With the death of Fidel Castro, historians are looking back on his remarkable life. Few are aware that before the revolution, he made a life changing journey to Mexico.
CCTV’s Franc Contreras reports.
Follow Franc Contreras on Twitter @FrancMex
The birth of the Cuban Revolution traces back in MexicoWith the death of Fidel Castro, historians are looking back on his remarkable life. Few are aware that before the revolution, he made a life changing journey to Mexico. CCTV’s Franc Contreras reports.
Before he became the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro traveled to Mexico. He had just been released from a Cuban prison.
Mexican police were constantly on his trail. Still, Castro decided to live in a neighborhood, which was recently proclaimed a historic site.
Castro lived at Jose Emparan, apartment number 49, a fairly small place with one bedroom. The bedroom was where Fidel Castro spent his nights and supposedly planned his attack on former Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista and his government.
In Mexico, Fidel Castro met one of his most important collaborators, Ernesto “Che” Guevarra.
They often met secretly in at cafes and restaurants, plotting to overthrow the Batista government.
Antonio del Conde was also among Castro’s closest Mexican allies. A well-known expert in firearms, he obtained the weapons Castro and his insurgents would use.
Del Conde also helped Castro purchase the famous Granma yacht, which Castro and 81 other rebels used to return to Cuba.
In Mexico, Castro enjoyed romance. His former girlfriend Isabel Custodio says Che Guevarra did not approve of their relationship, which of course did not stop him.
In November 1956, Castro and his men, all 82 of them, boarded the Granma and set off on their historic journey. Del Conde says Castro knew the risks were high.
“He told me, ‘don’t pay attention if they say they’ve killed me.’ They claim to have done it so many times.”
When Castro left Mexico, he knew a transformation had taken place well before the first shots were fired in the Cuban Revolution.