On this day 69 years ago, the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro and the “Movement of July 26” began, lasting 5.5 years and ending with the flight of dictator Fulgencio Batista. The goal was to restore the constitution, which had been partially suspended by Batista, including all basic democratic rights and land reform.

In 1952, the former elected president and then senator Fulgencio Batista putsched the incumbent president Carlos Prio with the military. He immediately suspended the scheduled elections and dissolved the Senate and Chamber of Deputies. As a result, numerous resistance movements were formed, the most important and best known of which was Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement, later joined by Che Guevara. After a failed lawsuit against Batista’s seizure of power, Castro organized the storming of the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953. The approximately 140 fighters attempted to storm the barracks with 400 soldiers in order to incite the Cuban population to a violent revolution. The attempt failed and the storm ended in a bloodbath, but made Fidel Castro known nationwide.

The second approach to revolution followed in 1956, the rebels settled in the Sierra Maestra and were able to achieve greater and greater successes in guerrilla battles against Batista’s army and recruit more and more fighters. Finally, 1958 was the year of the revolutionary offensive. Two groups were to attack Santiago de Cuba and Havana and seize power; the successful attack ended with Batista’s escape on January 1, 1959. As a result, the U.S. restricted the economic aid it had been paying under Batista and imposed a trade embargo; the CIA also had plans to eliminate Castro as head of state.

For a long time, the “Humboldt House” in Aachen was named after the revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, until the 1990s it was called Che House.