Castro Timeline

  • Nikita Khrushchev

    April 15, 1894 to Septemper 11, 1971
    Nikita Khruschev was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964. He carried out de-Stalinization as well as managed the Cuban Missile Crisis and the early Soviet space program. Khrushchev and Kennedy resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis before it turned into a nuclear war. Khrushchev was removed from power in a conspiracy headed by Leonid Brezhnev on October 14, 1964.
  • Jose Marti

    Jose Marti killed on this date by Spanish troops.Jose Marti was a revolutionary known as the Apostle who led the Second War of Independence (1895 to 1898).
  • Teller Amendment

    U.S. cannot annex Cuba. Control of the island must be kept with Cubans.
  • Herbert Matthews

    January 10, 1900 to July 30, 1977
    Herbert Matthews interviewed Castro in the Sierra Maestra in February 1957 as a foreign correspondent of the New York Times. He revealed that, contrary to Batista's claim, Castro was still alive. This brought renewed support to the 26th of July Movement, which began to expand in the urban sector as well.
  • Fulgencio Batista

    January 16, 1901 to Augst 6, 1973
    Batista was first the elected president and later the dictator of Cuba. From 1933 to 1940, he controlled the government as the chief of armed forces. In 1952, he became dictator by means of a coup. As dictator, he established a high degree of censorship. After being defeated by Castro's revolution, he sought asylum in Portugal.
  • Platt Amendment

    Gave U.S. permission to be involved in Cuba.
  • Manuel Urrutia

    Demeber 8, 1901 to July 5, 1981
    Manuel Urrutia was the President of Cuba following Castro's victory. He was appointed by Castro. Urrutia closed down brothels and casinos in Havana, but Castro intervened with the argument that people needed a stay of execution, or alternative jobs. Castro then lowered the salaries of government officials, including Urrutia. Castro forced Urrutia to resign after Urrutia proclaimed his anti-Communist views in interviews.He was replaced by Osvaldo Dorticós.
  • Leonid Brezhnev

    December 19, 1906 to November 10, 1982.
    Leonid Brezhnev was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982. During the Brezhnev years in Cuba, Cuba received an enourmous amount of economic aid from Soviet Union. This was the height of Cuban-Soviet relations.
  • Ronald Reagan

    Februaru 6, 1911 to June 5, 2004.
    President Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States from 1981 to 1989.
  • Richard Nixon

    January 9, 1913 to April 22, 1994
    President Richard Nixon was the Republican President of the United States from 1969 to 1974, when he resigned. Nixon reaffirmed the agreement between Kennedy and Khrushchev that the United States would not invade Cuba. Nixon also helped organize and fund a a coup against Marxist President Salvador Allende of Chile. Allende was killed in the coup and General Augosto Pinochet took power.
  • John F. Kennedy

    May 29, 1917 to November 22, 1963
    President John F. Kennedy was the Democratic President of the United States from January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963. He assumed power during the main events of the Cold War, including the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Wall, and the space race. He also handled the Civil Rights movement in the United States. He was assassinated and President Lyndon B. Johnson took power.
  • Jimmy Carter

    October 1, 1924 to present.
    President Jimmy Carter was the President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. Carter tried to open up relations between the United States and Cuba.
  • Popular Socialist Party

    1925 to 1961
    The Popular Socialist Party was the Communist party of Cuba. This party gave its support to both Gerado Machado and Fulgencio Batista. After joining Fidel Castro in the 26th of July Movement, Communists had a significant role in the government, influencing Castro's own ideology. The party merged into the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations in 1961 to form the Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC).
  • Anastasio Somoza

    Anastasio Somoza was the President of Nicaragua from December 1, 1974 to July 17, 1979. He was overthrown by the FSLN Sandinistas, backed by the United States.
  • Ernesto Che Guevara

    Born on June 14, 1928, Ernesto Che Guevara was one of Fidel Castro's closest advisors. He, along with the Castro brothers, participated in guerilla warfare and planned the revolution.
    Born in Argentina.
    Representation of revolution.
    Killed by Bolivian troops on October 9, 1967.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev

    March 2, 1931 to present.
    Mikhail Gorbachev was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1988 to 1989. He served until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Gorbachev's rule marked the end of Soviet economic aid to Cuba. The Soviet Union now wanted Cuba to repay its debts. The collapse of the Soviet Union began the Special Period in Cuba.
  • Raúl Castro

    June 3, 1931 to present
    Raúl Castro is the brother of Fidel Castro. Raúl Castro and Fidel Castro did not support Fulgencio Batista's regime and started the 26th of July Movement. After conduting guerilla warfare in the Sierra Maestra, the Castro brothers successfully overthrew Batista. Fidel Castro assumed power and delegated many responsibilities to Raúl. Today, Raúl Castro is the President of Cuba.
  • José Antonio Echeverría

    July 16, 1932 to March 13, 1957
    President of Federación Estudiantíl Universitaria (FEU)
    José Antonio Echeverría was the leader of the Revolutionary Directorate (Directo Revolucionario), a militant organization that supported the 26th of July Movement. The Revolutionary Directorate attempted to assassinate Batista in the Presidential Palace. The attack was unsuccessful and José Antonio Echeverría was killed at the Havana radio station that he would have used to spread news of Batista's death.
  • Auténtico Party (Partido Auténtico)

    1934 to 1953
    The Auténtico Party was a nationalist political party that had the motto, "Cuba para los cubanos." It supported labor unions. It heavily influenced the 1940 Constitution and had two of its members, Ramón Grau San Martín and Carlos Prío Socarrás, be Presidents of Cuba. The Auténtico Party lost power to Fulgencio Batista in 1954.
  • Frank País

    December 7, 1934 to July 30, 1957
    Urban coordinator of the 26th of July Movement
    Killed by Cuban Santiago police
  • Ortodoxo Party (Partido Ortodoxo)

    1947 to 1952
    This party was founded by Eduardo Chibás and sought to implement economic reforms. In 1952, the party's candidate Roberto Agramonte was predicted to win the presidential election but the election did not occur due to Fulgencio Batista's coup. Fidel Castro was a member of this party.
  • OAS- Organization of American States

    The Organization of American States as it stands today was formed on this date, while the idea itself stemmed from the Pan American Union. Today, it has 35 member countries. In 1962, the OAS suspended Cuba from being a full member of the OAS with representatives. The United States played a key role in achieving this. The reason given was the fact that the other American States could not align with the Marxist-Leninist government of Cuba. Cub's suspension was lifted in 2009.
  • CTC

    Confederación de Trabajadores de Cuba.
  • Moncada Barracks

    Fidel Castro attacked this barracks unsuccessfully. This gave birth to the 26th July movement.
  • History will absolve me

    Castro made this four-hour long speech in his defense for the trial of the attack on the Moncada barracks.
  • Five Revolutionary Laws

    Based on his "History will absolve me" speech, Castro published the five revolutionary laws:
    1. The 1940 Cuban Constitution would be reinstated.
    2. Land reform would occur.
    3. Industrial workers would receive a 30% share of profits.
    4. Sugar workers would receive a 55% share of profits.
    5. Fraudulent officlals would have their land confiscated.
  • Guatemala 1954

    June 18, 1954 to June 27, 1954
    The CIA engineered a coup that overthrew President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán due especially to the threat to the United Fruit Company from Árbenz' land reform. This caused Che Guevara, in Guatemala at the time, to become anti-imperialist and against the United States. President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán was in power from 1951 to 1954.
  • Mexico

    Fidel Castro and Raul Castro went to Mexico after their release from prison. There they recruited more rebels, including Che Guevara. To gain money, Castro visited the United States. After being arrested by Mexican police, the rebels were soon released. The rebels trained in guerilla warfare and revolutionary tactics in Mexico. They left Mexico on the Granma on November 25, 1956.
  • Granma

    Scheduled landing: November 30, 1956
    Actual landing: December 2nd, 1956
    The route that the Granma took from Mexico emulated the route Jose Marti had taken when he had begun the Cuban war for independence. The delay of the mission proved disastrous for the rebels both at sea and in Cuba. A uprising designed to correspond with the Granma landing on November 30 failed, and only 12 of the 82 rebels from the Granma made it to the Sierra Maestra.
  • Sierra Maestra

    December 5, 1956 to August 21, 1958
    After the Granma landing, an attack by Batista's troops left only 20 survivors of the original 82 rebels. These rebels travelled to the Sierra Maestra, where they began to raid military bases to gain weapons. The rebels conducted guerilla warfare in the Sierra Maestra. Their stay in the Sierra Maestra concluded with the rebel offensive.
  • January 1959 - Havana

    On this date, Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba, making the Cuban Revolution victorious. Batista's escape was prompted by the Battle of Santa Clara, in which Cuban revolutionary forces seized Santa Clara. On January 2, 1959, Comandante William Alexander Morgan seized the city of Cienfuegos.
  • Agrarian Reform Act

    This act, implemented on this date, limited the size of land holdings in Cuba to 402 hectares (1000 acres). All land that fell outside these regulations (40%) was expropriated and distributed in plots of 27 hectares to farmers and peasants. This law was maintained by the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA). The United States opposed this act due to inadequate compensation. This led to Castro nationalizing United States property and the United States placing a trade embargo on Cuba.
  • INRA - Instituto Nacional de Reforma Agraria

    This agency was created to implement the Agrarian Reform Act. Che Guevara was the Minister of Industries. The INRA had its own militia headed by Raúl Castro to carry out expropriation. It financed many construction projects.
  • Sugar Quota

    The sugar quota was reduced due to Castro's nationalization of the three major United States oil refineries in Cuba. After the United States pressured the oil companies not to refine imported Soviet oil in April 1960, Castro seized the properties. The United States responded by passing a bill that reduced the sugar quota, leaving Castro with 700,000 tons of sugar to be sold. The Soviet Union bought this suplus, starting the relationship between it and Cuba.
  • OPEC - Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

    The OPEC regulates oil prices on the international market.
  • US Trade Embargo

    The United States implemented a trade embargo on Cuba excluding food and medicine after Cuba had nationalized all United States property on Cuba. It was strengthened even further on February 7, 1962. The trade embargo forced Cuba to realign its economy with that of the Soviet Union.
  • Literacy Campaign

    In this campaign, Castro sought to eliminate illiteracy in Cuba. He shut down schools for the entire year and encouraged urban volunteers to go to rural areas and teach illiterate people how to read and write. This campaign was a success, with the literacy rate increasing from 60-76% to 96%. 707,212 people were taught to read and write.
  • Sandinistas

    The Sandinistas are the members of the Sandinista National Liberation Front that overthrew Anastasio Somoza.
  • Bay of Pigs

    April 17, 1961 to April 19, 1961
    The United States trained a miitary group comprised of Cuban exiles and sent them to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. The attack was unsuccessful and gave Castro an immense boost in his confidence, as he was the only Latin American leader to stand up to the United States and win.
  • NAM - Non-Aligned Movement

    The Non-Aligned Movement is an organization of countries who choose not to align themselves with any major power. Castro gave a speech during the Havana Declaration of 1979 in which he outlined the purpose of the organization as to ensure the independence and sovereignty of non-aligned countries in their struggle against colonialism and foreign aggression.
  • Operation Mongoose

    Operation Mongoose, otherwise known as the Cuban Project, went into effect on this date. It was a CIA operation that sought to remove Castro and the Communist regime from power in Cuba. This operation was initiated after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Operation Mongoose consisted of sabotage, assassination schemes, and terrorism. These included poisoning Castro's cigar, contaminating his coating with thallium in order to make his beard fall out.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    October 16, 1962 to October 28, 1962
    The Soviet Union had installed ballistic nuclear weapons in Cuba. After a United States spy plane took photographs of the missile sites, the United States confronted the Soviet Union openly and demanded removal of the missiles. This was followed by a United States naval blockade around Cuba. The Soviet Union agreed to remove the Cuban missiles, and the United States agreed not to invade Cuba and secretly to remove its Jupiter missiles in Turkey.
  • PCC - Partido Comunista de Cuba

    The PCC is the governing Communist party in Cuba today. It was formed from the merge of previous organizations. The Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ORI) was formed by the merging of the 26th of July Movement, the Popular Socialist Party, and the Revolutionary Directorate. The ORI then became the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution (PURSC), which then became the PCC. The First Secretary of the party was Fidel Castro and now is Raúl Castro.
  • Camarioca Exodus

    October 10, 1965 to November 15, 1965
    Castro allowed any Cubans who wished to leave Cuba to do so during these dates. 2797 Cubans left during the Camarioca Exodus.
  • Rectification Campaign

    In the Rectification Campaign, Castro elimintated all private sales, including farmers' markets and small food stalls.
  • Prague Spring

    January 5. 1968 to August 21, 1968.
    The Prague Spring was a movement that supported political liberalization in Czechoslovakia. It was started and led by Alexander Dubček. The movement was crushed by Soviet troops and other Warsaw Pact members. While Cubans expected Castro to stand up against the Soviet Union and support the Prague Spring, Castro supported the invasion by the Soviet Union and began a period of even stricter government control in Cuba.
  • Ten Million Tons - Sugar Harvest

    The Ten Million Ton Sugar Harvest was designed to test the capability of the Cuban economy. By then end of 1970, however, only 7,558,569 tons of sugar had been produced. The problems lay in the Soviet machinery, which was larger in size than the previously-used United States machinery. In addition, there were no qualified officials in the fields to monitor the harvest. Castro used moral incentives and propaganda campaigns to keep workers motivated.
  • Angola

    After Portugal announced the date for Angolan independence, three major organizations began to vie for power. These included the MPLA, backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba; the FNLA; and UNITA. Cuba intervened militarily in order to encourage the establishment of a Marxist-Leninist government in Angola. The United States initially assumed that the Soviet Union was behind Cuba's actions, but this was not the case. Cuba withdrew from Angola in 1991.
  • Mariel Boat Lift

    April 15, 1980 to October 31, 1980
    The Mariel Boat Lift was a mass exodus of Cuban refugees from Cuba to the United States. This exodus was sparked by 5 Cubans who ran a bus into the Peruvian embassy in order to gain political asylum. Soon thousands of Cubans went to the Peruvian embassy until Castro announced the exodus. All Cuban refugees were taken to Miami. Castro tricked the United States into accepting prisoners, convicts, and mentally ill patients along with normal Cuban citizens.