March13th: the assault that shook tyranny

Reaching Palace with weapons in hand represented the culmination of the long and complex process of organizing activities gradually united and committed men that afternoon took to one of the most daring actions of the insurrection against tyranny.

Since the coup of March 10, 1952 occurred, the Cuban students, faithful to its traditions of struggle, had manifested immediately against the coup and declared war against the military regime.

The February 24, 1956 the Revolutionary Directorate (DR) was founded. In July that year, José Antonio Echeverría was reelected president of the Federation of University Students and soon traveled to Chile and Mexico in the latter country made contact with Fidel Castro.

As a result of that first interview, Echeverria and revolutionaries held formal talks with the July 26 Movement and established strategy. The agreements adopted decisions were reflected in the Charter of Mexico, where they joined forces in order to overthrow the tyranny.

Despite the agreement, some of their views differed and determined that each organization develops its activities in accordance with their specific plans geared towards the common goal.

The DR determined that the center of his plan would be to attack the Presidential Palace. Simultaneously with the main action, the studios of Radio Reloj occupy and from there to the village José Antonio announce the execution of the tyrant. The head of the command that would assail the Palace would be Carlos Gutierrez Menoyo and Jose Antonio would be responsible for the Radio Reloj action, besides being the most important political figure.

On the 13th, at 3:24 pm, with the shooting against Palace, began the address by the president of the FEU, but shortly after the broadcast was air and the proclamation could not radiate complete.

Lost the element of surprise, and not finding Batista, the group of attackers withdrew Palace. The Radio Reloj, headed for the University. The car in which José Antonio headed by the side of the center of higher learning and surprising shootout with a police patrol , the FEU President was killed.

Soon after came Faure Chomón seriously wounded and reported on the failure of the operation in the Palace.

Upon receiving the news, a brief meeting was held at the Rector and concluded that stay in college would be suicidal, because if attacked, would have no way to escape. The withdrawal was agreed, and begins to seek medical care and shelter for survivors.

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