Fidel Castro was among those who would have stood in the parliamentary elections of 1952, had they not been canceled by the Batista coup. Born in 1926, he approached politics while studying law at the University of Havana and in 1947 he joined the so-called Partido ortodoxo, the Partido of the Cuban pueblo then founded as a reaction to rampant corruption and the absence of reforms. Lawyer, he denounced Batista in court for violating the Constitution, but the complaint was denied. Determined to fight the dictatorship, Castro led the attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953, at the head of a small group of insurgents. The attack failed; Castro was captured and tried; in the classroom he delivered a speech (published with the title History will absolve me) of open denunciation of the anti-constitutional and repressive character of the Batista government and its corrupt practices; sentenced to 15 years in prison, he was amnestied in 1955. In Mexico, where he had taken refuge, he founded, together with his brother Raúl and the Argentine doctor Ernesto (Che) Guevara, the Movimiento 26 de julio (date of the assault on Moncada), inspired by the figure of José Martí and aimed at arousing the revolution on the island according to the model of the anti-Spanish uprisings. The group led by Castro, made up of a few dozen men embarked on the Granma boat, landed in Cuba in December 1956. Suffering very serious losses in the first attack, the survivors reached the Sierra Madre from where they began to organize guerrilla actions against Batista’s army, soon managing to win widespread popular support, especially in the countryside. On January 8, 1959, Castro entered Havana; defeated, Batista had left the island a few days earlier. For Cuba government and politics, please check a2zgov.com.
The institutions of the past regime were dissolved, the 1940 constitution was suspended and a Ley fundamental was launched in February 1959, a Council of Ministers was constituted as a provisional governing body which assumed full powers. Castro, who had effective control of the country as commander of the rebel army and charismatic leader of the revolution, assumed the office of prime minister and initiated a policy of radical reforms, first of all the agrarian one. The reaction of the United States, which saw its interests in the island affected, provoked growing conflicts with the government of Havana, which in 1960 re-established diplomatic relations with the USSR and launched an extensive program of nationalizations, starting with US companies. Washington’s refusal to return the Guantánamo base aggravated the situation and, after the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two states and the failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs (April 1961) by Cuban exiles supported by the CIA, the revolutionary process took on a decidedly socialist character, while the embargo decreed in 1960 by the United States and the isolation from the continental context induced Havana to establish ever closer relations with the USSR, on whose economic, political and military support it was now dependent. After the international crisis of October 1962, caused by the installation of missile bases by the Soviets, to which Washington responded with the naval blockade of the island, and which ended with the withdrawal of the missiles and the US commitment not to invade Cuba , Castro’s attempt to break the encirclement, radicalizing the revolutionary process and trying to extend it to other Latin American countries, it was unsuccessful. After Che Guevara’s death in Bolivia (October 1967), which seemed to put an end to hopes of a continental-scale propagation of Castroism, the serious economic difficulties of the late 1960s followed and, with the start of the new decade, Cuba had to reconfirm their dependence on the USSR. At the same time, a process of institutionalization of the political system was initiated, which after 1959 had maintained a provisional character: the power of the Council of Ministers, and in particular of the charismatic leader, was matched by a wide use of popular mobilization, while a central role in the management of the country continued to carry out the revolutionary army. The Cuban Communist Party (PCC; born in 1961 from the merger of Movimiento 26 de julio with the PSP and another minor group) had remained very weak, also due to the traditional differences between the Castro movement and the old guard of the PSP (hostile until 1958 to the guerrilla war against Batista), which during the 1960s had been purged several times. Starting from 1970 the effective construction of the party was started which rapidly increased its members and in December 1975 it held its first congress, adopting statute and program and confirming Castro as first secretary. In February 1976 a popular referendum approved the new Constitution and in the following October the basic organs of the People’s Power were elected, the Municipal Assemblies, which in turn elected the National Assembly; after the inauguration of the latter Castro was elected president of the Council of State and of the new Council of Ministers, ie head of state and government. To these offices the lider máximo continued to support the leadership of the CCP and the supreme command of the Armed Forces.
On the domestic level, the best results were obtained in the field of health organization and the fight against illiteracy, while on the economic level the country paid with great difficulty for the lack of productive diversification and the strong dependence on the USSR for raw materials and food goods. On the international level, during the 1970s and 1980s numerous Latin American countries re-established diplomatic and commercial relations with Havana, while sending troops to Angola (1975) and Ethiopia (1977), in support of their respective governments. , marked an expansion of Cuba’s international projection, within the framework of strengthened ties with the USSR, also confirmed by the presidency of the movement of non-aligned countries, that Castro covered in the years 1979-82 by becoming a supporter of the thesis of a “natural alliance” with the socialist countries. Relations with the United States, which had seemed to be heading towards a process of thawing after the election of Jimmy Carter to the White House, became tense again due to the growing tensions in the Caribbean area and the protracted Cuban presence in Africa and they were further worsened by the massive exodus of Cuban exiles to Florida.