1959 – Cuban Revolution ends in Communist victory

The fall of Cuba’s Batista government, after six years of fighting between government forces and Castro’s revolutionary army, was officially complete when Castro and his soldiers captured Havana on January 8, 1959.

Wild scenes of celebration ensued, as Castro’s army were hailed as liberators throughout the city. Law professor José Miró Cardona had created a new government with himself as prime minister and Manuel Urrutia Lleó as president on January 5, and the United States had officially recognized this new government two days later. Upon Castro’s arrival in Havana, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Cuba’s Armed Forces.

A month later, Miró suddenly resigned, and on February 16, 1959, Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba.

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