supported by the other younger members of the party. It was a forgone conclusion that the election of 1952 would be won by the People’s Party. However, a few days before the elections Fulgencio Batista staged a coup and cancelled the elections. This upset Castro a lot. He decided to approach the court to get rid of Batista. However, that route did not work.
It was then Castro realized that just a revolution could give Cuba back to the Cubans and only then would his party be able to win the elections. So, on 26th July 1953, Fidel and a group of armed rebels decided to attack the Moncada Barracks using Batista’s soldiers. However, this turned into a one-sided slaughter with the soldiers killing most of the rebels after capturing them. However, Fidel escaped the slaughter and was arrested. He was tried and sentenced to 15 years. Batista gave order to kill Castro in prison by mixing poison into his food. However, the captain who was instructed to do this refused and informed the people about this plot. The captain was court martialed, but Batista decided to set Castro free to change public opinion.
On being set free, Castro went off to Mexico where he joined hands with Che Guevara and his brother Raul to form a group of rebels to overthrow Batista. The group landed in Cuba in the year 1956 and called themselves the 26th of July Movement to honor the unsuccessful attack on Moncada Barracks. The group started waging guerrilla warfare against Batista’s forces and gradually began taking over villages. They also managed to get support from the villagers.
Finally, there was a final showdown between Batista’s soldiers and Castro’s rebel group. In the year 1958, a pitched battle too place at Sierra Maestra. Batista managed to get support from the US, but on seeing that Batista was failing in holding on to power, the US advised him to hold elections. However, when the elections were held, people did not turn up to vote.
Soon Castro’s rebel group was marching towards Havana and other major cities on the island. This is when Batista decided to escape from Cuba and Castro entered Havana on 9th January 1959 to come to power and assume leadership of his country.
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