Fidel Castro: History Will Absolve Me

(1953)

On October 16, 1953, Fidel Castro delivered his now famous speech History Will Absolve Me, while on trial for having led 113 Cuban revolutionaries in an attack on the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba on July 26. The site served as the headquarters of the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista’s military in the southern region of Cuba and was therefore one of the most important military posts in the country. Castro and his men were fighting to overturn the rule of Batista, who had seized power on March 10, 1952, in a coup d’état. Castro’s plan failed, and he and many of his troops were captured by Batista’s army and put on trial. Although the Moncada Barracks attack failed, it signaled the beginning of the Cuban Revolution against Batista and brought Castro into the international spotlight. Castro had been educated as a lawyer and was acting as his own attorney when he delivered his History Will Absolve Me speech, which was later published in full. Over two...

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Fidel Castro (Library of Congress)

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