Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fidel's Famous Fiasco

It's been half a millennium for Santiago de Cuba, so naturally it's time to celebrate the Castros' heroism (that's their story, and they're sticking to it);
The emblematic site of the Moncada Barracks is preparing to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the heroic deeds lead by Fidel Castro on July 26, 1953, and the 500th anniversary of the founding of Santiago.
The heroic deeds being Fidel and Raul getting their men slaughtered (mostly) in an ill-planned and executed assault on an army base in July 1953. According to Georgie Anne Geyer, who knew Fidel personally in the 1960s, the Maximum Leader to be, forgot his glasses and barely got to the site of the assault himself, since he couldn't see to drive.

Fidel had summoned his men from all over Cuba to an old farmhouse he'd rented outside Santiago, ostensibly for Carnival on July 25th. Then he told them (according to Geyer's Guerilla Prince) the real reason they were there;
"We will attack at dawn," he went on, "when the guards are only half awake and the officers are still sleeping off their drunkenness from last night's Carnival parties. It will be a surprise attack and should not last more than ten minutes."
Well, the surprise turned out to be on them, as the over 1,000 soldiers in the barracks easily handled the attack by a little over 100 Fidelistas. As Fidel himself was warned would happen by his own doctor--madness, even a crime--a few hours before the attack was launched. That doctor was killed a few hours later by Batista's army.

Fidel and Raul seeing the disaster developing, took off the uniforms that covered civilian clothes and simply walked away into the Carnival crowds. The Castros' soldiers who weren't killed in the fighting were later tortured to death.

Party like it's 1953.

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