During the 1950s and early 1960s – under the United States supported Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista – dissatisfaction with the Cuban government grew and the emergence of rebel movements there were underway. On July 26, 1953 – in the 26th of July Movement – Fidel Castro and other rebels attacked military barracks in Santiago and Bayamo. Many died in the attacks, but among the survivors were Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro Ruz, who were then captured. At his trial, Fidel Castro made one of his most famous speeches in which he closes, “Condemn me, it does not matter. History will absolve me. ” Both Fidel and Raul were sentenced to over ten-years in prison, but neither served out their sentences, after the Batista’s regime freed all political prisoners in Cuba in an effort to appease the unhappy masses. After Fidel and Raul were released from prison, they went onto Mexico to organize with other rebels. It was during this time that Fidel met and joined forces with Ernesto “Che” Guevara. In 1956, the rebels traveled by boat from Mexico to Cuba with the purpose of overthrowing Batista’s regime. Shortly after the rebels landed in Cuba, the Batista army attacked and killed most of them. However, among the survivors were Fidel, Raul, and Che, who would go onto lead the rebel army. During this same period in Cuba, the support Batista did have was dwindling. Other revolutionary groups began to protest against Batista dictatorship also; the most significant was the 13 of March Movement that was led by student anticommunists. Also, the United States was decreasing its support of Batista – they “imposed an embargo on the government and recalled its ambassador, weakening the government’s mandate even further” – the embargo placed upon the Cuban government weakened the Batista forces and made them more susceptible to defeat by the rebels (Perez).
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