VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > D. Latin America, 1945–2000 > 4. Mexico, 1946–2000 > a. Cuba
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1944, May 31)
a. Cuba
1948, June 1
In an economy prospering from high sugar prices, Carlos Prío Socorras was elected president. Prío was a member of Grau San Martín's Auténtico Party and an anti-Communist.  1
1952, March 10
With elections approaching and victory for the opposition likely, Gen. Fulgencio Batista overthrew Prío Socorras and assumed power. During the next seven years, Batista allowed U.S. influence to pervade the entire Cuban economy, including public utilities, petroleum, sugar, and tourism. Famous for its African-Cuban music and freewheeling nightlife, Havana became the tourism capital of the Americas.  2
1953, July 26
FIDEL CASTRO RUZ (b. 1926), a student activist, led an abortive attack on the Moncada garrison in Santiago. Castro's eloquent defense of his actions at his trial brought him national prestige. He was imprisoned but allowed to go into exile in Mexico in 1955.  3
1954, Oct. 30
On the eve of presidential elections, Gen. Batista's only rival for the presidency, Ramón Grau San Martin, withdrew, charging that the election was rigged.  4
1956, Nov. 24
Castro and 81 followers, including his brother Raúl and ERNESTO “CHE” GUEVARA, sailed for Cuba from Mexico to renew the struggle. After a difficult landing, Castro and a handful of survivors barely made it to the Sierra Maestra in Oriente.  5
1957, May 20
Castro appealed to the U.S. to stop sending arms to Batista. He led many raids in Oriente Province, gaining sympathy from peasants. Guerrilla actions and strikes had paralyzed the region's economy by the end of 1957. Repression only generated more support for his 26th of July Movement.  6
1958, March 17
Castro issued a manifesto calling for “total war” against the Batista regime.  7
Castro's call for a general strike failed, largely because of the lukewarm support of the Communist Popular Socialist Party (PSP) for Castro. After the strike, Communist leader Carlos Rafael Rodríguez went to Oriente to try to repair relations with Castro.  8
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.