The Castro Revolution
(click one of the images to see an enlarged view)
Before the Revolution
On March 10,1952 Fulgencio Batista achieved power by force.
Batista in 1952 had led a coup d'etat to overthrow the democratically elected government
and placed himself as dictator. In 1954 he was again elected president. A young band of
students and professional people staged a civil war against Batista. This particular band
was led by Fidel Castro.
Conditions for most people in Cuba during the Batista regime
were terrible. It was estimated that 600,000 able Cubans were unemployed. Many people did
not have electricity. Roughly 3.5 million people (out of 6 million Cubans) lived in huts,
shacks, and slums; 95% of children in rural areas were infected by parasites. A system of
racial apartheid was in place against blacks and mulattos. The best facilities and land
were owned by American companies. Cuban officials extracted millions of dollars from the
treasury and deposited them in American or European banks. Between internal corruption and
the U.S. economic dominance over Cuba, little was left for the Cuban people.
A young Fidel
The Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro in the late 1950's overthrew the
Fulgencio Batista regime. The revolution created a new government and, therefore, a new
Cuban society. When Castro came into power in 1959 he initiated a massive social &
economic transformation of Cuba, which went to work at reforming what the revolution saw
as the unjust conditions in Cuba.