Assault to the Moncada Barracks
The assault to the Moncada Barracks, in 1953 were the headquarters of the regiment "Antonio Maceo" in the city of Santiago de Cuba, capital of the eastern county. For its importance, Moncada was the second military fort of the country, occupied by about a thousand men under the command of Fulgencio Batista.
March 10 1952, Fulgencio Batista gave a coup d'etat allied with the yankee imperialism that sank the island in a deep prostration, an awful delay, a big political crisis, and it established a bloody dictatorship.
A group of young of Orthodox Party having conscience of the graveness in that this man had sunk to the country and of the absence of a political force able to face and to overthrow to the tyranny, led by Fidel Castro, it was given to the task of preparing, this assault, action that was carried out July 26 1953 and it marked the beginning of the last stage of the fight of the town for their total liberation.
The assault to the Moncada Barracks marked rule in the definition of the revolutionary victory in what concerns to independece war, since soon after the people known the objectives and they were called to be incorporated to the fight.
The plan was elaborated in secret at all. Besides Fidel Castro, it were knew only for two partners of this movement and the responsible one in Santiago de Cuba.
They had two Leadership Committees: one military, to the Fidel's control, and another civilian, directed by Abel Santamaría. Also, it was about a selective organization. For orientations of Fidel, their members were recruited between the classes and sectors humble of the population: workers, peasants, employees, modest professionals. They were preferably young people, unaware to all personal ambition, not infected for bad habits of the traditional politics.
The weapons, uniforms and all necessary resources for the fight were obtained without appealing to the help of wealthy people neither of political corrupt. Their acquisition was possible fundamentally for the will and the personal sacrifice of the own combatants.
The date chosen for the action was July 26 because this day was Sunday of carnival, traditionally party which the people of different points of the island attend, reason why the presence of young of other counties would go unnoticed.
In the dawn of that day, 135 combatants, dresses with uniforms of the Army and led by Fidel, check out the attack plan. They were organized in three groups, the first one with Fidel, it would attack the quarter. The other two groups led by Abel Santamaría (second officer in command of the movement) and Raúl Castro, would take two contiguous important buildings: the Civil Hospital and The Court House.
When everything was ready, it was given reading to the "Manifesto del Moncada", wrote by the young poet Raúl Gómez García under Fidel orientation.
The surprise, main factor of the success, it wasn’t achieved. The fight was begun outside of the El Cuartel Moncada and it was prolonged in a combat of positions. The rebels has a confrontation with a superior enemy in weapons and men, retrenched inside that strength.
Understanding that to continue the fight under those conditions was a massive suicide, Fidel ordered the retreat.
Immediately after these facts, the dictatorship reacted with a brutal repression, where Batista transformed to El Cuartel Móncada into a torture and death workroom, and some unworthy men transformed the military uniform into butchers' aprons to execute each participants of so transcendental act.
After the victory of the revolution El Cuartel Moncada was transformed into a school city that it took the name of School "Ciudad Escolar 26 de Julio" and a space of her was devoted to Museum on the facts related with the assault.