Moncada assailants release; 68 years of Cuban victory

Havana, May 16.- The release from prison of the Moncada´s garrison assailants, 68 years ago, was a victory for the Cuban people, that sealed the rising of the revolutionary movement that would bear the name: “26 of July”.
With the confinement of the survivors of the massacre perpetrated by the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista (1955-1956) against the fighters of the fortresses: Moncada in Santiago de Cuba and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes in Bayamo, in 1953, the tyrant intended to suppress the uprising and punish in an exemplary manner the audacity of those who took up arms.

The popular pressure forced the regime to grant amnesty to Fidel Castro and his comrades. They were released on May 15, 1955, after 19 months at the National Prison for Men in the Isle of Pines, also known as the “Presidio Modelo” (Model Prison).

The 30 revolutionaries should have been released on May 13. As it did not occur on that date, so the Cuban people, fearing that the revolutionary leaders could be murdered, turned to a permanent mobilization in front of the prison until the amnesty became effective.

On May 16, after a press briefing at the Isla de Pinos Hotel, Fidel Castro delivered t the reporters the “Manifiesto al Pueblo de Cuba,(Declaration to the Cuban People), in which he reaffirmed his intention to continue the struggle after his release, the fight “without rest or diversion,” “relentlessly,” until Cuba reached its victory.

Fidel Castro, a few years later, reflected on the meaning of his imprisonment: “(…) we went to the prisons with our goals and our dreams, so there, after long months of imprisonment, we could come to fruition the idea that we carried inside us, the objectives that encouraged us to give the first battle, to persist in our goals, in regardless of the adversity of that minute, to persist in our goal (…)”.

(Taken from Prensa Latina)