With the coup d’état that overthrew the Grau government and established the Caffery-Batista-Mendieta government, Antonio Guiteras went underground. Guiteras had been the most prominent member of the Grau government, and the leader of its revolutionary faction (see “Guiteras & the ‘government of 100 days’” 8/11/2014).
In the beginning of 1934, Guiteras established the organization TNT, which connected revolutionaries from Havana, the eastern province of Oriente, and other provinces. It planned to battle the government by means of sabotage and assassination of government officials (Instituto de Cuba 1998:326-27).
In March of 1934, TNT dissolved itself, and its leaders established Joven Cuba (meaning Young Cuba). The preamble to its program states that Cuba continues to be a colonial state. The Cuban economic structure, according to the preamble, is subordinated to foreign capital, designed by and for foreign interests, and does not serve the collective needs of the people. The preamble maintains that the nation can attain stability only through a socialist state, which is constructed in various stages. It affirms anti-imperialism and defense of the sovereignty of the nation as basic principles. Its program advocates: agrarian reform; nationalization of public utilities companies and of natural resources; nationalization of teaching; attention to the health, cultural, and housing problems of workers and peasants; diversification of foreign commerce; and elimination of racial and gender discrimination. Joven Cuba proposed the formation of a revolutionary struggle, composed of all classes and sectors that were victimized by neocolonialism, which would seek to take power and to establish a revolutionary dictatorship that would utilize the power of the state to implement a popular, agrarian, anti-imperialist revolution of national liberation, which would serve as a preamble to the necessary socialist revolution. It advocated the taking of power by means of armed insurrection, including rural and urban guerrilla war, propaganda, sabotage, mobilization of the masses, revolts by soldiers and sailors, partial strikes, and revolutionary general strikes (Instituto de Cuba 1998:327).
Joven Cuba spread rapidly, and cells were established throughout the island. Its activities included propaganda, sabotage, assassinations, and preparations for the breakout of a revolutionary war. It planned for an insurrection in stages, beginning with rural guerrilla forces supported by urban sabotage, and culminating in uprisings in the armed forces and a general revolutionary strike (Instituto de Cuba 1998:327).
Joven Cuba acquired a plantation in Mexico to use as a training center for guerrilla forces, under the command of Guiteras, which would disembark in Oriente and launch a rural guerrilla war, supported by urban units. But on May 8, 1935, as the expeditionaries prepared to depart for Mexico from the coastal city of Matanzas, they were surprised by the army of Batista, which had been informed by two sailors who were presumed revolutionaries. Guiteras and Carlos Aponte, a Venezuelan who had been a coronel in the army of Sandino in Nicaragua, were killed. The rest of the expeditionaries were imprisoned (Instituto de Cuba 1998:332).
The concept and strategy of Antonio Guiteras would be retaken by Fidel Castro, who attempted to launch a guerrilla war on July 26, 1953, and began again in December 1956, leading an expedition that had trained in Mexico. Although surprised by Batista’s army shortly after disembarking, a remnant was able to regroup and launch a rural guerrilla revolutionary war, with support of cells in the cities, which was able to advance to the taking of cities, culminating in the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959. The triumphant revolution in power established a government of national liberation as a first step in a transition to socialism.
Instituto de Historia de Cuba. 1998. La neocolonia. La Habana: Editora Política.
Key words: Third World, revolution, colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism, democracy, national liberation, sovereignty, self-determination, socialism, Marxism, Leninism, Cuba, Latin America, world-system, world-economy, development, underdevelopment, colonial, neocolonial, blog Third World perspective, Cuban Revolution, neocolonial republic, Guiteras, Joven Cuba