During the second semester of 1945, at the University of Havana, Fidel Castro studied law and became involved in student politics. It was during a time when student protesters were exceptionally active. Throughout the régime of Geraldo Machado (President of Cuba from 20 May 1925 until 12 August 1933), university students were suppressed by La Porra (the secret police), and later it was not much better when Batista’s forces took over. Things got very physical when student activists and labor leaders were attacked and terrorized by violent, armed, politically motivated gangs. Frequently, even opposing student groups attacked each other. Castro, getting caught up in this gang culture, ran for the position of President of the Federation of University Students (FEU), a group founded by Julio Antonio Mella (the originator of Communism in Cuba). Although he was unsuccessful in this endeavor, he did become active in anti-imperialistic movements and campaigned for Puerto Rican Independence and a democratic government for the Dominican Republic. His involvement in these left-leaning groups grew, and although he did not embrace communism, he did protest the political corruption and violence during the Grau administration. In November of 1946, Castro spoke out against President Grau (7th President of Cuba) during a student speech, the text of which was printed in several newspapers. In 1947 Castro joined Eduardo Chibás’ (a well liked activist & radio personality) new Partido Ortodoxo, which promoted social justice, political freedom and honest government.
Captain Hank Bracker is the author of the multi-award winning book, “The Exciting Story of Cuba” An easy to read history of the Island Nation, it is available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Shops.