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1951 to 1975

Carlos Prío remained in power until 1952.  On August 5, 1951, Eddy Chibás committed suicide on the radio.  This signaled the end of the Ortodoxo Party, of which Fidel Castro had been a member.

Batista was convinced by Americans to return to Cuba.  He tried running for the presidency, but was not going to win fairly.

As a result, on March 10, 1952, Batista staged a coup and took power.  There was no fighting and Prío fled the country.  There was to be no election and Batista got rid of the Congress as well.

In 1953, on July 26, Fidel Castro led an attack on the Moncada army barracks in Santiago de Cuba.  The assault failed to take the barracks, and most rebels were captured. 

Many of those captured were tortured and murdered.  Photographs of this process created widespread hatred for Batista.  Castro was eventually captured, and used his trial to give his History Will Absolve Me speech.  He soon became a national celebrity and hero.

Castro was pardoned and left for Mexico to train his forces.  They returned aboard the Granma and began the war against Batista.  Though he had a greatly superior army, Batista could not win and the Revolution triumphed on Hew Years Day, 1959.

Changes were immediately brought to Cuba.  A limit on land one could own was set, land was given to the peasants, and rents were reduced by half.  President Utturia was replaced after an ingenious move by Fidel Castro, who became the head of Cuba.

The US began to oppose the Revolution.  The US Government tried many times to kill Castro.  They also sponsored an invasion of Cuba by exiles, which failed as well.

This caused Cuba to become closely aligned with the Soviet Union.  Castro accepted Soviet nuclear warheads, prompting the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Eventually, the missiles were removed with great loss of face for the Soviets.

During the early years, hundreds of thousands left Cuba.  Some were wealthy people losing their fortunes, others were middle class workers who opposed the Communist tendencies of the new government.  There were also some who felt they were being persecuted, whether politically, religiously, or in other ways.

Immediate social progress was made.  Many new schools were built, and free health care and education reached everyone.  However, the Government mismanaged the economy, eventually forcing a reliance on sugar and the acceptance of being part of the Soviet bloc economy.

Cuba also supported other Revolutionary states.  They trained foreigners in Cuba, and sent troops to Angola in 1975.

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