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The 26th of July Movement ( ; M-26-7) was the revolutionary organization planned and led by Fidel Castro that in 1959 overthrew the Fulgencio Batista government in Cubamarker. The 26th of July Movement fought Batista on both rural and urban fronts.


The 26th of July Movement's name originated from the failed attack on the Moncada Barracksmarker, an army facility in the city of Santiago de Cubamarker, on July 26, 1953. The movement was reorganized in Mexicomarker in 1955 by a group of 82 exiled revolutionaries (including Fidel Castro, his brother Raúl Castro, Camilo Cienfuegos, Huber Matos, and the Argentinianmarker Ernesto "Che" Guevara). Their task was to form a disciplined guerrilla force to overthrow Batista.
Flag of the 26th of July Movement

Role in the Cuban Revolution

On December 2, 1956, 82 men landed in Cuba, having sailed in the boat Granmamarker from Tuxpanmarker, Veracruzmarker, ready to organize and lead a revolution. The early signs were not good for the movement. They landed in daylight and were attacked by the Cuban Air Force, killing most of those who landed. The landing party was split into two and wandered lost for two days, most of their supplies abandoned where they landed. Of the 82 who sailed aboard the Granma, only 12 eventually regrouped in the Sierra Maestramarker mountain range. There they encountered the Cuban Army. Guevara was shot in the neck and chest during the fighting, but was not severely injured. (Guevara, who had studied medicine, continued to give first aid to other wounded guerrillas). This was the opening phase of the war of the Cuban Revolution, which continued for the next two years. It ended in January 1959, after Batista fled Cuba on New Year's Eve when the movement's forces marched into Havanamarker.


After Castro gained control of Cuba, the 26th of July Movement was joined with other bodies to form the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution, which in turn became the Communist Party of Cuba in 1965.

The flag of the 26th of July Movement is on the shoulder of the Cuban military uniform, and continues to be used as a symbol of the Cuban revolution.

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