Today, I will remember my late father and call my mother on the phone. I always think of them whenever there is a Cuban anniversary, specially one as horrible as July 26, 1953.
65 years ago today, Fidel Castro and his followers attacked the Moncada Barracks in east Cuba.
In fact, the attack was a disaster since more than 60 of the 185 rebels involved were killed. Castro and the survivors escaped and were eventually discovered and captured.
Castro was tried in the fall of 1953 and sentenced up to fifteen years in prison. He had it all later released in a book.
While he was being held at the prison in Isla de Pinos, he wrote letters and continued to plot Batista’s overthrow. Castro also enjoyed prison benefits later denied to the men and women that he executed or locked up.
After having served less than two years, he was released in May 1955 due to a general amnesty. My guess is that Batista regretted that amnesty to the end of his life.
Castro left Cuba and went to Mexico, met Che and the rest is the history that we are all too familiar with.
Today, Cuba is under a dictatorship with a younger communist running the show. Thousands have been executed. Others have died leaving the country.
Many others are sitting in political prisons.
The Castro regime never allowed anyone a fair trial, free election or had a general amnesty.
In short, Castro devastated a beautiful country and a prosperous island.
What are Cuba’s political prisons like? Read Armando Valladares “Against all Hope.” You will learn all you need to know about the legacy of July 26.
In retrospect, July 26 turned out to be a very bad day for Cuba.