The Granma Yacht landing on December 2, 1956, was the final catalyst for a revolutionary triumph that ended two years later after being started by the Cuban people in 1868.
For Cuban General William Galvez, the arrival of the yacht here was the initial step to firstly create a guerrilla detachment, later the Rebel Army, and finally the Revolutionary Armed Forces.
The 39 feet-long vessel was built in 1943 and purchased, in a state, by young lawyer Fidel Castro from US citizen Robert B. Erickson for $40.000.
Some 82 rebels boarded the 25-people capacity yacht for a 1,242-mile crossing, with two cannons, 35 sniper rifles, 55 "Mendoza" assault rifles, three "Thompson" machine guns, 50 pistols, and ammunition.
The Granma Yacht departed from Tuxpan, Mexico, a week before landing on the Island"s southeastern coast in a muddy place, with dense mangrove swamps.
The expedition, which had been discovered hours before, was bombed and only 20 fighters survived, scattered among them all the general staff and Che, who was shot in the shoulder.
The death of Fidel Castro and the liquidation of the crew, which in fact advanced to the Sierra Maestra mountain range in the night, was officially announced.
Those 20 revolutionaries, assembled by the leader and military strategist, waged a guerrilla campaign that defeated the forces of Dictator Fulgencio Batista (1952-1958) in 25 months, and achieved the definitive victory on January 1, 1959. (PL)