Castro Seizes Power
Revolutionary forced led by Fidel Castro, overthrow the government of Cuban dictactor Fulgencio Batista, January 1, 1959, five and half years after the 1953 attack on a military barracks that gives Castro's guerilla 26th of July Movement its name. Batista flees Cuba, and Castro, who had declared him-self " not interested in power," takes control of the Cuban government in February. He cuts ties to the United States, nationalizes private land, commace and industry, embraces comunism and violently suppresses opposition. In February 2008, an ailing Castro passes leadership of the island nation to his brother, Raul.