Benjamin 1990: "One of the problems inherent in constitutional regimes was that they held regular elections. Electoral contests in Cuba were particularly sensitive to nationalist agitation and thus inauspicious times for the advancement of U.S. goals. As the island's 1952 election approached, Prío led a party sunk in corruption and unsure of its ability to perpetuate its hold on the presidency. This made him all the more troublesome to Washington" (page 117).
Duff 1985: "By 1952, the 'Auténticos' were finished as a political party. They had never achieved a true sense of organization, they had never been able to convincingly present themselves as a viable alternative to dictatorship, and with their demise went the last chance for any alternative to dictatorship of the right or the left" (page 110).
Farber 1976: "In 1952 Communist party electoral registration was down to slightly more than 50,000; real membership was much lower than that…A good part of the Communist loss of influence began with the repeated Auténtico violations of the civil liberties of Communists and the consequent loss of many of the Communist means of propaganda…Yet, throughout all these Auténtico attacks, the Communists remained a legal party openly carrying on electoral and political activity. By the time of Batista's coup in March 1952, the Communists still had nine seats in the lower house of Congress" (page 139).
Riera 1955: Gives the names of governors and mayors appointed by decree in 1952 (pages 598-600).
Farber 1976: A prominent politician is assassinated in February 1952 and "there were rumors of massive cabinet changes and of the president's resignation. However, general elections were scheduled for June 1, 1952, and people expected them to be relatively honest and to express the popular desire for change. The Ortodoxos were expected to win the election; and Fulgencio Batista, who had been allowed to return to Cuba in 1948, was supported by a rather mixed bag of politically backward elements and was considered to be the candidate with the least chance of victory" (page 146).
Ameringer 1985: "At the time of Batista's coup, the PRC(A) was Cuba's largest and best-organized political party…On the 17th, congressional leaders issued a statement in which they denounced the violent disruption of the constitutional order and the 'acts of force' that prevented the Congress from meeting. By then, Batista had taken the title of Chief of State and had assumed all executive and legislative functions. He replaced the Constitution of 1940 with a 'Statute of Government,' dissolved all political parties, and announced that he would exercise power until elections in November 1953" (page 328).
Andrain 1988: "(F)rom the beginning of his rule, Batista had always placed greater reliance on coercive power than on consensus to maintain himself in power. Perceiving that he would not win the 1952 presidential election, he staged a coup d'état three months before the election took place. From then until his overthrow, he suspended the civil liberties that Cubans had previously known, such as the freedoms guaranteed to the press, voluntary associations, and political parties…Although Batista governed a bureaucratic-authoritarian system, the government, army, and political parties exercised only weak power. Controlled by personal factions, the political parties had few activities to perform in the repressive system" (page 124).
Benjamin 1990: "Batista spent most of his time in office attempting to make the same transition from military dictator to popularly elected president that he had accomplished in the years between 1934 and 1940. But this time his populist rhetoric had a hollow ring" (page 119) "As a non-ideological head of state, he did not wish to propel Cuban society in any particular direction. He wished merely to preside comfortably over it. Indeed, corruption and opulent life-styles became so predominant among his supporters that the institutions of autocratic power lost their effectiveness as time wore on" (pages 119-120). "Despite his good standing with Washington and with business and labor leaders on the island, Batista had no political base, nor, as it turned out, would he be able to create one. He ruled with the aid of the growing state bureaucracy, the police, and the military as his 'party.' With so much power, there was little need to accommodate his political enemies. But without the strength to survive reasonably honest elections, he was forced to use that power openly to maintain himself. Though Cuban politics had been a tawdry affair under the Auténticos, the end of party competition only increased tensions" (page 125).
Bonachea 1972: "On March 11, Batista assumed the post of prime minister and formed a cabinet. The political sectors of the nation reacted in different ways. The Ortodoxos vowed to fight the coup, and the Auténticos denounced it but failed to take a militant stand…The true reasons behind Batista's coup were two. First, he knew he could not win the elections for the presidency. His Partido Acción Unitaria (PAU) did not even have enough popular leaders to run for senatorial offices in several provinces. Second, Batista's military and civilian cronies were being displaced by the new parasitical social class spawned under Auténtico rule. In other words, the Batistianos wanted to keep a monopoly over the state budget. The appropriation of the national treasury always has been a major factor in Cuba politics. Of all Cuba's power groups the students were the most outraged by the coup" (page 33). "Once again, action-oriented groups surfaced throughout the island" (page 35). Describes their development and activities (pages 35-44).
Bonsal 1971: "Batista was amazed and frustrated at his inability to persuade the politicians and the parties he had pushed aside in March 1952 to play the political game in accordance with his new rules. The two recent presidential candidates refused to cooperate" (page 12).
De Lima-Dantas 1987: "In short order Batista's men occupied the most important military posts...Because of Batista's past record with international interest, he quickly gained recognition for his government by non-communist nations throughout the world. Batista suspended the constitution, dissolved all political parties, and created the Countil of State to replace the Cuban Congress" (page 35).
Halperin 1970: "As soon as he had established himself in power, Batista canceled the June elections. The electoral hopes of both the Auténticos and the Ortodoxos were dashed to the ground, and Castro's prospects for a brilliant political career within the framework of representative democracy were ruined" (page 57). "Batista's Tenth of March was one of the most audacious coups in the history of Latin America. Its success hinged on the speculation that the soldiers and lower echelons of the officers' corps would accept the replacement of their top commanders because they preferred Batista to the superior officers appointed by Grau and Prío. Batista's gamble was successful: his social and racial origin, which was such a handicap to him in his dealings with the upper sector of Cuban society, weighed heavily in his favor with the army" (page 61).
LeoGrande 1981: "When Batista returned to power by military coup in 1952, the PSP opposed his suspension of the Constitution, but, having lost much of their influence in the labour movement, could mount no significant resistance. The PSP's prestige suffered during the 1950s because its role in the struggle against Batista was marginal" (pages 239-240).
McDonald 1989: "Batista, returning to the political arena from his retirement in the United States, organized his followers into the United Action party (PAU) in order to run for president in 1952, but polls indicated that he had little chance of winning. Trailing both the Auténtico and Ortodoxo candidates, the former sergeant returned to power by military coup and thereafter allowed only rigged elections to take place" (page 25).
Paterson 1994: "Plotting with army officers and their loyal troops and exploiting a public revulsion against blatant governmental corruption, Batista seized power on March 10, 1952, in a well-planned coup that succeeded in just a few hours" (pages 16-17).
Pérez 1999: "The military coup had undone more than a decade of constitutional development in ways that were direct and immediate…The celebrated Constitution of 1940 had been unceremoniously shunted aside by a common barracks revolt, forcing Cubans to confront a reality that most would have thought unimaginable only months earlier…The military coup changed everything" (pages 446-447). "The 1952 military coup plunged the island's political system into disarray. Political repression and armed resistance increasingly became the principal civic transaction between the government and the governed" (page 449).
Prevost 2002: "The new Batista government catered to U.S. policy interests by adopting an anti-Communist position and by breaking formal diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. Washington responded with military assistance grants...Cuba was opened up to increased American investment, and Havana became an ever more popular gambling and nightclub center just a few miles off the Florida coast...In the 1950s organized crime and the Batista government cooperated in personal enrichment. The opposition to the new Batista government was centered in the urban areas. Following the example of the Generation of 1930, students organized urban guerrilla warfare, using the universities as sanctuaries from the national authorities. In Havana students formed the Revolutionary Directorate under the leadership of José Antonio Echeverría. On the other end of the island in the city of Santiago de Cuba, Frank País, son of a Protestant minister, organized students at the University of Oriente" (page 331).
Simons 1996: "On 8 March 1952 Batista laid his plans for a seizure of power…On 10 March Batista (now a self-appointed General) sent tanks to surround the presidential palace…Soon it was clear to all that General Fulgencio Batista had staged a successful 'coup d'état.' On 13 March 1952 Carlos Prío Socarrás flew to Mexico under safe conduct. With Batista's seizure of power, and the imminent creation of a new Cuban dictatorship, constitutional rule had been crushed" (page 258).
Statistical abstract of Latin America volume 12 1968: In March 1952 Socarrás is ousted in a coup led by Fulgencio Batista, general elections scheduled for June are cancelled and congress is dissolved (page 147).
Suchlicki 1997: Fidel Castro "was nominated to run as an Ortodoxo candidate to the House of Representatives in the aborted 1952 election" (page 140).
Statistical abstract of Latin America volume 12 1968: Batista returns to power as provisional president (page 147).
Ameringer 1985: "On September 15, 1952, the terms of all senators and half the members of the House of Representatives expired. Since Batista had cancelled the elections to renew or replace these legislators, the Congress had, in effect, ceased to exist" (page 330).
Thomas 1998: "In October the new Batista constitutional code was published: anyone wishing to organize a party had to gather 5,000 signatures and, after January 1953 parties could act normally, preparing for the elections in November 1953. There would be nine senators for each province, six for the party or 'bloc' which gained a majority of votes there, and three for the minority or runner-up. Parties which had been dissolved in March could reorganize themselves providing they could boast 6% of the electorate. The president would be elected by direct vote, and would take office in May 1954. There would be one member of the House of Representatives for each 45,000 inhabitants, each to serve four years. Half would be renewed every two years" (page 799).
Farber 1976: "While the Auténticos were discredited as a result of their previous rule, the Ortodoxos, who had not yet attained national office, were not…[But] the party split into many factions and virtually collapsed as a crucial political force" (page 151). "The emergence of a military dictatorship and of a revolutionary situation in Cuba did not reverse the pattern of declining Communist strength which had begun with the onset of the Cold War in the late forties. The old Communist party had little that could attract the new generations of young rebels, while the older, liberal anti-Batista elements would not even consider cooperation with the party of the enemy in the Cold War" (page 161).
Pérez 1993: "After 1952 Cuba's two principal parties [Auténticos and Ortodoxos] became irrelevant to a solution of the political crisis" (pages 83-84).
Riera 1955: "Reorganización de 1953" (pages 601-602). Gives the number of registered voters and the number affiliated with each party.
Ameringer 1985: "In February, citing conspiratorial activities, Batista announced another postponement of the elections until June 1954. And then, only senators, representatives, governors, and municipal officials were to be elected. A new Congress would subsequently set the date for the presidential election" (page 333).
Bonachea 1972: Factions of the Auténtico and Ortodoxo parties meet in Montreal. "The declaration of Montreal issued on June 2, 1953, stated in part that: (1) the Cuban crisis could be solved only by restoring the 1940 Constitution; (2) the Batista regime was unable to restore political institutions to the people and bring about elections; (3) after the removal of Batista, a provisional government would restore the Electoral Code of 1943 and guarantee official neutrality in elections; (4) the signing political factions categorically rejected and condemned attacts on individuals, gangsterism, and terrorism as forms of struggle; (5) the two factions would appoint commissions to structure efficiently the efforts to carry out their objectives, reiterating that they did not form an electoral coalition" (page 46).
Saxberg 1989: "In April, an armed group of students and lecturers were arrested as a result of their attempt to persuade the military officers at Campamento Columbia to join them in their struggle against Batista...Finally the university was closed on 14 April" (page 75).
Country profile. Cuba 1993-94: "The opposition to General Batista's authoritarian and corrupt rule came mainly from student and urban guerrilla organisations. One such group, led by Fidel Castro, attacked the Moncada army barracks in 1953. Castro was captured, tried and imprisoned" (page 3).
De Lima-Dantas 1987: "On July 26, 1953, Castro led a revolt in which 165 men attacked the Moncada army barracks near Santiago de Cuba. The attack was a failure, but it planted the seed of future revolutionary fervor. Castro was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison" (page 36).
Pérez 1993: The attack on the Moncada Barracks "served to catapult Castro into contention for leadership over the anti-Batista forces and elevated armed struggle as the principal means of opposition in the mid-1950s" (page 84).
Ameringer 1985: Batista reschedules the June 1954 elections for November 1954 and expands "them to include a presidential contest" (page 336).
Azicri 1988: "On 21 September 1953, the survivors of the 26 July actions went on trial" (page 24).
Azicri 1988: "Castro was able to defend his own actions on 16 October in a speech known as 'History Will Absolve Me'" (page 24).
Bonachea 1974: "In a move to further weaken the opposition, Batista eliminated the requirement that established a minimum number of registered voters for any party to participate in the election…By December 10, 1953, nine parties had registered to participate in the November 1954 elections, but most of them later dropped out of the race. Those which did remain had been organized by politicians hungry for the spoils that the law of minorities offered the defeated…To fulfill a constitutional requirement, Batista resigned from the presidency" (pages 29-30).
De Lima-Dantas 1987: "Batista nominated himself as the candidate of his newly formed Progressive Action Party to run against his former opponent, Grau" (page 36).
Cifras preliminares obtenidas en los censos de población, electoral y de viviendas de 1953 1954: "La presente publicación contiene las cifras globales, sin clasificación ni comparación alguna, de las enumeraciones hechas en los Censos de Población, Electoral y de Viviendas, levantados con efecto al 28 de Enero de 1953" (page 7). The electoral statistics include registered voters on January 28, 1953 and January 28, 1954. "Cifras electorales" (pages 111-256). "Tabla 1-electores inscriptos y presuntos en la República de Cuba, por provincias, en 28 de enero de 1954" (page 113). Totals for country. "Tabla 2-electores inscriptos y presuntos de la provincia de..." (pages 115-124). Gives data by province. "Tabla 3-electores inscriptos en el municipio de..., por barrios, en 28 de enero de 1954" (pages 125-256). Gives data by divisions within municipalities.
Bonachea 1972: "In May 1954, Batista repealed the drastic measures giving him martial-law powers and declared an amnesty for political exiles and some political prisoners (the Moncadistas were excluded). He also promised to hold free and honest elections on November 1, 1954" (page 60).
Bonachea 1972: The "PPC in July 1954 broke entirely with the Auténticos, ending any possibility for a united front" (page 60). The Ortodoxos "favored what was termed 'conditional electoralism.' They agreed to participate in the forthcoming elections only if Batista concurred with certain conditions" (page 61). Lists the conditions. "Batista refused some of the conditions, and as a result the Ortodoxos decided not to participate."
Bonachea 1972: "On October 30, 1954, Ramón Grau withdrew from the presidential race because the elections would have been rigged, leaving Fulgencio Batista the only contender" (page 61).
November 1: general election (Batista / PAP)
Bonachea 1974: "Offices to be filled included the presidency, vice-presidency and the governorships of the six provinces. Also to be elected were 54 senators, 150 representatives, 125 mayors and 2,214 councilmen" (page 29). "(T)he PRC-A ballots remained in the booths at the electoral precincts, and several Auténtico candidates were elected to Congress. By the law of minorities, 18 of 54 senate seats were alloted to the minority party, the PRC-A" (page 30). Batista "received 1,262,587 votes, or 45.1 percent of the total electoral population of 2,768,186 (which amounted to 47.46 percent of the total population eligible to vote). The government announced that 52.44 percent of the voters had participated in the process. Grau received 188,209 votes, or 6.8 percent of the total" (page 31). Describes charges of electoral fraud and the response of the electoral tribunal.
Bonsal 1971: "Elections were finally held on November 1, 1954, thirty months after the coup. Batista, with the weight of the government, the armed forces, and the officeholders behind him and with support from the more conservative and nonpolitical classes, put on an energetic campaign. He was believed to retain the favor of the American government and of American interests in Cuba. Grau as the leader of the electoral opposition, traveled widely and spoke freely until, just before the end of the campaign, he was led by a flurry of insurrectionary activity and consequent repressive official measures to advise his followers to refrain from voting because of insufficient civic guarantees" (page 12). "Nevertheless, Batista insisted that the election was legal and that the followers of Grau had voted in spite of their leader's injunction. He held that his coalition had won and that he, Batista, had been duly elected President of the Republic...If the partisans of Grau had in fact voted, their party as the runner-up was legally entitled to eighteen out of the fifty-four seats in the Cuban Senate. The government promptly announced the names of the eighteen candidates so entitled" (page 13).
Domínguez 1978: "The turnout of registered voters dropped from 79.5 percent in 1948 to 52.6 percent in 1954. This electoral farce, along with the higher rate of nonvoting, clouded the legitimacy of a regime that was based on force but did not wish to admit it" (page 124).
Lancís 1955: Discusses the events leading up to the election and the controversies surrounding it.
Pérez 1993: "The much anticipated elections of 1954 offended all but the most cynical 'batistianos.' The major political parties in the end refused to participate and the leading opposition candidate withdrew. Running unopposed, obtaining a majority of the mere 40 per cent of the electorate that voted, Batista won a new term of office. After 1954 those moderate political forces that had counted on elections to settle national tensions found themselves isolated and without alternatives" (page 84).
Riera 1955: "Elecciones generales de 1o de noviembre de 1954" (pages 606-621). Gives results by province.
Riera Hernández 1974: "Elecciones de 1954" (pages 30-32).
Suchlicki 1997: "The mock elections of November 1954, from which Batista, running unopposed, emerged victorious, placed Cuba at a dangerous crossroads. The opposition wanted new elections, while Batista insisted on remaining in power until his new term expired in 1958" (pages 142-143).
Thomas 1998: "On 1 November the elections finally took place. Batista was returned as president without opposition, with only half the electorate voting, though to vote was nominally compulsory. Some Auténticos won seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate and so took the minority seats in the legislature-18 out of 54 in the Senate, 16 out of 114 in the House of Representatives. Grau himself was understood to have received one out of six votes, even though he announced himself not to be taking part" (page 860).
Bray 1974: "In May 1955, Batista released Castro, his brother, and eighteen followers. Batista had been under pressure to release political prisoners, but he also apparently wanted to legitimize his regime after the election by creating a climate of political liberty, even though political activity had been very restricted during the election itself. He felt secure since by this time most of the opposition groups had disintegrated" (page 606).
De Lima-Dantas 1987: "The Moncada incident would have soon been forgotten but for the repressive measures undertaken by Batista against its participants and other Cuban dissidents. Several groups, among them lawyers, priests, lay Catholics, and students, began to defend the victims of Batista's repression. In May, in response to these pressures and as a measure of his self-confidence, Batista declared a general amnesty that allowed the return of exiled members of the opposition and freed most political prisoners, including Castro and his followers from Moncada" (page 36).
Farber 1976: "After Castro's release from prison in 1955, the remaining top Ortodoxo leadership, sensing his growing influence, offered him an important position in the party hierarchy, an offer he refused" (page 187).
Langley 1989: "In 1955 Castro won his freedom in a general amnesty proclaimed by Batista. He was now something of a celebrity and, shortly after his release from prison, made a whirlwind entry into Havana. An Ortodoxo by political profession, he might have rejoined that element and, like its most prominent members, spent the next few years engaged in discreet opposition to Batista's regime. Instead he left for Mexico, where, despite some harassment from a suspicious government, he organized a Cuban invasion" (page 196).
Thomas 1998: "On 15 May 1955 Castro and his brother with eighteen followers left the Isle of Pines under the amnesty law" (page 863).
De Lima-Dantas 1987: "On July 7 Castro left Cuba for exile in Mexico" (page 36).
Thomas 1998: "The most favourable chance for uniting the opposition was a new movement formed specifically with that aim in view, the Sociedad de Amigos de la República (SAR: Society of Friends of the Republic). The moving spirit of this group was Cosme de la Torriente, then aged eighty-three, survivor of all the turbulent events in the history of the independent Cuban Republic...De la Torriente decided to hold a mass meeting...[It] was held on the waterfront on 19 November, the purpose being to force new elections during the course of 1956. All the opponents of Batista except the Communists were present...The 26 July Movement did not take part and indeed had tried to dissuade the Ortodoxos from so doing. The meeting marked a high point in the history of the democratic opposition. But afterwards nothing happened" (pages 870-871).
Bray 1974: In December of 1955, "student leaders in Havana headed by José Antonio Echevarría founded the Directorio Revolucionario to fight Batista" (page 607).
Farber 1976: In 1955 "the majority of the student leadership had founded the underground Directorio Revolucionario (Revolutionary Directorate) for the purpose of engaging in armed action to overthrow the dictatorship. Although this organization was not restricted to students, it never fully succeeded in reaching beyond the student milieu and so always remained less important than the broader-based 26th of July Movement" (pages 182-183).
Farber 1976: "By late 1956, clashes between students and police had become so frequent and bloody, because of the systematic policy of unmitigated brutality adopted by the Batista dictatorship, that the University Council decided to close the University of Havana, an action that removed a potentially autonomous organizational nucleus for students and their nonstudent sympathizers" (page 182).
Paterson 1994: "Official U.S. military and intelligence links with Batista's regime joined political, economic, and cultural ties to bind the worlds of Cubans and North Americans. The military links particularly drew fire from nationalistic Cubans, for Batista's menacing police and armed forces sustained the dictatorship, and U.S. aid helped sustain the dictator's military, which became more repressive and brutal with each turn of the rebellion" (page 58).
Pérez 1995: In 1956, "Colonel Ramón Barquín is arrested for organizing an anti-government plot within the armed forces. More than 200 officers are implicated in the conspiracy" (page 420).
Valdés 2000: "Mujeres...del Frente Cívico de Mujeres José Martí colaboran con Castro en la organización desde la clandestinidad mientras éste estaba exiliado en México" (Anexo: Participación política femenina hasta la década del 60: Cuba).
Bray 1974: "In March 1956, middle-class opposition groups discredited themselves by engaging in a fruitless 'civic dialogue' with Batista's government. The Directorio and the 26th of July denounced attempts at conciliation. Castro publicly separated his group from the Ortodoxos in the wake of their discredited attempt at conciliation" (page 607).
Del Aguila 1993: "Well-known civic and professional figures, among them traditional politicians, mounted an effort in the mid-1950s designed to bring about an electoral solution to Cuba's political difficulties. The Sociedad de Amigos de la República (SAR), which included Auténtico personalities, student leaders, and various opposition members, engaged in what they called a 'civic dialogue' with Batista. The SAR did not have Castro's endorsement or participation. Feeling politically secure, Batista refused their calls for new elections, alienating those with whom a moderate compromise might have been worked out...Without the proper electoral guarantees, and unable to settle its differences with Batista, the SAR's effort collapsed. As a result, the insurrectional option became increasingly attractive and legitimate, especially to professional and middle-class sectors" (page 33).
Farber 1976: "In March 1956, shortly after the negotiations between government and opposition had broken down, Castro made a final break with the Ortodoxo party, while stating that he would continue to follow the political principles originally laid down by Eduardo Chibás. Castro had correctly perceived that the Ortodoxo party and the traditional parties had exhausted their political prestige" (page 188).
Thomas 1998: The "'Diálogo Cívico' [in March 1956] represented what turned out to be the last hope for Cuban middle-class democracy. But Batista clearly felt himself far too strong to have to make any concession...The opposition's demand for elections in 1956 was not acceptable; there could be nothing before November 1958. On 11 March, in a radio and television speech, Batista publicly ridiculed Don Cosme [de la Torriente]'s demands as absurd and on the 12th Don Cosme called a halt in all negotiations" (page 874).
Ameringer 1985: "Batista responded to the unrest by devising a new deception designed to consolidate his hold on power. On June 30 , he announced that he would not be candidate for president in 1958 and proposed 'partial' elections in 1957, for municipal offices, provincial governors, and some congressional seats" (page 345).
Bonachea 1974: The Pact of Mexico "warned that any participation in elections called by the regime would be considered a betrayal to the insurrectionists" (page 70).
Del Aguila 1993: In "mid-1956 [the DR and the M-26-7] jointly issued the Pact of Mexico, denouncing any potential electoral solution and restating their commitment to insurrection. The DR itself continued its campaign of sabotage and urban terrorism against the government, disdaining the guerrilla option and creating an atmosphere of tension, uncertainty, and fear" (page 34).
Bonachea 1974: On November 30, the uprising "in Santiago de Cuba [is] led by Frank País (M-26-7). Frustrated uprisings [are held in] Guantánamo, Mayarí and Holguín in Oriente province" (page 341).
Langley 1989: "In December 1956, after a difficult voyage from Mexican waters, the invaders landed in eastern Cuba. Castro lost most of his party in the landing, but a handful…survived, to make their own way into the Sierra Maestra and begin the struggle. The guerrilla war which ensued and which, on 1 January 1959, brought down the Batista regime was at first not widely publicized to the outside world" (page 196).
Suchlicki 1997: "By the time Castro landed on December 2...the uprising was well on its way to being crushed and most of the leaders of Castro's 26th of July Movement were either dead or in jail. Batista suspended constitutional guarantees and established tighter censorship of news...Castro and about a dozen survivors found refuge in the Sierra Maestra mountains and from there began waging guerrilla warfare against the regime" (page 147).
Del Aguila 1993: "Led by a national Directorate headed by Castro and organized in urban and guerrilla wings, M-26-7 issued its Program-Manifesto 'Nuestra Razón' (Our purpose) in mid-1957" (page 35).
Pérez 1993: "By January 1957, the rebel force was sufficiently strong to overpower the Rural Guard post at La Plata...News of insurgent victories kept Cubans alive to the struggle unfolding in the Sierra Maestra and attracted new recruits to the guerrilla camp" (page 85).
Farber 1976: "A turning point in the fortunes of Castro and the 26th of July Movement occurred on February 24, 1957, when Herbert Matthews published in the 'New York Times' his interview with Castro in the Sierra Maestra, thus proving that Castro was not dead, as the Batista government had claimed and many had believed. This interview also gave the impression that the guerillas were stronger than they were and served to increase Castro's prestige among the Cuban people, who could now envision men in the mountains constituting an antigovernment stronghold. Also at this time, significant sections of middle-class opinion came to support Castro and the 26th of July Movement. The Civic Resistance Movement was founded in early 1957 as an auxiliary body to the 26th of July Movement" (page 189).
Ameringer 1985: "Batista cancelled the partial elections planned for November and suspended guarantees for another forty-five days" (page 349).
Benjamin 1990: "Castro and the 26th of July Movement were not the only armed opponents of the regime; there were dozens of small insurrectionary groups, mostly in Havana. There were also fighting arms of the Auténticos, Ortodoxos, and splinter parties, all of which engaged in assaults on the symbols and agents of the dictatorship. One such group, the Revolutionary Directorate, attacked the presidential palace in 1957 and came close to assassinating Batista" (page 145).
Farber 1976: "On March 13, 1957, the Directorio, with the help of some militants who had formerly belonged to the Auténtico party, almost succeeded in killing Batista when they attacked the Presidential Palace in broad daylight. The attack failed, and Batista's police force engaged in one of its worse episodes of wholesale repression and murder. The leadership of the Directorio was completely shattered" (page 183).
Bray 1974: "Former President and Auténtico leader Prío Socarrás organized a landing from Miami in May 1957. All sixteen members were captured and shot on arrival. After the failure of this Auténtico action, Castro's organization was recognized by virtually everyone as the main opponent of Batista" (page 610).
Bonachea 1974: "Frank País is shot to death" by army forces (page 342).
Bray 1974: "In July 1957, Raúl Chibás, brother of Castro's mentor, Eddy Chibás, and Felipe Pazos, both moderate figures who had joined the July 26th movement, met with Fidel in the Sierra…Castro, Chibás, and Pazos issued a manifesto calling for the formation of a liberal-democratic revolutionary front. They promised to hold elections to choose a non-partisan provisional president within a year after defeating Batista…[The document] was designed to attract moderate support and to unify the anti-Batista program by promising the type of government that would reassure Auténticos and Ortodoxos" (page 610).
Farber 1976: "Castro's leadership still lacked the respectability, maturity, and middle-class confidence necessary for him to become the leader of an all-inclusive anti-Batista coalition centered around support for him and the 26th of July Movement. This problem was alleviated when two highly respected leaders of the opposition…went to the Sierra Maestra and signed a joint 'Manifesto of the Sierra Maestra' with Fidel Castro on July 12, 1957" (page 190).
Andrain 1988: "Before 1958 the Popular Socialist party (PSP), which maintained close ties with the Soviet Union, actually supported the Batista government rather than Castro's insurgent movement" (page 121). "During 1958, unemployment grew from 7 percent in March to 18 percent in December…Along with its bad economic performance, the political repression of the Batista administration alienated wealthier groups that had once defended his rule" (page 123).
Benjamin 1990: "By 1958, the opposition to Batista on the island was very broad. It stretched from traditional politicians like former president Prío Socarrás who wanted simply to restore electoral politics to those like the leaders of the Revolutionary Directorate who spoke of social revolution. Spanning this spectrum but with much of its base toward its center was the 26th of July Movement, headed by Castro. Of the opposition organizations, M-26-7 was now the largest, best-organized, and strongest in military terms" (pages 153-154).
Farber 1976: "Until 1958, when the Communists finally came around to a position of support for armed revolution and the Castro-led movement, their policies were closer to those of the moderate opposition than to those of the militants" (page163). "By the time the leadership of the Directorio [Revolucionario] recovered from the serious blow of March 1957 and got around to establishing a permanent base in the mountains of central Cuba in 1958, Castro had already consolidated his political and revolutionary leadership. Thus, although from a purely military standpoint the Directorio was not much weaker than the 26th of July Movement in central Cuba in late 1958, members of the former had to place themselves under the leadership of Castro's emissaries when the latter, accompanied by a relatively small invading column, came to take charge of military operations in that part of the country" (page 183).
LeoGrande 1981: "The [Communist] Party regarded Fidel Castro's 26 July Movement (Movimiento de 26 de Julio, M 26/7) as adventurist, and did not even publicly endorse the guerrilla war until 1958" (page 240).
Paterson 1994: "Numbering almost 30,000 in 1958, backed by 18,000 reservists and by the Rural Guards and National Police, Batista's army became the president's primary instrument of power. It also became a major symbol of abuse because of its undisguised practices of corruption, torture, and murder. The protection of human and political rights was not one of its missions" (page 60).
Pérez 1993: "Throughout 1957 and early 1958 the size of the rebel army increased and field operations expanded...The expanding struggle in the countryside was accompanied by growing resistance in the cities...Anti-government opposition was not confined to civilian political groups...By the mid-1950s dissension had become rife within the armed forces" (page 86).
Kirk 1989: "Aided by the establishment of 'Radio Rebelde' in February 1958 and a tremendously successful campaign of psychological warfare, the 'barbudos' (bearded ones) continually defeated the Batista forces despite overwhelming odds" (page 48).
Del Aguila 1993: "The regime's international position deteriorated significantly when the United States imposed an arms embargo in March 1958 as a means of pressuring Batista to curtail repression and hold honest elections without his own participation" (page 36).
Pérez 1995: "In March, Raúl Castro establishes guerrilla operations on a second front in the Sierra Cristal mountains in northern Oriente province. In the same month, the United States imposes an arms embargo against the Batista government" (page 420).
Bray 1974: "In May 1958, Batista launched an all-out offensive against the rebels in Oriente…Castro's forces made the government troops pay heavily for their advances and ultimately, even though they were surrounded and had lost most of their territory, they inflicted a decisive defeat on the government" (page 614).
Domínguez 1978: "In June 1958, Raúl Castro kidnapped forty-eight United States and Canadian citizens in retaliation for the continuing shipment of supplies, purchased before the ban, to the Batista government through the Guantánamo base. After two weeks of...negotiation..., the hostages were released and the arms embargo against Batista tightened" (page 64).
Bray 1974: "At a meeting in Caracas [in July 1958] opposition groups with the exception of the Communists and two factions which sought to run candidates in Batista's November elections, formed a Democratic Revolutionary Civic Front. Urrútia, Castro's choice, was designated president, José Miró Cardona coordinator, and Castro military commander" (page 614).
Pérez 1993: "The Pact of Caracas [July 1958] established Fidel Castro as the principal leader of the anti-Batista movement and the rebel army as main arm of the revolution. As the conference in Caracas convened, Batista launched his most formidable offensive against the guerrillas in the Sierra Maestra" (pages 90-91).
Prevost 2002: "The 26th of July movement also carried out a broad alliance strategy that culminated at a July 1958 meeting in Caracas, Venezuela, where the Revolutionary Democratic Civic Front was organized encompassing almost all of the anti-Batista forces. The front, combined with the military weakening of Batista, eroded U.S. government support for the regime" (page 333).
Blasier 1985: "In late 1958, as Batista's position deteriorated and the pressures of the resistance grew, the United States became increasingly concerned about the bloodshed and disorders that were wracking the island as well as about Cuba's future after what appeared to be Batista's impending collapse…Sometime late in 1958 the Department of State decided to press for a solution in Cuba without either Batista or Castro, that is, to try to find some third force between what U.S. officials felt were two extremes…Castro, meanwhile, was concerned about foreign interference and the imposition of a military junta and had long voiced this concern" (page 26).
Pérez 1993: "(B)y the end of the summer the government offensive collapsed, signaling the beginning of the disintegration of the Cuban armed forces...The guerrillas launched their counter-offensive in late summer...(T)he PSP, which had been proscribed during the second Batista government, had allied itself with the 26 of July Movement. This conversion to Fidelismo won the party several key positions with the 26 of July,...positions later to serve as the basis of expanding PSP authority in post-revolutionary Cuba" (pages 90-91).
Pérez-Stable 1993a: "The Rebel Army and the July 26th Movement were not solely responsible for overthrowing Batista, but Fidel Casto and the 'rebeldes' commanded the opposition movement after the summer of 1958" (page 62).
Bonachea 1974: Describes the circumstances leading to Castro's proclamation of "Law No. 2" regarding the November elections (page 289).
Castro 1972: "No-election decree (October 10, 1958)" (pages 426-428).
Thomas 1998: A decree issued by Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra "announced that those who took part in Batista's elections on 3 November would be sentenced to thirty years in prison or to death" (page 1011).
November 3: presidential election (Rivero Aghero / PAP)
Bonachea 1974: "Elections were held on the appointed date, but voters found that going to the polls was risky. Voting was very light in the capital, and nonexistent in Oriente and Las Villas provinces, the areas where the guerrillas operated. In Camaghey and Pinar del Río provinces, the people voted only under orders from the army and the Rural Guards. It would be fruitless to enter into an analysis of this election, for it has been recorded as one of the most corrupt and fraudulent of the republic's history" (page 289).
Bonsal 1971: "The elections of 1958" (pages 20-24). "The Batista-sponsored elections finally took place on November 3, 1958. The voters were subjected to threats and persuasion from Castro and his supporters to stay away from the polls" (page 22).
Bray 1974: "In November, Batista…staged the election of his cohort, Andrés Rivero Aghero, who was scheduled to take power in February, but Rivero was so identified with Batista's brutality that the U.S. government would not agree to back him" (page 615).
De Lima-Dantas 1987: "Batista's candidate...was named victor over Grau, an Auténtico, and Carlos Márques Sterling, an Ortodoxo, in the fraudulent elections of November 3...After the rigged elections, it became even more clear that Cuba was being denied a free democratic process" (page 38).
Domínguez 1978: "The presidential elections of 1958, a few months before Batista's fall, had two opposition candidates, but the elections were so obviously fraudulent that they served, once again, to undermine the government rather than to strengthen it" (page 124).
Pérez 1993: "(T)o the surprise of few, government candidate Andrés Rivero Aghero triumphed, the electoral hoax further weakening Batista's position both at home and abroad...Washington rejected outright the rigged presidential succession and announced in advance plans to withhold diplomatic recognition of Rivero Aghero, which undermined political and military support for the regime" (page 92).
Riera Hernández 1974: "Elecciones de 1958" (pages 32-34).
Thomas 1998: "The New York Times correspondent estimated that only 30% voted, and that in some places the poll was as low as 10%. In fact, an entirely bogus set of election papers had been printed and marked by the army and distributed long before election by the air force...: it was one of the most perfectly executed frauds perpetrated, even in Cuba" (page 1014). Describes the election.
Bray 1974: "Ambassador Smith, the CIA, and U.S. business groups in Cuba all agreed to try to replace Batista with a military junta designed to keep Castro out of power, but it was too late" (page 615).
Domínguez 1978: "By mid-November 1958, [U.S. Ambassador] Smith finally came to believe that the Batista government was collapsing. After the CIA reported in late 1958 for the first time ever that the United States should actively resist a Castro victory, the foreign policy bureaucracy, finally unified, made a series of desperate efforts to force Batista to resign before Castro became too strong to be stopped...(E)fforts to persuade Batista to resign were unsuccessful" (pages 64-65).
Andrain 1988: "From the time that Batista staged a coup in 1952 until his overthrow in late 1958, he never developed a cohesive base of group support to consolidate his rule. At the end, nearly all groups-religious, ethnic, and especially economic-withdrew their support from the Batista government" (page 122). "At the end of 1958, the only major groups that continued to ally with Batista were American investors and Cuban businessmen connected to U.S. industrial firms…In sum, Fidel Castro and his Rebel Army emerged victorious because he attracted a broad coalition of social groups" (pages 123-124). "(T)he revolutionaries in Cuba triumphed not because of their superior weapons or troop strength but because the incumbent government ruled through a disintegrating institutional base. Although Batista's army included over 30,000 men, in mid-1958 the Rebel Army comprised less than 500 troops…Faced by the corrupt government bureaucracy, the ineffective political parties, and the demoralized army, the Rebel Army operated as the dominant organization spearheading the revolution" (page 125).
Bengelsdorf 1994: "By the end of his rule, Batista had effectively destroyed whatever remained of Cuban political institutions. Nothing-not the Congress, not the constitution, not electoral politics, not the judiciary, not any political party or trade union-remained undenigrated and respected. The state, in Lenin's terms, did not have to be smashed; it had in essence disintegrated" (page 70).
Farber 1976: "By December 1958, the rebels had come to control almost the whole eastern half of Cuba, and this finally caused Batista's flight on December 31, 1958. Faced with the imminent collapse of Batista's regime, the State Department and the emissaries of United States imperialism in Cuba tried to replace Batista with a new government composed of safe conservative elements…This final attempt, as was to be expected, met with absolute failure, and Castro's rebel army, which never had more than one or two thousand members, faced little difficulty in taking power away from the remnants of the completely demoralized and disintegrated army" (page 201).
Prevost 2002: "In the decisive battle at Santa Clara in December 1958 the rebel forces under the leadership of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos totally routed Batista's forces, and the army collapsed. Batista had no reliable defenses around him in Havana and on December 31, 1958, he fled the country" (pages 332-333).
Bengelsdorf 1990: "The Cubans spent the first decade of their revolution essentially avoiding the thorny problem of putting in place any sort of institutionalized revolutionary democracy" (page 37).
Bray 1974: By "the time of the Revolution, [the Catholic Church] boasted over 250 institutions, 72 of which were educational, 128 were centers for convicts, orphans, the impoverished and the aged, and 33 were hospitals and dispensaries. There were more than seven hundred priests…At the beginning, the triumph of the rebel army was accepted and even welcomed by the Church…By late 1959, however, conflicts developed between the government and the Church. The Church was, after all, one of the main institutions of the existing social system and its allegiance was to the upper classes, if not Batista. While the Church perceived Communism as the cause of its disenchantment with the Revolution, the real cause was the Church's loss of power within a social revolution" (page 653). "Protestants were a significant group in Cuba before the Revolution, numbering in excess of 250,000. There were actually more Cuban Protestant ministers than Catholic priests, more Protestant churches and chapels, and an approximately equal Protestant and Catholic attendance at Sunday religious services…Since most Protestant ministers were conservative and the Protestant groups were markedly dependent on the United States, the Revolution and Protestantism came to an inevitable impasse which caused most Protestant clergymen to retreat to the United States. The net result was that Protestantism ceased to be an important force in Cuban society" (page 655).
Cuba: dictatorship or democracy? 1980: "In 1959, there were basically three revolutionary groups: the July 26th Movement, the Revolutionary Directorate, and the Popular Socialist (Communist) Party. The combined membership of these three organizations totaled a few thousand. In addition, the July 26th Movement was divided, as a result of fundamental internal dissension. These political differences were not overcome until the first months of the Revolution when the right wing of the movement…was destroyed" (page xvii).
Domínguez 1993: There were no national elections in Cuba from 1959 to 1976 (page 126).
Blasier 1985: "The [U.S.] Department of State, despite its misgivings and lingering doubts, decided to make the best of the fait accompli. Besides, Castro had committed himself squarely to the implementation of the Cuban Constitution of 1940, had denied any plans for expropriating foreign property, and had said little for or against the United States" (page 179). "First, Castro sought to secure control of the armed forces and to destroy the remnants of Batista's influence in Cuba…In the next few weeks, Castro's forces conducted a series of spectacular trials leading to the imprisonment or execution of hundreds of persons charged with crimes under Batista" (page 180).
Domínguez 1993: "In January 1959 the old regime collapsed in Cuba and a revolution came to power. The old rules of the game no longer applied and the armed forces that had shaped the life of independent Cuba for so long had crumbled...Only the Communist Party (PSP), which had been banned by Batista in the 1950s but reappeared in 1959, was left intact. The fall of the old regime required that new norms, rules and institutions be devised to replace those that had collapsed or been overthrown" (page 95). "In 1959 the U.S. government viewed with concern the affairs of a country that seemed uncharacteristically out of its control...In 1959 the value of U.S. investments in Cuba...exceeded that in every other Latin American country except Venezuela. The United States also took about two-thirds of Cuban exports and supplied about three-quarters of its imports" (page 96).
Eckstein 1994: "Castro promised to 'purify' the country. The country had become subservient to the United States economically, politically, and culturally…Casinos, controlled by the mafia, symbolized the vice and corruption of Batista's cronies as well as the corrupting U.S. influence" (page 17).
Farber 1976: The "1959 strike was called [by Castro] to ensure the consolidation of the new revolutionary regime and was aimed against no one in particular" (page 202). "Castro promptly rejected any suggestions that the 26th of July Movement share power with other revolutionary organizations" (page 205).
LeoGrande 1981: "The revolutionary coalition which took power when Batista fled on 1 January 1959 was held together solely by its opposition to the dictatorship. When faced with issues of how Cuba ought to be governed, the coalition disintegrated rapidly…On the Left stood the student Revolutionary Directorate (Directorio Revolucionario, DR) and much of the rebel army, under guerrilla commanders Che Guevara and Raúl Castro. On the Right stood the politicians of the old political parties and the leaders of the Civic Resistance (the urban wing of the M 26/7). Between these increasingly hostile groups was the 'lider máximo' of the revolution, Fidel Castro. As it became clear that the Right opposed even marginal social reforms, and, as US hostility became manifest, Castro moved closer to the Left" (page 240).
Pérez 1993: "During the early hours of 1 January 1959, as guerrilla columns marched across the plains of central Cuba, General Eulogio Cantillo seized power and appointed Supreme Court Justice Carlos Piedra as provisional president. The 26 of July Movement rejected the coup and demanded unconditional surrender to the rebel army. Pledging to continue the armed struggle, Fidel Castro called for a nationwide general strike. With the news of Batista's flight, army units throughout the island simply ceased to resist further rebel advances" (page 93).
Pérez 1995: "A general strike in early January forces the military government to relinquish power to the 26 of July Movement. On January 8, Fidel Castro arrives in Havana" (page 421).
Pérez-Stable 1993a: "On January 4, 1959, Fidel Castro named Judge Manuel Urrutia president of the revolutionary government. The new cabinet assembled the best of liberal Cuba: lawyers, judges, economists, 'ortodoxos,' veterans of the 1930s, participants in the Rafael García Bárcena movement and the civic dialogue of the 1950s, social activists-Cubans who spoke their nationalism reasonably and moderately" (page 62).
Prevost 2002: "The victory over Batista came so quickly that most of the old political structures were intact. Only a few thousand of Batista's closest allies left the country. Most of the landowning elite, businesspeople, professionals and clergy stayed hoping that they could influence the course of the new government, protecting their considerable privileges. Well aware that their radical plans would encounter stiff resistance among those committed to only minor change, Castro and his allies moved to isolate his opponents one by one" (page 334).
Statistical abstract of Latin America volume 12 1968: On January 2, 1959 Castro names Urrutia Lleo as president and José Miró Cardona as premier, and on January 6 congress is dissolved (page 148).
Suárez 1967: "From the first of January on, the Cuban people had been living through the honeymoon characteristic of popular victories. There was no army, no police, and the people were dedicated to nothing more than the enjoyment of their freedom and the expression of their gratitude to Castro. History has demonstrated that such phases cannot be prolonged indefinitely, and that sooner or later the organs that ensure social discipline must be restored" (page 44).
Suárez Hernández 1991: "The unity of the revolutionary forces in a single party following the victory of the Cuban Revolution was the result of the fusion of three organizations that in their opposition to the Batista dictatorship were in fundamental agreement on the general principles of anti-imperialism and national and social liberation" (page 62). Describes the three groups.
Thomas 1998: "Castro's hold over the Cubans was established within a few days of Batista's flight to such an extent that, while before 1 January he had only a handful of followers, within weeks many thousands believed that he could do no wrong. He was their liberator, not merely from Batista, but from all old evils" (page 1037). "Auténticos and others from older parties were discredited even if they had not taken part in Batista's regime. They were men who, like the country itself, had become adjusted to disorder and abnormality and the permanent political crisis of old Cuba. Many of them were excluded from participation in any future government by the decree of the Sierra (which now had the force of law) that banned all who had taken part in any of Batista's elections from public life for thirty years. The war indeed not only destroyed the administration, it destroyed the system which had preceded the administration" (pages 1046-47). Describes the provisional government (pages 1065-1067). "On 6 January a decree abolished all political parties for the time being" (page 1078). The Communist party "survived intact. Since it had not been allowed to take part in any of Batista's elections it was not prevented from taking part in public activity by any decree of the Sierra. At the beginning of 1959 it was the only party with a well-established organization throughout the island: it had probably about 17,000 members" (page 1080). "On 9 January, the day after he arrived in Havana, Castro had said that elections would be held 'in a space of fifteen months, more or less'" (page 1083).
Azicri 1988: "On 16 February 1959, Fidel Castro had become the Prime Minister of the revolutionary government, succeeding José Miró Cardona" (page 29).
Blasier 1985: "At first Castro's strategy was to remain outside the civilian government and exercise power as head of the armed forces. However, early in February a decree concentrated legislative and executive power in the cabinet, and Castro took over as prime minister on February 16. During the course of the year, he discredited and separated potential opposition leaders from their bases of popular support one by one" (page 180).
Prevost 2002: "In mid-February 1959 Fidel accepted the position of prime minister and began to push through measures that would distribute wealth and increase support in the rural areas" (page 334).
Suárez 1967: "On February 16, 1959, Castro took over from Miró the office of Prime Minister" (page 43)."The Batista supporters abroad, encouraged by the apparent incapability of the new regime even to organize its own defense, were beginning to raise their heads. Uncertainty was growing among the propertied classes, worsening the economic paralysis that had been started by the intensification of the civil war. The professional politicians--Auténticos, Ortodoxos, and so on-who for six years had been kept away from the national treasury, were now hoping for a return to normal elections that would give them back their offices as senators and representatives. And among the masses of the people,…new expectations were emerging that had never even remotely existed in January. Now that Castro was head of the government, basic decisions could no longer be put off. Either he had to implement the stated aims of the struggle against Batista-the constitution of 1940 and elections within a short time-or he had to take the path of social revolution to justify him in clinging onto revolutionary power, in which case the sympathy and gratitude of the masses were not enough…In short, he needed a new program and the instruments with which to implement it" (pages 44-45).
Thomas 1998: "On 7 February the cabinet had approved what was called a fundamental law of the Republic, a major abrogation of the Constitution of 1940. Legislative power was to be vested in the cabinet, which alone could change the fundamental law" (page 1196). Castro "announced on 23 February that 'it would not be correct to organize elections now. We should get a crushing majority. It is in the public interest that elections are delayed till political parties are fully developed and their programmes clearly defined'" (page 1198).
Domínguez 1978: "On March 22, 1959, the revolutionary government ended legal race discrimination in Cuba" (page 225).
Farber 1976: "The first serious jolt to the political honeymoon in Cuba came in March 1959, when Castro ordered a radical reduction in rents of up to 50 per cent. This move alienated for the first time a significant section of the Cuban bourgeoisie" (page 216).
Prevost 2002: "The passage of the Rent Reduction Act resulted in the transfer of about 15 percent of the national income from property owners to wage workers and peasants" (page 334).
Blasier 1985: Castro visits the United States (page 181). "It gradually became clear that Castro was seeking a fundamental transformation not only of Cuban society but also of the character of that society's relationship with the United States. For reasons of its historical origins, its propinquity to the United States, and the nature of its economy, Cuba had fallen under U.S. influence more than almost any other Latin American country, with the possible exception of Panama" (page 183).
Prevost 2002: "The U.S. government had first begun to realize that it had a potential major problem with Cuba when Castro left Washington following a visit in 1959 without requesting significant U.S. aid. Up until that point U.S. officials had expected to control Cuba through the normal give-and-take of foreign aid" (page 335).
Wright 1959: "Fidel Castro has announced repeatedly that he will postpone up to four years the holding of free elections in Cuba until his reform program is completed [gives sources of statements]. This may seem inconsistent considering that his revolution began as a protest against Batista's illegal seizure of power and perpetuation in office by rigged elections. The United States government has made no public comment about this and indeed recognized Castro within a week of his accession to power" (page 50).
Bray 1974: "The agrarian land reform program was the touchstone of the Revolution, for it was this program which provoked the first serious opposition to the government and defection of many of the moderates, and it was in overcoming the obstacles to the land reform that the Cuba leaders entered a process which carried them toward socialism""(page 627).
Kirk 1989: "Perhaps none of the early reforms undertaken by the revolutionary government revealed the badly divided nature of the Christian churches, most clearly of the Catholic church, as did agrarian reform. On 17 May 1959 the official Agrarian Reform Law was promulgated, dissipating any remaining church-state unity...By the end of 1959, while many grass-roots Christian sectors supported the thrust of the reform, the entire hierarchy had come out against it...Their objections were many, but their central fear was that unless the church could rally support to prevent it, Cuba was heading inexorably toward communism" (page 71). Discusses the specifics of the reform (pages 71-72). "It was an impossible situation for the church to resolve; it culminated in a churchwide rift, followed by government scorn and growing mistrust at the church's attitude" (page 72).
Prevost 2002: "In May, an agricultural reform act limited the size of most farm holdings to under 1000 acres. This measure destroyed the largest holdings, including U.S.-owned sugar properties, several of which exceeded 400,000 acres. Land was distributed to thousands of rural workers, and the government moved to improve conditions on the large farms it now controlled. As a result, support for the revolution increased throughout the countryside" (page 334).
Thomas 1998: "Agrarian reform: politics and crisis" (pages 1215-1233).
Domínguez 1993: "The approval of the Agrarian Reform Act was followed in June 1959 by the first major cabinet crisis, which resulted in the departure of the moderates…The head of the Air Force…quit at the end of June and fled to the United States, charging Communist infiltration of the government" (page 98-99).
Kirk 1989: "By the spring of 1959 the battle lines were drawn. The reductions in rents and telephone rates, the condemnation of racism, the intent to nationalize educational and medical services, and the steep tariffs on imported luxury items indicated to many middle-class Cubans that the revolution could only bring them misfortune. Many left for Florida. Others remained in Cuba to fight the leftward tilt of the revolutionary government by democratic means..., by the traditional Cuban system of graft..., and by force of arms" (page 74).
Prevost 2002: "Moderates in the government, such as acting President Manuel Urrutia, resigned in protest in June 1959, taking much of the leadership of the old democratic parties and landed elite into exile with them. Simultaneously the use of revolutionary tribunals to judge and then execute approximately 500 members of Batista's police and security agencies was popular with the Cuban masses but forced many of those who had been associated with the old regime to seek refuge abroad" (page 335).
Azicri 1988: "Cuban President Manuel Urrutia's resignation on 17 July 1959, after being less than seven months in office, caused a major political and ideological crisis within the revolutionary government. (He was replaced by Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado, who remained President until 1975)...Serious tensions had been growing between Urrutia and Castro for months...While Urrutia was making public statements about the menace communism could represent for the people's welfare and the revolution, the real leaders of the revolution...were thinking and planning quite differently...For the revolutionary leadership the dangers were coming from the privileged classes affected by the revolutionary laws and from the equally affected American interests in Cuba" (pages 29-30).
Domínguez 1993: "President Manuel Urrutia was forced out in July, leaving no doubt that Prime Minister Castro was Cuba's uncontested leader...Urrutia was replaced by Osvaldo Dorticós (who would serve as president until 1976)" (page 99).
Statistical abstract of Latin America volume 12 1968: In July "Castro resigns as premier, forcing the ouster of Urrutia. Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado becomes president and Castro resumes premiership" (page 148).
McDonald 1989: "The Cuban multiparty system disappeared later in 1959 when all parties except the PSP were banned. Yet, a strong single-party system was not constructed immediately in its place. Instead, as he moved to the left, Castro relied on the guerrilla-led Revolutionary Armed Forces as his vanguard institution and principal administrative apparatus. The new Communist party, in contrast, grew slowly and acquired little power" (page 25).
Kapcia 2000: "The FAR were formed in mid-1959 from the somewhat 'ad hoc' structures of the Rebel Army, which continued for some months with some separation between the 26 July Movement cadres and the DR people…After this FAR became the most significant structure and mobilizing organization in Cuba" (page 112).
LeoGrande 1978: "The first formally organized vehicle for mass participation in revolutionary Cuba was the Militia, created in late 1959. At its peak in the mid-sixties, the Militia included half a million armed civilians, drawn largely from the working class. It constituted an important supplement to the military might of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (as demonstrated at the Bay of Pigs), and also acted as a politico-military counterweight to the armed forces" (page 117).
Kirk 1989: The "Congreso Católico Nacional of November 1959" attracts an estimated one million Catholic and non-Catholic protesters of government reforms (page 81).
Blasier 1985: "By the end of the year, the once independent student and labor movements were bent to [Castro's] will…Castro gained control of the government without recourse to free elections" (page 180). "Many of the leaders of government in 1959 who became the political victims of Castro's maneuvers were the very persons on whom U.S. leaders had counted for cooperation" (page 181). "The CIA began to recruit anti-Castro exiles in December 1959, if not before" (page 191).
Thomas 1998: "On 17 December Castro predicted that next year his followers would have to defend the revolution with weapons in hand, for a tremendous campaign against the revolution had been mounted...: this was a step towards the creation of a militia. The month of December 1959 therefore marks a critical stage in the revolutionary development of Cuba, when the government made plain that its enemies would not secure a fair trial" (pages 1256-1257).