1958 and beyond

  • Communists come around to Castro

    Communists come around to Castro
    The communists, facing increasing attacks from Batista due to the President’s need to identify them with the rebels, begin contacts with Castro’s movement and Guevara. They had previously opposed it.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Ambassador Smith is asked about Castro

    Ambassador Smith is asked about Castro
    The CIA, preferring a pliant Cuba, is generally inclined to diminish the status of Castro and force him to talks. Nonetheless, he does have supporters within the CIA. When Ambassador Smith is asked if he would meet with Castro he responds, simply, no: “The United States Government can only do business with a government that will honor its international obligations and can maintain law and order.”
    Source: Young Castro
  • Lansky and Batista meet

    Lansky and Batista meet
    Date uncertain, early 1958 Batista meets Lansky at Batista's estate. Lansky met with the president in his library office- leaves annoyed, “This guy every time wants more and more.” $1.28 million delivered to Batista came out of that meeting.
    Source: Havana Nocturne
  • Castro promotes his brother and Almeida

    Castro promotes his brother and Almeida
    Raúl and Juan Almeida were given the title of commander, assigning them companies of their own and readying them for new battle fronts in the Sierra Cristal and the Santiago region, respectively. The same month, Castro published a set of criminal and civil codes for the Liberated Territory written by the Movement’s newly appointed judge advocate general, Humberto Sorí Marín, a respected lawyer. The rebels were now governing.
    Source: Young Castro
  • NYPD books Lansky on vagrancy

    NYPD books Lansky on vagrancy
    In connection with the Anastasia murder, they picked him up within hours of getting out of Idlewild airport. They questioned him for 3 hours and he said absolutely refused to cooperate.
    Source: Little Man read full book here
  • Radio Rebelde begins broadcasting

    Radio Rebelde begins broadcasting
    Operating out of the Sierra, the official voice for Castro’s movement begins operating, sending anti-government broadcasts throughout Cuba.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Meyer beats vagrancy charge

    Meyer beats vagrancy charge
    Manhattan arrest court determined the vagrancy charge was clearly bogus, born out of "social undesirability".
    Source: Little Man read full book here
  • Batista postpones elections from June to November

    Batista postpones elections from June to November
    He is about to start the biggest offensive of the war so far, and does not feel entirely safe in stepping off the pedal now.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Raul arrives at Sierra Cristal

    Raul arrives at Sierra Cristal
    Initially burning sugar cane fields was his main activity, but by the summer the front's efforts included attacks on the US naval base at Guantanamo and kidnap Americans in Cuba to cease all assistance to Batista, which caused an uproar.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Total War Manifesto

    Total War Manifesto
    Pressured by other leaders and a call to general strike, against his better judgement, Castro signs off on this. It calls for a general strike backed by intensified military operations throughout Oriente and Las Villas provinces. Sierra needed resources, general strikes did not work, it was a bad diversion of strength.
    Source: Young Castro
  • U.S. Suspends Shipment of Arms to Cuba

    U.S. Suspends Shipment of Arms to Cuba
    No more arms would be sent to Batista’s government, except exchanges on faulty materials. This shattered Batista’s morale, as he saw his old friends abandoning him.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • General Strike fails

    General Strike fails
    The failed strike was cataclysmic for the (urban movement) Llano, which never recovered. The strike was a big moral defeat, Castro told Celia Sánchez, leaving him no choice but “to assume responsibility for the stupidity of the rest.” Government touted its failure as a sign of strength. Castro had undisputed control now.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Batista’s big push

    Batista’s big push
    The only major offensive of the war, Operation Verano. 12,000 men, seventeen battalions, each with a tank company, naval and air support. They will engage in a series of battles and be defeated, as around 7,000 of the men were fresh recruits and morale was low.
  • Battle erupts for capture of La Plata, Fidel's headquarters

    Battle erupts for capture of La Plata, Fidel's headquarters
    Castro would later refer to this as D-Day. Quevedo's 18th battalion was ambushed and forced to dig in. Reinforcements were called and their retreat was cut off. The rebels had similar success on the other side of the mountain, with sets of well- placed troops stopping the 11th and 22nd Battalions in their tracks. Not an absolute victory, but staved off the army's advance.
  • Raul captures Americans

    Raul captures Americans
    Raúl Castro, infuriated by evidence that Batista was skirting the embargo and that his bombers were refueling at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, captured a busload of U.S. marines on liberty outside the boundary of the naval base. Castro contacts Smith promising release if all arm shipments stop.
    Succeeded, U.S. government demanded Batista stop bombing raids lest he kill Americans.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Lansky visits Dominican Republic

    Lansky visits Dominican Republic
    He had been on a tour of the Caribbean due to the revolution. He had put all his chips on Batista, but with his forces crumbling, it seemed wise to diversify the portfolio.
    Source: Havana Nocturne
  • Pact of Caracas signed by Castro

    Pact of Caracas signed by Castro
    The Cuban exiles including Prio signed yet another pact, this one with Castro after his successes. It established a new civilian revolutionary front on the terms Castro had set out in the Sierra Maestra Manifesto the previous year, and called for the U.S. to stop aiding Batista.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Battle of Jigüe comes to an end

    Battle of Jigüe comes to an end
    The troops, treated to constant ambushes, mine fields, propaganda by Castro that they were not the enemy, were keen to surrender. Major José Quevedo, a former classmate of Fidel’s at the University of Havana, surrenders, and joins Fidel.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Battle of Las Mercedes

    Battle of Las Mercedes
    Last major battle of Operation Verano. While it was a draw ended by a cease-fire that held a serious possibility of the rebels being wiped out, the cease-fire demoralized Batista's troops and allowed the rebels to slink back up the mountains. Castro begins communication with Batista's troops afterward.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Massive setbacks in Operation Verano

    Massive setbacks in Operation Verano
    By August, the 11th, 18th, 19th, and 22nd battalion had collapsed or surrendered. Castro acquired weapons, army codes, and prisoners. Batista’s high command suppressed the losses, Castro broadcast them from the Sierra.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Castro reaches out to General Cantillo

    Castro reaches out to General Cantillo
    Cantillo had a sterling reputation, and Castro offered to send back political prisoners. Cantillo refused, he wanted Quevedo back. Castro explained he could not do this. He didn't expect replies, he just wanted to pester and sow dissent among the high command.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Construction of The Monte Carlo begins

    Construction of The Monte Carlo begins
    It was supposed to breathtaking: a massive, all-encompassing resort complex with a marina, interior canals and berths for yachts, a landing pad for helicopters and hydroplanes, and a golf course, along with the usual casino, nightclub, piano lounge, restaurant, etc. A company called La Compañía Hotelera de Monte Carlo was to run it, Frank Sinatra had a stake.
    Source: Havana Nocturne
  • Batista’s army withdraws from the Orient

    Batista’s army withdraws from the Orient
    His forces terribly demoralized and unable to make headway, Batista's big push has failed.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Laws 2 and 3 of the Liberated Territory of Cuba

    Laws 2 and 3 of the Liberated Territory of Cuba
    Law No. 2 forbade citizens of Oriente Province from participating in the upcoming presidential election. Law No. 3 promised to diversify Cuban agriculture and industry by offering incentives, tariff protection, and credit to stimulate private enterprise- but also, redistribution to poor farmers.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Comandante Camilo Cienfuegos arrives near Santa Clara

    Comandante Camilo Cienfuegos arrives near Santa Clara
    Castro had sent Cienfuegos and Guevera to the central provinces for an offensive, thinking the war was nearing an end.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Sham election

    Sham election
    Rivero Aguero, Batista’s successor, elected in sham election. Ballots were rigged before the election and distributed by the army. Rivero maintained Batista’s position of victory only through force. Batista remains in charge of the army.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Rebel army survives onslaught in march to Santiago

    Rebel army survives onslaught in march to Santiago
    Castro and his forces embarked on a 4 week march, surviving air raids and Sherman tanks. Their lines did not break. Over the course of the next month, the rebels marched inexorably on Santiago, surrounding and taking the towns along the way. The ghting remained hotly contested through the end of the year. But the odds were now overwhelmingly in Castro’s favor.
    Source: Young Castro
  • CIA diplomat Pawley speaks with Batista

    CIA diplomat Pawley speaks with Batista
    Businessman and ex-diplomat William Pawley sent by the CIA to talk to Batista and convince him to step down and live in Daytona Beach. Could not assure that the U.S. government would carry out its side of the bargain. Batista turns him down.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • United States abandons Batista

    United States abandons Batista
    The State Department and CIA disavows Batista’s successor. Recognition would not be forthcoming. Ambassador Smith says the U.S. will not continue supporting the government.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Ambassador Smith and Batista talk

    Ambassador Smith and Batista talk
    Smith tells Batista to leave, that the U.S. cannot secure him in Daytona and that he should try Spain.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Batista meets with generals

    Batista meets with generals
    instead of surrendering, Batista inquires how to stop the disintegration of his troops, who give up without fighting. He seems a bit headless and his generals begin plotting against him.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Batista refuses aid from Dominican Dictator Trujillo

    Batista refuses aid from Dominican Dictator Trujillo
    Trujillo offered to land 2,000 men in the Sierra and 2,000 in Santa Clara. Batista rebuffs him.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Brigadier General Tabernilla tells Batista the war is lost

    Brigadier General Tabernilla tells Batista the war is lost
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Sancti Spiritus Surrenders

    Sancti Spiritus Surrenders
    Guevara blitzes through Las Villas, winning victory after victory and catching Batista off guard.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Che Guevara reaches Santa Clara

    Che Guevara reaches Santa Clara
    He arrived at the university on the outskirts of the city. On the 30th they tear up train tracks and ambush 350 officers and enlisted men, getting them to surrender.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Batista’s children secretly leave Havana

    Batista’s children secretly leave Havana
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Batista tells General Tabernilla he is leaving

    Batista tells General Tabernilla he is leaving
    Batista’s date to leave is January 6th or earlier. At the same time a conspiracy exists within the army to not let him flee. He had no plans for those who had supported him, no junta he was giving power to, a bit aimless.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Batista says goodbye

    Batista says goodbye
    Batista gathers his supporters and army men in Camp Columbia as the New Year dawns and says he is leaving, offers seats on planes, plans to designate the oldest judge in the Supreme Court provisional president.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Cantillo gives in to Castro

    Cantillo gives in to Castro
    At 3 PM, after a sit down and Castro's refusal to join a military junta, Cantillo gave up. Combined forces would hold the Orient while Cantillo would go to Havana and arrest Batista.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Che mops up with Santa Clara

    Che mops up with Santa Clara
    Batista has his bags packed by this point.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Lansky spends New Year partying

    Lansky spends New Year partying
    The official word at the hotel was that Mr. Lansky’s ulcers were bothering him; he would be spending most of the evening in his room on the twentieth floor. According to Lansky’s driver, Armando Jaime, this was a ruse. Even though Teddy, his wife, was in town, Lansky had chosen to spend New Year’s Eve with his mistress, Carmen.
    Source: Havana Nocturne
  • Batista flees Cuba

    Batista flees Cuba
    Batista flies at 3 AM to the Dominican Republic, with a net worth of 300 or 400 million dollars.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Batista denied entry into the United States

    Batista denied entry into the United States
    Eventually Salazar, Prime Minister of Portugal grants him entrance, under the condition he stays out of politics.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here
  • Victorious Castro speaks from balcony in Santiago City Hall

    Victorious Castro speaks from balcony in Santiago City Hall
    He spoke of the revolution, was light on details, and insisted he himself did not seek political office. Santiago de Cuba declared the capital, on the authority of a "provisional president". Castro then announced that Manuel Urrutia, a former judge, would be inaugurated provisional president the next day in Santiago by virtue of his being “elected by the people.”
    Source: Young Castro
  • Lansky finds out Batista fled, gathers cash

    Lansky finds out Batista fled, gathers cash
    At around 1:30 AM he gets the word. Lansky gets to work, planning stops at every casino to get the money and hide it since he fears crowds taking the streets. Lansky was right, the casinos slow to close were trashed, including the Plaza and Trafficante's joints.
    Source: Havana Nocturne
  • Mirta leaves to Spain

    Mirta leaves to Spain
    According to Juanita, Castro's sister, Castro left her leave to Spain and come back whenever she wanted to spend time with Fidelito or the family. The two are on decent terms, and Raul Castro provides her with chauffeur, housing, medical attention and whatever else she needs upon her returns. It is unclear where Mirta lives today, though she travels back and forth from Spain to Cuba.
    Source: Fidel y Raúl, mis hermanos
  • Lansky leaves Cuba

    Lansky leaves Cuba
    He had stuck around a few days to see what Cuba was turning into, as well as tying up lose ends. He was scheduled to testify before another senatorial committee and kept in touch with the FBI about his whereabouts. He would be back within a month to continue trying to oversee casinos, but it became clear he couldn't deal with the rebels, and with dwindling profits and rebels in the counting rooms, he believed Castro was a Marxist.
    Source: Havana Nocturne
  • Castro arrives in Havana

    Castro arrives in Havana
    Castro’s final stop on his victory caravan was Camp Columbia. Elections would be held. ‘It is not fair that the cult of personality and ambition endanger the destiny of the revolution,’ he said. ‘We cannot become dictators.’ During the first week in Santiago after Castro left, Raúl Castro and his men carried out over one hundred executions.
    Source: Young Castro
  • Naty and Fidel fizzle out

    Naty and Fidel fizzle out
    Naty Revuelta leaves to see Fidel's caravan. She is handed a white flower thrust in her hand which she hands to Fidel. He replies "Mañana te mando a buscar.” (“Tomorrow, I’ll send for you.”) Fidel begins coming erratically, not visiting for months. By the end of 1960, he didn’t come at all. Naty wrote 2 unsanswered letters. She tells her husband that Alina is not Fidel's. He takes their child Nina and leaves to the U.S. after his clinic is nationalized.
  • Lansky's Riviera is Nationalized

    Lansky's Riviera is Nationalized
    It is unknown how much of his own money went into it, but the Riviera had cost $8-12 million to build, and with profits of $3 million annually, dwindling, it did not turn a profit a single month while operating under the Castro regime. Lansky had dipped into his own pocket to keep it open.
    Source: Havana Nocturne
  • Fidel posts Naty to the Cuban embassy in Paris

    Fidel posts Naty to the Cuban embassy in Paris
    He was eager to be rid of his tiresome former mistress and an eight-year-old daughter.
    Source: Havana Dreams
  • Naty tells Alina that Fidel is her father

    Naty tells Alina that Fidel is her father
    Alina finds out her true parentage. Only rarely included in the Castro family festivities—and then only by Raúl Castro and his wife —she wouldn’t even be introduced to Fidel’s sons, her half-brothers. She would see Castro 2 more times
    “I was born,” Alina has often said, “just to improve my mother’s position with Fidel. And because of me, she has received privileges that might not otherwise have been hers. That’s all.”
    Source: Havana Dreams
  • Batista passes away

    Batista passes away
    He died of a heart attack on August 6, 1973 at Guadalmina, Spain. Spent his later years in idleness, writing self-serving, misleading books justifying his actions.
    Source: New York Times Obituary
  • Lansky passes away

    Lansky passes away
    After a protracted battle with cancer, he died at 82. Meyer Lansky’s entire estate amounted to fifty-seven thousand dollars cash, he was flat broke.
    Source: Little Man read full book here
  • Naty Revuelta passes away

    Naty Revuelta passes away
    She reunited with Alina, who escaped in the 90s to the U.S., in 2014. She died without bitterness for Castro, saying he put the revolution ahead of his personal life, though it was hard to get over that.
    Obituary from The Guardian found here
  • Fidel Castro dies

    Fidel Castro dies
    Of natural causes, Fidel passed away at 90. He was cremated, and the ashes made a journey across the island that replicated his triumphal march from Havana to Santiago in reverse, where he was buried in the same cemetery as Jose Marti. He is not to have statues, or new constructions named after him.
    NY Times Obituary found here