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Approaching Havana

2 January 1959
Call number: 
BG E10/963

The guests present at the New Year reception 1959 organized by the Cuban dictator Batista waited in vain for their host. Batista had boarded a DC-4 to the Dominican Republic in an attempt to escape the revolutionary army of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. The revolutionaries already controlled more than half of the island, including the vital sugar cane area. On 2 January Che and three army regiments entered Havana and a general strike broke out. Castro was still in the countryside and chose to move more slowly, probably to be certain of the farmers' support. He arrived a week later in the capital. In a radio speech on 2 January Castro announced the revolution's success.