History Will Absolve Me

History Will Absolve Me

History Will Absolve Me (Spanish:"La historia me absolverá") is the concluding sentence and subsequent title of a four-hour speech made by Fidel Castro on 16 October 1953. Castro made the speech in his own defense in court against the charges brought against him after leading an attack on the Moncada Barracks. Though no record of Castro's words was kept, he reconstructed them later for publication in what was to become the manifesto of his 26th of July Movement.Fact|date=July 2007 The trial helped propel Castro into the public consciousness as a leading figure in the resistance to the government of Fulgencio Batista.

Though sentenced to terms of up to 15 years for their roles in the Moncada attackcref|sentences, all of the rebels were released after an amnesty in 1955. Castro relocated to Mexico before returning to Cuba on the "Granma" yacht alongside other revolutionaries including Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Together they fomented the Cuban revolution that was to take power in 1959.

Castro's first court appearance

Castro made his first court appearance on 21 September 1953 in Santiago, where he defended around 100 other defendants arrested after the Moncada attack. Castro, a qualified lawyer, took on their defense, basing his case on the illegality of the Batista regime and the inherent right of the citizen to rebel against what he perceived to be an illegal government. When asked who was responsible for the attack, Castro replied that "the intellectual author of this revolution is José Martí, the apostle of our independence".

Castro's defense was so successful that only 26 prisoners were found guilty and most were treated leniently. Castro's brother Raúl, a leader of the attack, was sentenced to 13 years on what was then called the Isle of Pines. While he was incarcerated awaiting trial, efforts were made to poison Fidel Castro to prevent him from appearing in court.Hugh Thomas. "Cuba : The pursuit of freedom". p550]

Castro's speech and sentence

called upon the courts to spare Castro's life and sought support from Cuba's upper class Catholic contingent. Though Castro was sentenced to join his brother in prison for 15 years, the trial elevated him to semi-heroic status on the island.

Details of the Speech

Castro's speech contained numerous evocations of the "father of Cuban independence" José Martí, whilst depicting Batista as a tyrant. According to Castro, Batista was a "monstrum horrendum" ... without entrails" who had committed an act of treachery in 1933 when he initiated a coup to oust Cuban president Ramón Grau. Castro went on to speak of the "700,000 unemployed workers", launching an attack on Cuba's extant healthcare and schooling asserting that 30% of Cuba's farm people couldn't even write their own names. In Castro's published manifesto, based on his 1953 speech, he gave details of the "five revolutionary laws" he wished to see implemented on the island.
#The reinstatement of the 1940 Cuban constitution.
#A reformation of land rights.
#The right of industrial workers to a 30% share of company profits.
#The right of sugar workers to receive 55% of company profits.
#The confiscation of holdings of those found guilty of fraud under previous administrative powers.

ee also

*List of speeches

Content notes

cnote|sentences|"A total of 29 rebels came up for trial in Santiago between 21 September and 16 October 1953; four (including Fidel's brother, Raúl) were sentenced to 13 years in prison, 20 to 10 years, three to three years, and the two women to seven months. Fidel Castro received a term of 15 years, following an extempore speech lasting four hours, 'History Will Absolve Me', which he wrote up in prison and smuggled out in matchboxes for publication. It soon became famous as the authoritative political manifesto of 'Castroism'." Source: Volker Skierka, "Fidel Castro: A Biography". Polity Press, 2004, p 36.

ource notes


* Richard Gott. "Cuba : A new history". p. 150-152
* Skierka, Volker. "Fidel Castro: A Biography". Polity (publisher), 2004. ISBN 0-7456-3006-5
* Hugh Thomas. "Cuba : The pursuit of freedom" Book eight.

External links

* [http://www.marxists.org/history/cuba/archive/castro/1953/10/16.htm History Will Absolve Me (The complete speech)]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • History of the Papacy — The History of the Papacy is the history of both the spiritual role and the temporal role over a timespan of almost 2,000 years from the arrival of Peter in Rome to the present day. The office of the Pope is called the Papacy. In addition to his… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Knights Templar — The history of the Knights Templar incorporates about two centuries during the Middle Ages, from the Order s founding in the early 1100s, to when it was disbanded in the early 1300s.Rise..Little was heard of the Order for their first nine years.… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Jews in Germany — Jews have lived in Germany, or Ashkenaz , at least since the early 4th century, through both periods of tolerance and spasms of antisemitic violence, culminating in the Holocaust and the near destruction of the Jewish community in Germany and… …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of Cuban history — The history of Cuba could be divided into four general time periods. The first period being the pre colonial era, when Cuba was inhabited by Amerindian peoples known as the Taíno and Ciboney. The second period, colonial Cuba , begins in 1492,… …   Wikipedia

  • Fidel Castro — Castro in 2003 First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba …   Wikipedia

  • Moncada Barracks — Cuban Revolution Timeline Events Attack on Moncada Barracks History Will Absolve Me speech Granma boat landing Operation Verano Battle of La Plata Battle of Las Mercedes Battle of Yaguajay …   Wikipedia

  • Cuban Revolution — This article is about the 1953 59 Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro. For the Cuban independence conflict of 1868–1878, see Ten Years War. For the independence conflict of 1879–1880, see Little War (Cuba). For for the 1895–1898 conflict with… …   Wikipedia

  • Opportunism — Opportunity Seized, Opportunity Missed. Engraving by Theodoor Galle, 1605. Contents 1 General definition …   Wikipedia

  • List of speeches — This is a list of speeches that have gained notability. They are listed in chronological order. List of famous speeches Before 1900*431 B.C.: Funeral Oration ndash; Pericles *399 B.C.: Apology of Socrates ndash; Plato *63 B.C.: Catalline Orations …   Wikipedia

  • Cuba — Cuban, adj., n. /kyooh beuh/; Sp. /kooh vah/, n. a republic in the Caribbean, S of Florida: largest island in the West Indies. 10,999,041; 44,218 sq. mi. (114,525 sq. km). Cap.: Havana. /kooh bah/, n. Cubba. * * * Cuba Introduction Cuba… …   Universalium

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.