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Flickr Fidel Castro lives forever and ever and forever yet again VIVA FIDEL CASTRO!!!!!!!!!!

Mahatma Castro joins Che, Ho Chi Minh among the stars now. He is from the people by and for the people for all eternity.

Viva Fidel Castro you live forever among majestic souls towering above the sea of satanic US-Euro-Brit Rothschild-Rockefeller midgets, satanists, tyrants wielding their coward pimps and so you shall live forever.

Great Universe please bless Fidel as he blessed us all with his truth , we bathe in his light by his light great universe.

Yes hold up Fidel's many sins, warts, his truths and all a brilliant light shined for humanity a human gift unto all humans who like Fidel shall never be beaten to their knees bowed before the monied midget-tyrants and their terrorist Wall Street sewer lined with glad gold-filling the grotesque gutters of Wall Street the ass-licking destructive dogs.

Viva Fidel Castro! -RT
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Fidel Castro

from Wikipedia

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Castro and the second or maternal family name is Ruz.
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This article is about a person who has recently died. Some information, such as the circumstances of the person's death and surrounding events, may change as more facts become known. Initial news reports may be unreliable. The last updates to this article may not reflect the most current information.

It has been suggested that Death and state funeral of Fidel Castro be merged into this article. (Discuss)

Proposed since November 2016.
Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro - MATS Terminal Washington 1959.jpg
Castro visiting the United States in 1959
17th President of Cuba
In office
December 2, 1976 – February 24, 2008
Prime Minister Himself
Vice President Raúl Castro
Preceded by Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado
Succeeded by Raúl Castro
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba
In office
June 24, 1961 – April 19, 2011
Deputy Raúl Castro
Preceded by Blas Roca Calderio
Succeeded by Raúl Castro
President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba
In office
December 2, 1976 – February 24, 2008
President Himself
Preceded by Himself (as Prime Minister)
Succeeded by Raúl Castro
16th Prime Minister of Cuba
In office
February 16, 1959 – December 2, 1976
President Manuel Urrutia Lleó
Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado
Preceded by José Miró Cardona
Succeeded by Himself (as President of Council of Ministers)
7th & 23rd Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement
In office
September 16, 2006 – February 24, 2008
Preceded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Succeeded by Raúl Castro
In office
September 10, 1979 – March 6, 1983
Preceded by Junius Richard Jayawardene
Succeeded by Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
Personal details
Born Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz
August 13, 1926
Birán, Holguin Province, Cuba
Died November 25, 2016 (aged 90)
Havana, Cuba
Political party Orthodox Party
(1946–52)
26th of July Movement
(1953–65)
Communist Party of Cuba
(1965–2016)
Spouse(s) Mirta Diaz-Balart (1948–55)
Dalia Soto del Valle (1980–2016; his death)
Relations Raúl, Ramon, Juanita
Children 9, including Alina Fernández
Residence Santiago de Cuba
Alma mater University of Havana
Profession Lawyer
Signature

Presidential powers were transferred to Raúl Castro from July 31, 2006.

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (American Spanish: [fiˈðel aleˈxandɾo ˈkastɾo ˈrus] About this sound audio (help·info); August 13, 1926 – November 25, 2016) was a Cuban politician, and revolutionary who governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008.[1] Politically a Marxist–Leninist and Cuban nationalist, he also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Under his administration Cuba became a one-party socialist state; industry and business were nationalized, and state socialist reforms implemented throughout society.

Born in Birán as the son of a wealthy farmer, Castro adopted leftist anti-imperialist politics while studying law at the University of Havana. After participating in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, launching a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953. After a year's imprisonment, he traveled to Mexico where he formed a revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, with his brother Raúl Castro and Che Guevara. Returning to Cuba, Castro took a key role in the Cuban Revolution by leading the Movement in a guerrilla war against Batista's forces from the Sierra Maestra. After Batista's overthrow in 1959, Castro assumed military and political power as Cuba's Prime Minister. The United States opposed Castro's government, and unsuccessfully attempted to remove him by assassination, economic blockade, and counter-revolution, including the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. Countering these threats, Castro formed an alliance with the Soviets. In response to U.S. nuclear missiles in Turkey, and perceived U.S. threats against Cuba, Castro allowed the Soviet Union to place nuclear weapons on Cuba, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis—a defining incident of the Cold War—in 1962.

Adopting a Marxist-Leninist model of development, Castro converted Cuba into a one-party socialist state under Communist Party rule, the first in the Western Hemisphere. Reforms introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent. Abroad, Castro supported anti-imperialist revolutionary groups, backing the establishment of Marxist governments in Chile, Nicaragua, and Grenada, and sending troops to aid allies in the Yom Kippur War, Ogaden War, and Angolan Civil War. These actions, coupled with Castro's leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1979–83 and Cuba's medical internationalism, increased Cuba's profile on the world stage and earned its leader great respect in the developing world. Following the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991, Castro led Cuba into its "Special Period" and embraced environmentalist and anti-globalization ideas. In the 2000s he forged alliances in the Latin American "pink tide"—namely with Hugo Chávez's Venezuela—and signed Cuba to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. In 2006 he transferred his responsibilities to Vice-President Raúl Castro, who formally assumed the presidency in 2008.

Castro was decorated with various international awards, and was lauded as a champion of socialism, anti-imperialism, and humanitarianism, whose revolutionary regime secured Cuba's independence from American imperialism. In Latin America, Castro was inspirational for leaders like Hugo Chavez[2] and Evo Morales[3] and, in Africa, he was viewed as an inspiration by leaders like Nelson Mandela.[4] He was also regarded highly in Asia; the former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Castro as "one of the greatest men of our times".[5] Conversely, critics in the United States alleged that he was a dictator whose administration oversaw human-rights abuses in Cuba.[6] Through his actions and his writings, he significantly influenced the politics of various individuals and groups across the world.

Contents

1 Early life
1.1 Youth: 1926–47
1.2 Rebellion and Marxism: 1947–50
1.3 Career in law and politics: 1950–52
2 Cuban Revolution
2.1 The Movement and the Moncada Barracks attack: 1952–53
2.2 Imprisonment and the 26th of July Movement: 1953–55
2.3 Guerrilla war: 1956–59
2.4 Provisional government: 1959
3 Premiership
3.1 Consolidating leadership: 1959–60
3.2 Bay of Pigs Invasion and "Socialist Cuba": 1961–62
3.3 Cuban Missile Crisis and furthering socialism: 1962–68
3.4 Economic stagnation and Third World politics: 1969–74
4 Presidency
4.1 Foreign wars and NAM Presidency: 1975–79
4.2 Reagan and Gorbachev: 1980–89
4.3 Special Period: 1990–2000
4.4 Pink tide: 2000–06
5 Later years
5.1 Stepping down: 2006–08
5.2 Retirement: 2008–16
6 Death
7 Political ideology
8 Personal and public life
8.1 Public image
8.2 Family and friends
9 Reception and legacy
10 References
10.1 Notes
10.2 Citations
10.3 Bibliography
10.4 Further reading
11 External links

Early life
Main article: Early life of Fidel Castro
Youth: 1926–47

Castro was born out of wedlock at his father's farm on August 13, 1926.[7] His father, Ángel Castro y Argiz, was a migrant to Cuba from Galicia, Northwest Spain.[8] He had become financially successful by growing sugar cane at Las Manacas farm in Birán, Oriente Province,[9] and after the collapse of his first marriage, he took his household servant, Lina Ruz González - also of Spanish origin, as his mistress and later on second wife; together they had seven children, among them Fidel.[10] Aged six, Castro was sent to live with his teacher in Santiago de Cuba,[11] before being baptized into the Roman Catholic Church at the age of eight.[12] Being baptized enabled Castro to attend the La Salle boarding school in Santiago, where he regularly misbehaved, so he was sent to the privately funded, Jesuit-run Dolores School in Santiago.[13] In 1945 he transferred to the more prestigious Jesuit-run El Colegio de Belén in Havana.[14] Although Castro took an interest in history, geography and debating at Belén, he did not excel academically, instead devoting much of his time to playing sport.[15]

In 1945, Castro began studying law at the University of Havana.[16] Admitting he was "politically illiterate", he became embroiled in student activism,[17] and the violent gangsterismo culture within the university.[18] Passionate about anti-imperialism and opposing U.S. intervention in the Caribbean,[19] he unsuccessfully campaigned for the presidency of the Federation of University Students on a platform of "honesty, decency and justice".[20] Castro became critical of the corruption and violence of President Ramón Grau's government, delivering a public speech on the subject in November 1946 that received coverage on the front page of several newspapers.[21]

In 1947, Castro joined the Party of the Cuban People (Partido Ortodoxo), founded by veteran politician Eduardo Chibás. A charismatic figure, Chibás advocated social justice, honest government, and political freedom, while his party exposed corruption and demanded reform. Though Chibás lost the election, Castro remained committed to working on his behalf.[22] Student violence escalated after Grau employed gang leaders as police officers, and Castro soon received a death threat urging him to leave the university; refusing, he began carrying a gun and surrounding himself with armed friends.[23] In later years anti-Castro dissidents accused him of committing gang-related assassinations at the time, but these remain unproven.[24]
Rebellion and Marxism: 1947–50

I joined the people; I grabbed a rifle in a police station that collapsed when it was rushed by a crowd. I witnessed the spectacle of a totally spontaneous revolution... [T]hat experience led me to identify myself even more with the cause of the people. My still incipient Marxist ideas had nothing to do with our conduct – it was a spontaneous reaction on our part, as young people with Martí-an, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and pro-democratic ideas.
— Fidel Castro on the Bogotazo, 2009[25]

In June 1947, Castro learned of a planned expedition to overthrow the right-wing military junta of Rafael Trujillo, a U.S. ally, in the Dominican Republic.[26] Being President of the University Committee for Democracy in the Dominican Republic, Castro joined the expedition.[27] The military force consisted of around 1,200 troops, mostly Cubans and exiled Dominicans, and they intended to sail from Cuba in July 1947. However, under U.S. pressure, Grau's government stopped the invasion, although Castro and many of his comrades evaded arrest.[28] Returning to Havana, Castro took a leading role in student protests against the killing of a high school pupil by government bodyguards.[29] The protests, accompanied by a crackdown on those considered communists, led to violent clashes between activists and police in February 1948, in which Castro was badly beaten.[30] At this point his public speeches took on a distinctly leftist slant by condemning social and economic inequality in Cuba. In contrast, his former public criticisms had centered on condemning corruption and U.S. imperialism.[30]

In April 1948, Castro traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, with a Cuban student group sponsored by President Juan Perón's Argentine government. There, the assassination of popular leftist leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala led to widespread rioting and clashes between the governing Conservatives – backed by the army – and leftist Liberals.[31] Castro joined the Liberal cause by stealing guns from a police station, but subsequent police investigations concluded that he had not been involved in any killings.[31] Returning to Cuba, Castro became a prominent figure in protests against government attempts to raise bus fares.[32] That year, he married Mirta Díaz Balart, a student from a wealthy family through whom he was exposed to the lifestyle of the Cuban elite. The relationship was a love match, disapproved of by both families, but Mirta's father gave them tens of thousands of dollars to spend on a three-month New York City honeymoon.[33]

Marxism taught me what society was. I was like a blindfolded man in a forest, who doesn't even know where north or south is. If you don't eventually come to truly understand the history of the class struggle, or at least have a clear idea that society is divided between the rich and the poor, and that some people subjugate and exploit other people, you're lost in a forest, not knowing anything.
— Fidel Castro on discovering Marxism, 2009[34]

That same year, Grau decided not to stand for re-election, which was instead won by his Partido Auténtico's new candidate, Carlos Prío Socarrás.[35] Prío faced widespread protests when members of the MSR, now allied to the police force, assassinated Justo Fuentes, a socialist friend of Castro's. In response, Prío agreed to quell the gangs, but found them too powerful to control.[36] Castro had moved further to the left, influenced by the Marxist writings of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin. He came to interpret Cuba's problems as an integral part of capitalist society, or the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie", rather than the failings of corrupt politicians, and adopted the Marxist view that meaningful political change could only be brought about by proletariat revolution. Visiting Havana's poorest neighborhoods, he became active in the student anti-racist campaign.[37]

In September 1949, Mirta gave birth to a son, Fidelito, so the couple moved to a larger Havana flat.[38] Castro continued to put himself at risk, staying active in the city’s politics and joining the September 30 Movement, which contained within it both communists and members of the Partido Ortodoxo. The group’s purpose was to oppose the influence of the violent gangs within the university; despite his promises, Prío had failed to control the situation, instead offering many of their senior members jobs in government ministries.[39] Castro volunteered to deliver a speech for the Movement on November 13, exposing the government’s secret deals with the gangs and identifying key members. Attracting the attention of the national press, the speech angered the gangs, and Castro fled into hiding, first in the countryside and then in the U.S.[40] Returning to Havana several weeks later, Castro lay low and focused on his university studies, graduating as a Doctor of Law in September 1950.[41]
Career in law and politics: 1950–52
Castro intended to overthrow the presidency of General Fulgencio Batista (left, with U.S. Army Chief of staff Malin Craig, in 1938).

Castro co-founded a legal partnership that primarily catered for poor Cubans, although it proved a financial failure.[42] Caring little for money or material goods, Castro failed to pay his bills; his furniture was repossessed and electricity cut off, distressing his wife.[43] He took part in a high-school protest in Cienfuegos in November 1950, fighting with police in protest at the Education Ministry's ban on student associations; arrested and charged for violent conduct, the magistrate dismissed the charges.[44] His hopes for Cuba still centered on Chibás and the Partido Ortodoxo, and he was present at Chibás' politically motivated suicide in 1951.[45] Seeing himself as Chibás' heir, Castro wanted to run for Congress in the June 1952 elections, though senior Ortodoxo members feared his radical reputation and refused to nominate him.[46] Instead he was nominated as a candidate for the House of Representatives by party members in Havana's poorest districts, and began campaigning.[46] The Ortodoxo had considerable support and was predicted to do well in the election.[47]

During his campaign, Castro met with General Fulgencio Batista, the former president who had returned to politics with the Unitary Action Party; although both opposing Prío's administration, their meeting never got beyond polite generalities.[48] In March 1952, Batista seized power in a military coup, with Prío fleeing to Mexico. Declaring himself president, Batista cancelled the planned presidential elections, describing his new system as "disciplined democracy": Castro, like many others, considered it a one-man dictatorship.[49] Batista moved to the right, solidifying ties with both the wealthy elite and the United States, severing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, suppressing trade unions and persecuting Cuban socialist groups.[50] Intent on opposing Batista, Castro brought several legal cases against the government, but these came to nothing, and Castro began thinking of alternate ways to oust the regime.[51]
Cuban Revolution
Main article: Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution
The Movement and the Moncada Barracks attack: 1952–53

In a few hours you will be victorious or defeated, but regardless of the outcome – listen well, friends – this Movement will triumph. If you win tomorrow, the aspirations of Martí will be fulfilled sooner. If we fail, our action will nevertheless set an example for the Cuban people, and from the people will arise fresh new men willing to die for Cuba. They will pick up our banner and move forward... The people will back us in Oriente and in the whole island. As in '68 and '92, here in Oriente we will give the first cry of Liberty or Death!
— Fidel Castro's speech to the Movement just before the Moncada Attack, 1953[52]

Castro formed a group called "The Movement" which operated along a clandestine cell system, publishing underground newspaper El Acusador (The Accuser), while arming and training anti-Batista recruits.[53] From July 1952 they went on a recruitment drive, gaining around 1,200 members in a year, the majority from Havana's poorer districts.[54] Although a revolutionary socialist, Castro avoided an alliance with the communist PSP, fearing it would frighten away political moderates, but kept in contact with PSP members like his brother Raúl.[55] Castro stockpiled weapons for a planned attack on the Moncada Barracks, a military garrison outside Santiago de Cuba, Oriente. Castro's militants intended to dress in army uniforms and arrive at the base on July 25, seizing control and raiding the armory before reinforcements arrived.[56] Supplied with new weaponry, Castro intended to spark a revolution among Oriente's impoverished cane cutters and promote further uprisings.[57] Castro's plan emulated those of the 19th-century Cuban independence fighters who had raided Spanish barracks; Castro saw himself as the heir to independence leader José Martí.[58]
Fidel Castro under arrest after the Moncada attack, 1953

Castro gathered 165 revolutionaries for the mission,[59] ordering his troops not to cause bloodshed unless they met armed resistance.[60] The attack took place on July 26, 1953, but ran into trouble; 3 of the 16 cars that had set out from Santiago failed to get there. Reaching the barracks, the alarm was raised, with most of the rebels pinned down by machine gun fire. 4 were killed before Castro ordered a retreat.[61] The rebels suffered 6 fatalities and 15 other casualties, whilst the army suffered 19 dead and 27 wounded.[62] Meanwhile, some rebels took over a civilian hospital; subsequently stormed by government soldiers, the rebels were rounded up, tortured and 22 were executed without trial.[63] Accompanied by 19 comrades, Castro set out for Gran Piedra in the rugged Sierra Maestra mountains several miles to the north, where they could establish a guerrilla base.[64] Responding to the attack, Batista's government proclaimed martial law, ordering a violent crackdown on dissent, and imposing strict media censorship.[65] The government broadcast misinformation about the event, claiming that the rebels were communists who had killed hospital patients, although news and photographs of the army's use of torture and summary executions in Oriente soon spread, causing widespread public and some governmental disapproval.[65]

Over the following days, the rebels were rounded up; some were executed and others – including Castro – transported to a prison north of Santiago.[66] Believing Castro incapable of planning the attack alone, the government accused Ortodoxo and PSP politicians of involvement, putting 122 defendants on trial on September 21 at the Palace of Justice, Santiago.[67] Acting as his own defense counsel, Castro cited Martí as the intellectual author of the attack and convinced the 3 judges to overrule the army's decision to keep all defendants handcuffed in court, proceeding to argue that the charge with which they were accused – of "organizing an uprising of armed persons against the Constitutional Powers of the State" – was incorrect, for they had risen up against Batista, who had seized power in an unconstitutional manner.[68] The trial embarrassed the army by revealing that they had tortured suspects, after which they tried unsuccessfully to prevent Castro from testifying any further, claiming he was too ill.[69] The trial ended on October 5, with the acquittal of most defendants; 55 were sentenced to prison terms of between 7 months and 13 years. Castro was sentenced on October 16, during which he delivered a speech that would be printed under the title of History Will Absolve Me.[70] Castro was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in the hospital wing of the Model Prison (Presidio Modelo), a relatively comfortable and modern institution on the Isla de Pinos.[71]
Imprisonment and the 26th of July Movement: 1953–55

I would honestly love to revolutionize this country from one end to the other! I am sure this would bring happiness to the Cuban people. I would not be stopped by the hatred and ill will of a few thousand people, including some of my relatives, half the people I know, two-thirds of my fellow professionals, and four-fifths of my ex-schoolmates
— Fidel Castro, 1954.[72]

Imprisoned with 25 comrades, Castro renamed his group the "26th of July Movement" (MR-26-7) in memory of the Moncada attack's date, and formed a school for prisoners.[73] He read widely, enjoying the works of Marx, Lenin, and Martí but also reading books by Freud, Kant, Shakespeare, Munthe, Maugham and Dostoyevsky, analyzing them within a Marxist framework.[74] Corresponding with supporters, he maintained control over the Movement and organized the publication of History Will Absolve Me.[75] Initially permitted a relative amount of freedom within the prison, he was locked up in solitary confinement after inmates sang anti-Batista songs on a visit by the President in February 1954.[76] Meanwhile, Castro's wife Mirta gained employment in the Ministry of the Interior, something he discovered through a radio announcement. Appalled, he raged that he would rather die "a thousand times" than "suffer impotently from such an insult".[77] Both Fidel and Mirta initiated divorce proceedings, with Mirta taking custody of their son Fidelito; this angered Castro, who did not want his son growing up in a bourgeois environment.[77]

In 1954, Batista's government held presidential elections, but no politician stood against him; the election was widely considered fraudulent. It had allowed some political opposition to be voiced, and Castro's supporters had agitated for an amnesty for the Moncada incident's perpetrators. Some politicians suggested an amnesty would be good publicity, and the Congress and Batista agreed. Backed by the U.S. and major corporations, Batista believed Castro to be no threat, and on May 15, 1955, the prisoners were released.[78] Returning to Havana, Castro gave radio interviews and press conferences; the government closely monitored him, curtailing his activities.[79] Now divorced, Castro had sexual affairs with two female supporters, Naty Revuelta and Maria Laborde, each conceiving him a child.[80] Setting about strengthening the MR-26-7, he established an 11-person National Directorate but retained autocratic control, with some dissenters labeling him a caudillo (dictator); he argued that a successful revolution could not be run by committee and required a strong leader.[81]
Fidel's brother Raúl (left) and Che Guevara (right).

In 1955, bombings and violent demonstrations led to a crackdown on dissent, with Castro and Raúl fleeing the country to evade arrest.[82] Castro sent a letter to the press, declaring that he was "leaving Cuba because all doors of peaceful struggle have been closed to me ... As a follower of Martí, I believe the hour has come to take our rights and not beg for them, to fight instead of pleading for them."[83] The Castros and several comrades traveled to Mexico,[84] where Raúl befriended an Argentine doctor and Marxist-Leninist named Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Fidel liked him, later describing him as "a more advanced revolutionary than I was".[85] Castro also associated with the Spaniard Alberto Bayo, who agreed to teach Castro's rebels the necessary skills in guerrilla warfare.[86] Requiring funding, Castro toured the U.S. in search of wealthy sympathizers, there being monitored by Batista's agents, who allegedly orchestrated a failed assassination attempt against him.[87] Castro kept in contact with the MR-26-7 in Cuba, where they had gained a large support base in Oriente.[88] Other militant anti-Batista groups had sprung up, primarily from the student movement; most notable was the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE), founded by José Antonio Echeverría. Antonio met with Castro in Mexico City, but Castro opposed the student's support for indiscriminate assassination.[89]

After purchasing the decrepit yacht Granma, on November 25, 1956, Castro set sail from Tuxpan, Veracruz, with 81 armed revolutionaries.[90] The 1,200-mile (1,900 km) crossing to Cuba was harsh, with food running low and many suffering seasickness. At some points, they had to bail water caused by a leak, and at another, a man fell overboard, delaying their journey.[91] The plan had been for the crossing to take 5 days, and on the Granma's scheduled day of arrival, November 30, MR-26-7 members under Frank País led an armed uprising in Santiago and Manzanillo. However, the Granma's journey ultimately lasted 7 days, and with Castro and his men unable to provide reinforcements, País and his militants dispersed after two days of intermittent attacks.[92]
Guerrilla war: 1956–59
The thickly forested mountain range of the Sierra Maestra, from where Castro and his revolutionaries led guerrilla attacks against Batista's forces for two years. Castro biographer Robert E. Quirk noted that there was "no better place to hide" in all the island.[93]

The Granma ran aground in a mangrove swamp at Playa Las Coloradas, close to Los Cayuelos, on December 2, 1956. Fleeing inland, its crew headed for the forested mountain range of Oriente's Sierra Maestra, being repeatedly attacked by Batista's troops.[94] Upon arrival, Castro discovered that only 19 rebels had made it to their destination, the rest having been killed or captured.[95] Setting up an encampment, the survivors included the Castros, Che Guevara, and Camilo Cienfuegos.[96] They began launching raids on small army posts to obtain weaponry, and in January 1957 they overran the outpost at La Plata, treating any soldiers that they wounded but executing Chicho Osorio, the local mayoral (land company overseer), who was despised by the local peasants and who boasted of killing one of Castro's rebels.[97] Osorio's execution aided the rebels in gaining the trust of locals, although they largely remained unenthusiastic and suspicious of the revolutionaries.[98] As trust grew, some locals joined the rebels, although most new recruits came from urban areas.[99] With volunteers boosting the rebel forces to over 200, in July 1957 Castro divided his army into three columns, commanded by himself, his brother, and Guevara.[100] The MR-26-7 members operating in urban areas continued agitation, sending supplies to Castro, and on February 16, 1957 he met with other senior members to discuss tactics; here he met Celia Sánchez, who would become a close friend.[101]

Across Cuba, anti-Batista groups carried out bombings and sabotage; police responded with mass arrests, torture, and extrajudicial executions.[102] In March 1957, the DR launched a failed attack on the presidential palace, during which Antonio was shot dead.[102] Frank País was also killed, leaving Castro the MR-26-7's unchallenged leader.[103] Although Guevara and Raúl were well known for their Marxist-Leninist views, Castro hid his, hoping to gain the support of less radical revolutionaries.[104] In 1957 he met with leading members of the Partido Ortodoxo, Raúl Chibás and Felipe Pazos, authoring the Sierra Maestra Manifesto, in which they demanded that a provisional civilian government be set up to implement moderate agrarian reform, industrialization, and a literacy campaign before holding multiparty elections.[104] As Cuba's press was censored, Castro contacted foreign media to spread his message; he became a celebrity after being interviewed by Herbert Matthews, a journalist from The New York Times.[105] Reporters from CBS and Paris Match soon followed.[106]
Castro (right) with fellow revolutionary Camilo Cienfuegos entering Havana on January 8, 1959.

Castro's guerrillas increased their attacks on military outposts, forcing the government to withdraw from the Sierra Maestra region, and by spring 1958, the rebels controlled a hospital, schools, a printing press, slaughterhouse, land-mine factory and a cigar-making factory.[107] By 1958, Batista was under increasing pressure, a result of his military failures coupled with increasing domestic and foreign criticism surrounding his administration's press censorship, torture, and extrajudicial executions.[108] Influenced by anti-Batista sentiment among their citizens, the U.S. government ceased supplying him with weaponry.[108] The opposition called a general strike, accompanied by armed attacks from the MR-26-7. Beginning on April 9, it received strong support in central and eastern Cuba, but little elsewhere.[109]

Batista responded with an all-out-attack, Operation Verano, in which the army aerially bombarded forested areas and villages suspected of aiding the militants, while 10,000 soldiers commanded by General Eulogio Cantillo surrounded the Sierra Maestra, driving north to the rebel encampments.[110] Despite their numerical and technological superiority, the army had no experience with guerrilla warfare, and Castro halted their offensive using land mines and ambushes.[110] Many of Batista's soldiers defected to Castro's rebels, who also benefited from local popular support.[111] In the summer, the MR-26-7 went on the offensive, pushing the army out of the mountains, with Castro using his columns in a pincer movement to surround the main army concentration in Santiago. By November, Castro's forces controlled most of Oriente and Las Villas, and divided Cuba in two by closing major roads and rail lines, severely disadvantaging Batista.[112]

Fearing Castro was a socialist, the U.S. instructed Cantillo to oust Batista.[113] Cantillo secretly agreed to a ceasefire with Castro, promising that Batista would be tried as a war criminal;[113] however, Batista was warned, and fled into exile with over US$300,000,000 on December 31, 1958.[114] Cantillo entered Havana's Presidential Palace, proclaimed the Supreme Court judge Carlos Piedra to be President, and began appointing the new government.[115] Furious, Castro ended the ceasefire,[116] and ordered Cantillo's arrest by sympathetic figures in the army.[117] Accompanying celebrations at news of Batista's downfall on January 1, 1959, Castro ordered the MR-26-7 to prevent widespread looting and vandalism.[118] Cienfuegos and Guevara led their columns into Havana on January 2, while Castro entered Santiago and gave a speech invoking the wars of independence.[119] Heading toward Havana, he greeted cheering crowds at every town, giving press conferences and interviews.[120]
Provisional government: 1959

At Castro's command, the politically moderate lawyer Manuel Urrutia Lleó was proclaimed provisional president, with Castro erroneously announcing he had been selected by "popular election"; most of Urrutia's cabinet were MR-26-7 members.[121] Entering Havana, Castro proclaimed himself Representative of the Rebel Armed Forces of the Presidency, setting up home and office in the penthouse of the Havana Hilton Hotel.[122] Castro exercised a great deal of influence over Urrutia's regime, which was now ruling by decree. He ensured that the government implemented policies to cut corruption and fight illiteracy and that it attempted to remove Batistanos from positions of power by dismissing Congress and barring all those elected in the rigged elections of 1954 and 1958 from future office. He then pushed Urrutia to issue a temporary ban on political parties; he repeatedly said that they would eventually hold multiparty elections.[123] Although repeatedly denying that he was a communist to the press, he began clandestinely meeting members of the Popular Socialist Party to discuss the creation of a socialist state.[124]

We are not executing innocent people or political opponents. We are executing murderers and they deserve it.
— Castro's response to his critics regarding the mass executions, 1959[125]

In suppressing the revolution, Batista's government had killed thousands of Cubans; at the time, Castro and influential sectors of the press put the death toll at 20,000,[126] although more recent estimates place it between 1000[127] and 4000.[128] In response to popular uproar, which demanded that those responsible be brought to justice, Castro helped set up many trials, resulting in hundreds of executions. Although widely popular domestically, critics–in particular the U.S. press–argued that many were not fair trials. Castro responded that "revolutionary justice is not based on legal precepts, but on moral conviction".[129] Acclaimed by many across Latin America, he traveled to Venezuela where he met with President-elect Rómulo Betancourt, unsuccessfully requesting a loan and a new deal for Venezuelan oil.[130] Returning home, an argument between Castro and senior government figures broke out. He was infuriated that the government had left thousands unemployed by closing down casinos and brothels. As a result, Prime Minister José Miró Cardona resigned, going into exile in the U.S. and joining the anti-Castro movement.[131]
Premiership
Main article: Premiership of Fidel Castro
Consolidating leadership: 1959–60
Castro visiting the Lincoln Memorial during his visit to the United States, 1959.

On February 16, 1959, Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba.[132] In April he visited the U.S. on a charm offensive where he met Vice President Richard Nixon, whom he instantly disliked.[133] Proceeding to Canada, Trinidad, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, Castro attended an economic conference in Buenos Aires, unsuccessfully proposing a $30 billion U.S.-funded "Marshall Plan" for Latin America.[134] In May 1959 Castro signed into law the First Agrarian Reform, setting a cap for landholdings to 993 acres (402 ha) per owner and prohibiting foreigners from obtaining Cuban land ownership. Around 200,000 peasants received title deeds as large land holdings were broken up; popular among the working class, it alienated the richer landowners.[135] Castro appointed himself president of the National Tourist Industry, introducing unsuccessful measures to encourage African-American tourists to visit, advertising Cuba as a tropical paradise free of racial discrimination.[136] Judges and politicians had their pay reduced while low-level civil servants saw theirs raised,[137] and in March 1959, Castro declared rents for those who paid less than $100 a month halved.[138]

Although refusing to categorize his regime as socialist and repeatedly denying being a communist, Castro appointed Marxists to senior government and military positions. Most notably, Che Guevara became Governor of the Central Bank and then Minister of Industries. Appalled, Air Force commander Pedro Luis Díaz Lanz defected to the U.S.[139] Although President Urrutia denounced the defection, he expressed concern with the rising influence of Marxism. Angered, Castro in turn announced his resignation as Prime Minister, blaming Urrutia for complicating government with his "fevered anti-Communism". Over 500,000 Castro-supporters surrounded the Presidential Palace demanding Urrutia's resignation, which he submitted. On July 23, Castro resumed his Premiership and appointed Marxist Osvaldo Dorticós as President.[140]
Castro and Indonesian President Sukarno in Havana, 1960

Castro's government emphasised social projects to improve Cuba's standard of living, often to the detriment of economic development.[141] Major emphasis was placed on education, and during the first 30 months of Castro's government, more classrooms were opened than in the previous 30 years. The Cuban primary education system offered a work-study program, with half of the time spent in the classroom, and the other half in a productive activity.[142] Health care was nationalized and expanded, with rural health centers and urban polyclinics opening up across the island to offer free medical aid. Universal vaccination against childhood diseases was implemented, and infant mortality rates were reduced dramatically.[141] A third part of this social program was the improvement of infrastructure. Within the first six months of Castro's government, 600 miles of roads were built across the island, while $300 million was spent on water and sanitation projects.[141] Over 800 houses were constructed every month in the early years of the administration in an effort to cut homelessness, while nurseries and day-care centers were opened for children and other centers opened for the disabled and elderly.[141]
Castro (far left), Che Guevara (center), and other leading revolutionaries, marching through the streets in protest at the La Coubre explosion, March 5, 1960.

Castro used radio and television to develop a "dialogue with the people", posing questions and making provocative statements.[143] His regime remained popular with workers, peasants, and students, who constituted the majority of the country's population,[144] while opposition came primarily from the middle class; thousands of doctors, engineers and other professionals emigrated to Florida in the U.S., causing an economic brain drain.[145] Productivity decreased and the country's financial reserves were drained within two years.[138] After conservative press expressed hostility towards the government, the pro-Castro printers' trade union disrupted editorial staff, and in January 1960 the government ordered them to publish a "clarification" written by the printers' union at the end of articles critical of the government.[146] Castro's government arrested hundreds of counter-revolutionaries,[147] many of whom were subjected to solitary confinement, rough treatment, and threatening behavior.[148] Militant anti-Castro groups, funded by exiles, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Dominican government, undertook armed attacks and set up guerrilla bases in Cuba's mountains, leading to the six-year Escambray Rebellion.[149]

By 1960, the Cold War raged between two superpowers: the United States, a capitalist liberal democracy, and the Soviet Union (USSR), a Marxist-Leninist socialist state ruled by the Communist Party. Expressing contempt for the U.S., Castro shared the ideological views of the USSR, establishing relations with several Marxist-Leninist states.[150] Meeting with Soviet First Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan, Castro agreed to provide the USSR with sugar, fruit, fibers, and hides, in return for crude oil, fertilizers, industrial goods, and a $100 million loan.[151] Cuba's government ordered the country's refineries – then controlled by the U.S. corporations Shell, Esso and Standard Oil – to process Soviet oil, but under U.S. pressure, they refused. Castro responded by expropriating and nationalizing the refineries. Retaliating, the U.S. cancelled its import of Cuban sugar, provoking Castro to nationalize most U.S.-owned assets on the island, including banks and sugar mills.[152]
Castro at the United Nations General Assembly in 1960

Relations between Cuba and the U.S. were further strained following the explosion of a French vessel, the Le Coubre, in Havana harbor in March 1960. The ship carried weapons purchased from Belgium, the cause of the explosion was never determined, but Castro publicly insinuated that the U.S. government were guilty of sabotage. He ended this speech with "¡Patria o Muerte!" ("Fatherland or Death"), a proclamation that he made much use of in ensuing years.[153] Inspired by their earlier success with the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état, in March 1960, U.S. President Eisenhower authorized the CIA to overthrow Castro's government. He provided them with a budget of $13 million and permitted them to ally with the Mafia, who were aggrieved that Castro's government closed down their brothel and casino businesses in Cuba.[154] On October 13, 1960, the U.S. prohibited the majority of exports to Cuba, initiating an economic embargo. In retaliation, the National Institute for Agrarian Reform INRA took control of 383 private-run businesses on October 14, and on October 25 a further 166 U.S. companies operating in Cuba had their premises seized and nationalized.[155] On December 16, the U.S. ended its import quota of Cuban sugar, the country's primary export.[156]

In September 1960, Castro flew to New York City for the General Assembly of the United Nations. Staying at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, he met with journalists and anti-establishment figures like Malcolm X. He also met Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, with the two publicly condemning the poverty and racism faced by Americans in areas like Harlem. Relations between Castro and Khrushchev were warm; they led the applause to one another's speeches at the General Assembly.[157] Subsequently visited by Polish First Secretary Władysław Gomułka, Bulgarian Chairman Todor Zhivkov, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Indian Premier Jawaharlal Nehru,[158] Castro also received an evening's reception from the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.[159]

Back in Cuba, Castro feared a U.S.-backed coup; in 1959 his regime spent $120 million on Soviet, French, and Belgian weaponry and by early 1960 had doubled the size of Cuba's armed forces.[160] Fearing counter-revolutionary elements in the army, the government created a People's Militia to arm citizens favorable to the revolution, training at least 50,000 civilians in combat techniques.[161] In September 1960, they created the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), a nationwide civilian organization which implemented neighborhood spying to detect counter-revolutionary activities as well as organizing health and education campaigns, becoming a conduit for public complaints. By 1970, a third of the population would be involved in the CDR, and this would come to rise to 80%.[162] Castro proclaimed the new administration a direct democracy, in which Cubans could assemble at demonstrations to express their democratic will. As a result, he rejected the need for elections, claiming that representative democratic systems served the interests of socio-economic elites.[163] U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter announced that Cuba was adopting the Soviet model of rule, with a one-party state, government control of trade unions, suppression of civil liberties, and the absence of freedom of speech and press.[164]
Bay of Pigs Invasion and "Socialist Cuba": 1961–62

There was... no doubt about who the victors were. Cuba's stature in the world soared to new heights, and Fidel's role as the adored and revered leader among ordinary Cuban people received a renewed boost. His popularity was greater than ever. In his own mind he had done what generations of Cubans had only fantasized about: he had taken on the United States and won.
— Peter Bourne, Castro biographer, 1986[165]

In January 1961, Castro ordered Havana's U.S. Embassy to reduce its 300-member staff, suspecting that many of them were spies. The U.S. responded by ending diplomatic relations, and it increased CIA funding for exiled dissidents; these militants began attacking ships that traded with Cuba, and bombed factories, shops, and sugar mills.[166] Both Eisenhower and his successor John F. Kennedy supported a CIA plan to aid a dissident militia, the Democratic Revolutionary Front, to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro; the plan resulted in the Bay of Pigs Invasion in April 1961. On April 15, CIA-supplied B-26's bombed 3 Cuban military airfields; the U.S. announced that the perpetrators were defecting Cuban air force pilots, but Castro exposed these claims as false flag misinformation.[167] Fearing invasion, he ordered the arrest of between 20,000 and 100,000 suspected counter-revolutionaries,[168] publicly proclaiming, "What the imperialists cannot forgive us, is that we have made a Socialist revolution under their noses", his first announcement that the government was socialist.[169]
Che Guevara (left) and Castro, photographed by Alberto Korda in 1961

The CIA and the Democratic Revolutionary Front had based a 1,400-strong army, Brigade 2506, in Nicaragua. On the night of April 16 to 17, Brigade 2506 landed along Cuba's Bay of Pigs, and engaged in a firefight with a local revolutionary militia. Castro ordered Captain José Ramón Fernández to launch the counter-offensive, before taking personal control of it. After bombing the invaders' ships and bringing in reinforcements, Castro forced the Brigade to surrender on April 20.[170] He ordered the 1189 captured rebels to be interrogated by a panel of journalists on live television, personally taking over the questioning on April 25. 14 were put on trial for crimes allegedly committed before the revolution, while the others were returned to the U.S. in exchange for medicine and food valued at U.S. $25 million.[171] Castro's victory was a powerful symbol across Latin America, but it also increased internal opposition primarily among the middle-class Cubans who had been detained in the run-up to the invasion. Although most were freed within a few days, many fled to the U.S., establishing themselves in Florida.[172]

Consolidating "Socialist Cuba", Castro united the MR-26-7, Popular Socialist Party and Revolutionary Directorate into a governing party based on the Leninist principle of democratic centralism: the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (Organizaciones Revolucionarias Integradas – ORI), renamed the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution (PURSC) in 1962.[173] Although the USSR was hesitant regarding Castro's embrace of socialism,[174] relations with the Soviets deepened. Castro sent Fidelito for a Moscow schooling,[175] Soviet technicians arrived on the island,[175] and Castro was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.[176] In December 1961, Castro admitted that he had been a Marxist–Leninist for years, and in his Second Declaration of Havana he called on Latin America to rise up in revolution.[177] In response, the U.S. successfully pushed the Organization of American States to expel Cuba; the Soviets privately reprimanded Castro for recklessness, although he received praise from China.[178] Despite their ideological affinity with China, in the Sino-Soviet split, Cuba allied with the wealthier Soviets, who offered economic and military aid.[179]

The ORI began shaping Cuba using the Soviet model, persecuting political opponents and perceived social deviants such as prostitutes and homosexuals; Castro considered same-sex sexual activity a bourgeois trait.[180] Gay men were forced into the Military Units to Aid Production (Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la Producción – UMAP); after many revolutionary intellectuals decried this move, the UMAP camps were closed in 1967, although gay men continued to be imprisoned.[181] In 2010, Castro took responsibility for this persecution, regretting it as a "great injustice".[182] By 1962, Cuba's economy was in steep decline, a result of poor economic management and low productivity coupled with the U.S. trade embargo. Food shortages led to rationing, resulting in protests in Cárdenas.[183] Security reports indicated that many Cubans associated austerity with the "Old Communists" of the PSP, while Castro considered a number of them – namely Aníbal Escalante and Blas Roca – unduly loyal to Moscow. In March 1962 Castro removed the most prominent "Old Communists" from office, labelling them "sectarian".[184] On a personal level, Castro was increasingly lonely, and his relations with Guevara became strained as the latter became increasingly anti-Soviet and pro-Chinese.[185]
Cuban Missile Crisis and furthering socialism: 1962–68
U-2 reconnaissance photograph of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba

Militarily weaker than NATO, Khrushchev wanted to install Soviet R-12 MRBM nuclear missiles on Cuba to even the power balance.[186] Although conflicted, Castro agreed, believing it would guarantee Cuba's safety and enhance the cause of socialism.[187] Undertaken in secrecy, only the Castro brothers, Guevara, Dorticós and security chief Ramiro Valdés knew the full plan.[188] Upon discovering it through aerial reconnaissance, in October the U.S. implemented an island-wide quarantine to search vessels headed to Cuba, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis. The U.S. saw the missiles as offensive; Castro insisted they were for defense only.[189] Castro urged Khrushchev to threaten a nuclear strike on the U.S. should Cuba be attacked, but Khrushchev was desperate to avoid nuclear war.[190] Castro was left out of the negotiations, in which Khruschev agreed to remove the missiles in exchange for a U.S. commitment not to invade Cuba and an understanding that the U.S. would remove their MRBMs from Turkey and Italy.[191] Feeling betrayed by Khruschev, Castro was furious and soon fell ill.[192] Proposing a five-point plan, Castro demanded that the U.S. end its embargo, withdraw from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, cease supporting dissidents, and stop violating Cuban air space and territorial waters. Presenting these demands to U Thant, visiting Secretary-General of the United Nations, the U.S. ignored them, and in turn Castro refused to allow the U.N.'s inspection team into Cuba.[193]

In May 1963, Castro visited the USSR at Khrushchev's personal invitation, touring 14 cities, addressing a Red Square rally, and being awarded both the Order of Lenin and an honorary doctorate from Moscow State University.[194] While there Castro was permitted to sign a Soviet R-16 intercontinental ballistic missile.[195] Castro returned to Cuba with new ideas; inspired by Soviet newspaper Pravda, he amalgamated Hoy and Revolución into a new daily, Granma,[196] and oversaw large investment into Cuban sport that resulted in an increased international sporting reputation.[197] Seeking to further consolidate control, in 1963 the government cracked down on Protestant sects in Cuba, with Castro labeling them counter-revolutionary "instruments of imperialism"; many preachers were found guilty of illegal U.S.-links and imprisoned.[198] Measures were implemented to force perceived idle and delinquent youths to work, primarily through the introduction of mandatory military service,[199] while in September the government temporarily permitted emigration for anyone other than males aged between 15 and 26, thereby ridding the government of thousands of critics, most of whom were from upper and middle-class backgrounds.[200] In 1963 Castro's mother died. This was the last time his private life was reported in Cuba's press.[201] In January 1964, Castro returned to Moscow, officially to sign a new five-year sugar trade agreement, but also to discuss the ramifications of the assassination of John F. Kennedy;[202] Castro had been deeply concerned by the assassination, believing that a far right conspiracy was behind it but that the Cubans would be blamed.[203] In October 1965, the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations was officially renamed the "Cuban Communist Party" and published the membership of its Central Committee.[204]

The greatest threat presented by Castro's Cuba is as an example to other Latin American states which are beset by poverty, corruption, feudalism, and plutocratic exploitation ... his influence in Latin America might be overwhelming and irresistible if, with Soviet help, he could establish in Cuba a Communist utopia.
— Walter Lippmann, Newsweek, April 27, 1964[205]

Despite Soviet misgivings, Castro continued calling for global revolution, funding militant leftists and those engaged in national liberation struggles. Cuba's foreign policy was staunchly anti-imperialist, believing that every nation should control its own natural resources.[206] He supported Che Guevara's "Andean project", an unsuccessful plan to set up a guerrilla movement in the highlands of Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, and allowed revolutionary groups from across the world, from the Viet Cong to the Black Panthers, to train in Cuba.[207] He considered Western-dominated Africa ripe for revolution, and sent troops and medics to aid Ahmed Ben Bella's socialist regime in Algeria during the Sand War. He also allied with Alphonse Massamba-Débat's socialist government in Congo-Brazzaville, and in 1965 Castro authorized Guevara to travel to Congo-Kinshasa to train revolutionaries against the Western-backed government.[208] Castro was personally devastated when Guevara was subsequently killed by CIA-backed troops in Bolivia in October 1967 and publicly attributed it to Che's disregard for his own safety.[209] In 1966 Castro staged a Tri-Continental Conference of Africa, Asia and Latin America in Havana, further establishing himself as a significant player on the world stage.[210] From this conference, Castro created the Latin American Solidarity Organization (OLAS), which adopted the slogan of "The duty of a revolution is to make revolution", signifying Havana's leadership of Latin America's revolutionary movement.[211]

Castro's increasing role on the world stage strained his relationship with the USSR, now under the leadership of Leonid Brezhnev. Asserting Cuba's independence, Castro refused to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, declaring it a Soviet-U.S. attempt to dominate the Third World.[212] Diverting from Soviet Marxist doctrine, he suggested that Cuban society could evolve straight to pure communism rather than gradually progress through various stages of socialism.[213] In turn, the Soviet-loyalist Aníbal Escalante began organizing a government network of opposition to Castro, though in January 1968, he and his supporters were arrested for allegedly passing state secrets to Moscow.[214] However, recognising Cuba's economic dependence on the Soviets, Castro relented to Brezhnev's pressure to be obedient, and in August 1968 he denounced the leaders of the Prague Spring and praised the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.[215][216] Influenced by China's Great Leap Forward, in 1968 Castro proclaimed a Great Revolutionary Offensive, closing all remaining privately owned shops and businesses and denouncing their owners as capitalist counter-revolutionaries.[217] The severe lack of consumer goods for purchase led productivity to decline, as large sectors of the population felt little incentive to work hard.[218] This was exacerbated by the perception that a revolutionary elite had emerged consisting of those connected to the administration; they had access to better housing, private transportation, servants, and the ability to purchase luxury goods abroad.[219]
Economic stagnation and Third World politics: 1969–74
Castro and members of the East German Politburo in Berlin, 1972

Castro publicly celebrated his administration's 10th anniversary in January 1969; in his celebratory speech he warned of sugar rations, reflecting the nation's economic problems.[220] The 1969 crop was heavily damaged by a hurricane, and to meet its export quota, the government drafted in the army, implemented a seven-day working week, and postponed public holidays to lengthen the harvest.[221] When that year's production quota was not met, Castro offered to resign during a public speech, but assembled crowds insisted he remain.[222] Despite the economic issues, many of Castro's social reforms were popular, with the population largely supportive of the "Achievements of the Revolution" in education, medical care, housing, and road construction, as well as the policies of "direct democratic" public consultation.[223] Seeking Soviet help, from 1970 to 1972 Soviet economists re-organized Cuba's economy, founding the Cuban-Soviet Commission of Economic, Scientific and Technical Collaboration, while Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin visited in 1971.[224] In July 1972, Cuba joined the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon), an economic organization of socialist states, although this further limited Cuba's economy to agricultural production.[225]

In May 1970, the crews of two Cuban fishing boats were kidnapped by Florida-based dissident group Alpha 66, who demanded that Cuba release imprisoned militants. Under U.S. pressure, the hostages were released, and Castro welcomed them back as heroes.[226] In April 1971, Castro was internationally condemned for ordering the arrest of dissident poet Heberto Padilla; Padilla was freed, but the government established the National Cultural Council to ensure that intellectuals and artists supported the administration.[227]

In 1971, Castro visited Chile, where Marxist President Salvador Allende had been elected as the head of a left-wing coalition. Castro supported Allende's socialist reforms, but warned him of right-wing elements in Chile's military. In 1973, the military led a coup d'état and established a military junta led by Augusto Pinochet.[228] Castro proceeded to Guinea to meet socialist President Sékou Touré, praising him as Africa's greatest leader, and there received the Order of Fidelity to the People.[229] He then went on a seven-week tour visiting leftist allies: Algeria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, where he was given further awards. On each trip, he was eager to visit factory and farm workers, publicly praising their governments; privately, he urged the regimes to aid revolutionary movements elsewhere, particularly those fighting the Vietnam War.[230]

In September 1973, he returned to Algiers to attend the Fourth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Various NAM members were critical of Castro's attendance, claiming that Cuba was aligned to the Warsaw Pact and therefore should not be at the conference.[231] At the conference he publicly broke off relations with Israel, citing its government's close relationship with the U.S. and its treatment of Palestinians during the Israel–Palestine conflict. This earned Castro respect throughout the Arab world, in particular from the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who became his friend and ally.[232] As the Yom Kippur War broke out in October 1973 between Israel and an Arab coalition led by Egypt and Syria, Cuba sent 4,000 troops to defend Syrian territory from Israeli incursions.[233] Leaving Algiers, Castro visited Iraq and North Vietnam.[234]

Cuba's economy grew in 1974 as a result of high international sugar prices and new credits with Argentina, Canada, and parts of Western Europe.[235] A number of Latin American states called for Cuba's re-admittance into the Organization of American States (OAS), with the U.S. finally conceding in 1975 on Henry Kissinger's advice.[236] Cuba's government underwent a restructuring along Soviet lines, claiming that this would further democratization and decentralize power away from Castro. Officially announcing Cuba's identity as a socialist state, the first National Congress of the Cuban Communist Party was held, and a new constitution adopted that abolished the position of President and Prime Minister. Castro remained the dominant figure in governance, taking the presidency of the newly created Council of State and Council of Ministers, making him both head of state and head of government.[237]
Presidency
Main article: Presidency of Fidel Castro
Foreign wars and NAM Presidency: 1975–79

Castro considered Africa to be "the weakest link in the imperialist chain", and at the request of Angolan President Agostinho Neto he ordered 230 military advisers into Southern Africa in November 1975 to aid Neto's Marxist MPLA in the Angolan Civil War. When the U.S. and South Africa stepped up their support of the opposition FLNA and UNITA, Castro ordered a further 18,000 troops to Angola, which played a major role in forcing a South African retreat.[238] Traveling to Angola, Castro celebrated with Neto, Sékou Touré and Guinea-Bissaun President Luís Cabral, where they agreed to support Mozambique's Marxist-Leninist government against RENAMO in the Mozambique Civil War.[239] In February, Castro visited Algeria and then Libya, where he spent ten days with Gaddafi and oversaw the establishment of the Jamahariya system of governance, before attending talks with the Marxist government of South Yemen. From there he proceeded to Somalia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola where he was greeted by crowds as a hero for Cuba's role in opposing apartheid South Africa.[240] Throughout much of Africa he was hailed as a friend to national liberation from foreign dominance.[241] This was followed with visits to Berlin and Moscow.[242]

There is often talk of human rights, but it is also necessary to talk of the rights of humanity. Why should some people walk barefoot, so that others can travel in luxurious cars? Why should some live for thirty-five years, so that others can live for seventy years? Why should some be miserably poor, so that others can be hugely rich? I speak on behalf of the children in the world who do not have a piece of bread. I speak on the behalf of the sick who have no medicine, of those whose rights to life and human dignity have been denied.
— Fidel Castro's message to the UN General Assembly, 1979[243]

In 1977 the Ethio-Somali War broke out over the disputed Ogaden region as Somalia invaded Ethiopia; although a former ally of Somali President Siad Barre, Castro had warned him against such action, and Cuba sided with Mengistu Haile Mariam's Marxist government of Ethiopia. He sent troops under the command of General Arnaldo Ochoa to aid the overwhelmed Ethiopian army. After forcing back the Somalis, Mengistu then ordered the Ethiopians to suppress the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, a measure Castro refused to support.[244] Castro extended support to Latin American revolutionary movements, namely the Sandinista National Liberation Front in its overthrow of the Nicaraguan rightist government of Anastasio Somoza Debayle in July 1979.[245] Castro's critics accused the government of wasting Cuban lives in these military endeavors; the anti-Castro Center for a Free Cuba has claimed that an estimated 14,000 Cubans were killed in foreign Cuban military actions.[246] When U.S. sta

Recent Updated: 9 days ago - Created by Richard R. Thompson - View

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Flickr Fort Liédot de l'île d'Aix
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Le fort Liédot est une fortification située au nord-est de l'île. Initialement à visée défensive, il a rempli tour à tour bien d'autres fonctions : lieu de détention, cible d'expériences de tir, puis colonie de vacances de l'Armée. Le 5 août 1808, Napoléon Ier s'étant rendu sur l'île d'Aix pour une visite d'inspection, décide la construction d'un fort indestructible et imprenable, semi-enterré pour échapper aux tirs de l'artillerie et'empêcher tout débarquement ennemi. Il en dessine lui-même les premières esquisses. Quant à l'implantation, le choix de l'Empereur se porte sur le plus haut sommet de l'île (9 m), d'où le premier nom de la forteresse "Fort de la Sommité".

La construction, qui durera 24 ans, débute à partir de 1810, sous les directives de l’ingénieur Thuillier. C'est un fort carré doté d’un bastion à chaque pointe, de 90 m de côté et de 7 m de haut, dont la cour centrale mesure 30 m. En 1812, le fort est renommé Fort Liédot, en hommage au colonel du même nom, mort pendant la campagne de Russie. Pourtant, il ne subira d'attaque que les tirs d'entraînement de l'armée française en 1863. Il servit surtout de lieu de détention pour des prisonniers politiques, notamment pendant l'insurrection de la Commune à Paris en 1871. Le plus célèbre prisonnier a été Ahmed Ben Bella, le futur premier Président de la République d'Algérie qui y fut retenu de 1959 à 1961, ainsi que quelques-uns de ses compagnons du FLN (cf. wikipédia).


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Flickr Fort Liédot de l'île d'Aix
Tags: iledaix   
Le fort Liédot est une fortification située au nord-est de l'île. Initialement à visée défensive, il a rempli tour à tour bien d'autres fonctions : lieu de détention, cible d'expériences de tir, puis colonie de vacances de l'Armée. Le 5 août 1808, Napoléon Ier s'étant rendu sur l'île d'Aix pour une visite d'inspection, décide la construction d'un fort indestructible et imprenable, semi-enterré pour échapper aux tirs de l'artillerie et'empêcher tout débarquement ennemi. Il en dessine lui-même les premières esquisses. Quant à l'implantation, le choix de l'Empereur se porte sur le plus haut sommet de l'île (9 m), d'où le premier nom de la forteresse "Fort de la Sommité".

La construction, qui durera 24 ans, débute à partir de 1810, sous les directives de l’ingénieur Thuillier. C'est un fort carré doté d’un bastion à chaque pointe, de 90 m de côté et de 7 m de haut, dont la cour centrale mesure 30 m. En 1812, le fort est renommé Fort Liédot, en hommage au colonel du même nom, mort pendant la campagne de Russie. Pourtant, il ne subira d'attaque que les tirs d'entraînement de l'armée française en 1863. Il servit surtout de lieu de détention pour des prisonniers politiques, notamment pendant l'insurrection de la Commune à Paris en 1871. Le plus célèbre prisonnier a été Ahmed Ben Bella, le futur premier Président de la République d'Algérie qui y fut retenu de 1959 à 1961, ainsi que quelques-uns de ses compagnons du FLN (cf. wikipédia).


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Flickr Fort Liédot de l'île d'Aix
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Le fort Liédot est une fortification située au nord-est de l'île. Initialement à visée défensive, il a rempli tour à tour bien d'autres fonctions : lieu de détention, cible d'expériences de tir, puis colonie de vacances de l'Armée. Le 5 août 1808, Napoléon Ier s'étant rendu sur l'île d'Aix pour une visite d'inspection, décide la construction d'un fort indestructible et imprenable, semi-enterré pour échapper aux tirs de l'artillerie et'empêcher tout débarquement ennemi. Il en dessine lui-même les premières esquisses. Quant à l'implantation, le choix de l'Empereur se porte sur le plus haut sommet de l'île (9 m), d'où le premier nom de la forteresse "Fort de la Sommité".

La construction, qui durera 24 ans, débute à partir de 1810, sous les directives de l’ingénieur Thuillier. C'est un fort carré doté d’un bastion à chaque pointe, de 90 m de côté et de 7 m de haut, dont la cour centrale mesure 30 m. En 1812, le fort est renommé Fort Liédot, en hommage au colonel du même nom, mort pendant la campagne de Russie. Pourtant, il ne subira d'attaque que les tirs d'entraînement de l'armée française en 1863. Il servit surtout de lieu de détention pour des prisonniers politiques, notamment pendant l'insurrection de la Commune à Paris en 1871. Le plus célèbre prisonnier a été Ahmed Ben Bella, le futur premier Président de la République d'Algérie qui y fut retenu de 1959 à 1961, ainsi que quelques-uns de ses compagnons du FLN (cf. wikipédia).


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Flickr Fort Liédot de l'île d'Aix
Tags: iledaix   
Le fort Liédot est une fortification située au nord-est de l'île. Initialement à visée défensive, il a rempli tour à tour bien d'autres fonctions : lieu de détention, cible d'expériences de tir, puis colonie de vacances de l'Armée. Le 5 août 1808, Napoléon Ier s'étant rendu sur l'île d'Aix pour une visite d'inspection, décide la construction d'un fort indestructible et imprenable, semi-enterré pour échapper aux tirs de l'artillerie et'empêcher tout débarquement ennemi. Il en dessine lui-même les premières esquisses. Quant à l'implantation, le choix de l'Empereur se porte sur le plus haut sommet de l'île (9 m), d'où le premier nom de la forteresse "Fort de la Sommité".

La construction, qui durera 24 ans, débute à partir de 1810, sous les directives de l’ingénieur Thuillier. C'est un fort carré doté d’un bastion à chaque pointe, de 90 m de côté et de 7 m de haut, dont la cour centrale mesure 30 m. En 1812, le fort est renommé Fort Liédot, en hommage au colonel du même nom, mort pendant la campagne de Russie. Pourtant, il ne subira d'attaque que les tirs d'entraînement de l'armée française en 1863. Il servit surtout de lieu de détention pour des prisonniers politiques, notamment pendant l'insurrection de la Commune à Paris en 1871. Le plus célèbre prisonnier a été Ahmed Ben Bella, le futur premier Président de la République d'Algérie qui y fut retenu de 1959 à 1961, ainsi que quelques-uns de ses compagnons du FLN (cf. wikipédia).


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Flickr Barockengel Cabriolet
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A BMW 502 Super V8 Autenrieth Cabriolet at the Oldtimertreffen Bruchhausen-Vilsen.

Built for the algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella.

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Flickr Mohamed LARBI BEN M'HIDI (1923 – 4 March 1957) (Arabic: محمد العربي بن مهيدي‎), commonly known as Larbi Ben M'hidi or simply as Ben M'hidi, was a prominent leader during the Algerian war of independence..
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He is one of the six founding members of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN; National Liberation Front) that launched an armed revolt throughout French Algeria and issued a proclamation calling for a sovereign Algerian state.Marcel Bigeard personally interrogated Ben M'hidi, and according to him would not allow him to be tortured. After two weeks of questioning, Ben M'hidi showed no sign of backing down, and Bigeard grew to like and respect him. During the interrogation, Ben M'hidi constantly stood up to his interrogators, due to the extensive pressure of the interrogation, insisting that Algeria would be victorious in the battle and that the Algerian people would be liberated. Bigeard was impressed with Larbi Ben M'hidi's defiance and dignity, even though defeated, he proved that he was in no way of form broken, mentally, physically or spiritually. When told the war was lost he responded by citing the 'chant des partisans' of the French Resistance: 'Another will take my place'.
Mohamed Larbi Ben M'hidi (1923 – 4 March 1957) (Arabic: محمد العربي بن مهيدي‎), commonly known as Larbi Ben M'hidi or simply as Ben M'hidi, was a prominent leader during the Algerian war of independence. He is one of the six founding members of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN; National Liberation Front) that launched an armed revolt throughout French Algeria and issued a proclamation calling for a sovereign Algerian state.
Ben M'hidi initially commanded Wilaya V (the military district in the Oran region) and played an important role at the FLN's Soummam conference in August 1956. He headed FLN operations during the Battle of Algiers where he was the last member of the FLN's Comité de Coordination et d'Exécution (CCE; Committee of Coordination and Implementation). Ben M'hidi was a strong believer in that the revolution should be directed by "internal" rather than "external" revolutionaries.
He was captured by French paratroopers in February 1957. His death was announced in March 1957 by Pierre Gorlin, Robert Lacoste's press officer. The events surrounding his death were disputed, and contended by many that he was in fact tortured before being summarily executed. Many who knew him, have ruled out the possibility of him taking his own life, as was reported in the media due to his devoutness to his faith. In 2000, General Aussaresses admitted that Ben M'hidi was executed whilst in his custody. The exact truth regarding Ben M’hidi’s death remains a mystery to this day. Ben M'hidi is considered to be a national hero in Algeria, and is considered to be a symbol of the revolution that brought an end to French colonialism.Larbi Ben M'hidi was born sometime in 1923 in the village of El Kouahi, Ain M'lila, which was part of the Constantine department at the time. He was the youngest of six children. He attended a French primary school for his first school year, and then transferred to a school in Batna, so that he could continue his studies – this is where he received his primary school certificate (Certificat d'études primaires élémentaires). The Ben M'hidi family later moved to Biskra, where Larbi Ben M'hidi began secondary school. In 1939, he joined the Algerian Muslim scouts, where he became a group leader within a very short period of time.Ben M'hidi became a follower of Messali Hadj and was a member of Hadj's Algerian People's Party (PPA) during World War II, rapidly obtaining significant responsibilities within the movement. Ben M'hidi was arrested the following day [6] after the Sétif uprising against the occupying French forces in May 1945.The uprising was suppressed through what is now known as the Sétif massacre. He was arrested in Biskra and imprisoned in the Coudiat prison in Constantine for four months.The massacres committed by the French army in Setif, Guelma and Kherrata had completely shocked him. On March 15, 1946, Ben M'Hidi was released from prison due to an amnesty being granted to the majority of nationalists imprisoned for the 1945 riots. The PPA was disbanded following the 1945 Sétif riots, and was replaced in October 1946 by the Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties (MTLD), also headed by Messali Hadj. In 1950, Ben M'hidi had been convicted in absentia and sentenced to 10 years in prison.[6] Ben M'hidi and eight other members of this movement soon grew impatient with Hadj, and decided to form the Revolutionary Committee of Unity and Action (CRUA), on 30 March 1954. During May and June 1954, they decided that French Algeria would be split into five areas; Ben M'hidi was assigned Zone 5, Oran. On 10 October, Larbi Ben M'hidi and five other members of the CRUA approved the transformation, thus giving birth to the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the National Liberation Army (ALN). At a meeting at the Climat de France, a house overlooking Bab El Oued, the FLN decided to launch an insurrection, which broke out in the early morning of 1 November 1954, and quickly escalated into the Algerian War. The outbreak soon became known as "Toussaint Rouge" (Red All Saints Day) as it coincided with the Catholic festival.The rebellion was conducted internally by Ben M'hidi, Mourad Didouche, Rabah Bitat, Krim Belkacem, Mohammed Boudiaf, and Mostefa Ben Boulaïd, while three more members (Hocine Ait Ahmed, Ahmed Ben Bella, and Mohammed Khider) were operating externally in Cairo. They later became known as "The Men of November".Ben M'hidi was designated Wilaya V (Oran), however, he encountered exceptional difficulties as the area had been recently struck by and earthquake and arms that were promised had not arrived.On 2 November 1955, Ben M'hidi took command of the Zone Autonome d'Alger (ZAA) and appointed Yacef Saadi as his aide. On 25 June 1956, a FLN tract authored by Ben M'Hidi and Abane Ramdane declared: "All executions of combatants will be followed by reprisals. For each FLN soldier guillotined, a hundred Frenchmen will be cut down."On 20 August 1956 a congress assembled in the Soummam Valley in the Kabyle. Ben M'hidi attended alone from Wilaya V (Oran). He also deputized for the "externals" in absentia, as he was the delegate to have been most recently in contact with their views. The first session was presided over by Ben M'hidi, with Abane Ramdane as secretary. Ben M'hidi had criticized the "uselessly bloody operations" which had given a bad impression on public opinion, specifically citing Zighout's massacre at El-Halia which had occurred exactly one year previously. He had also criticized Amirouche where perhaps over a thousand dissident Muslims had been "liquidated" in a village near Bougie. The conference lasted 20 days ending sometime in September 1956. The French authorities had no knowledge that many of their most important adversaries were assembled in one place.During the conference Ben M'hidi was elected along with Abane Ramdane and Krim Belkacem to the Comité de Coordination et d'Exécution (CCE; Committee of Coordination and Implementation) where they were given the responsibility in running the Algerian War of Independence.In August 1956, Ben M'hidi handed over Oran to Abdelhafid Boussouf and assumed command in Algiers, as he was given the responsibility after the election for launching the Battle of Algiers.In January 1957, he suggested the idea of an insurrectional strike. It took place on the 28 January 1957. It caught the attention of the world and the United Nations (UN).Ben M'hidi did not stay longer than two days in each hideout in the Casbah with his companions as two thousand paratroopers were searching for FLN members.Ben M'hidi was captured by Marcel Bigeard and his men on 23 February 1957 after receiving a tip-off provided by Roger Trinquier's network of informers. The details regarding Larbi Ben M'hidi's arrest are controversial, as there are several versions which contradict each other. According to French sources, parachutists burst into an apartment on Rue Claude Debussy, in the European quarter, and arrested Larbi Ben M'hidi in his pajamas. Apparently they thought they were on the trail of Ben Khedda, who was another leader of the Coordinating and Executing Committee (CCE). The other members of the committee had fled to the mountains or abroad (primarily Tunis). The photograph of his arrest was published the following day in all the newspapers in Algiers. The photograph showed Larbi Ben M'hidi with handcuffs on his wrists and ankles, with a cheerful brave face. Ben M'hidi also appeared in video footage released by the French press, alongside Brahim Chergui, the liaison chief of the Zone Autonome d'Alger (ZAA) who was arrested on the 24 February 1957. Ben M'hidi was seen to be smiling towards the camera, and exchanging words with the armed paratroopers. He was handcuffed and had his feet shackled on the video footage, unlike Brahim Chergui. The video footage was taken in El Biar at then Colonel Bigeard's command post.Larbi Ben M'hidi in custody.Marcel Bigeard personally interrogated Ben M'hidi, and according to him would not allow him to be tortured. After two weeks of questioning, Ben M'hidi showed no sign of backing down, and Bigeard grew to like and respect him. During the interrogation, Ben M'hidi constantly stood up to his interrogators, due to the extensive pressure of the interrogation, insisting that Algeria would be victorious in the battle and that the Algerian people would be liberated. Bigeard was impressed with Larbi Ben M'hidi's defiance and dignity, even though defeated, he proved that he was in no way of form broken, mentally, physically or spiritually. When told the war was lost he responded by citing the 'chant des partisans' of the French Resistance: 'Another will take my place'.General Jacques Massu, however, was frustrated with Bigeard's slow progress, and arranged for Ben M'hidi to be transferred into the custody of Major Paul Aussaresses. According to a report to the CCE on 4 March 1957 made by an FLN spy who had been working in the Algiers police headquarters, Bigeard “was unable to prevent Ben M’hidi being handed over to men of a ‘special section’ of the paratroops. These interrogated him on their own initiative, and killed him last night.”. Under Aussaresses, Ben M'hidi was tortured, and then driven to an isolated farm 18 kilometres south of Algiers, where he was hanged – "to make it look like suicide".On 6 March 1957, Pierre Gorlin (Robert Lacoste's press officer) announced that Ben M'hidi "had committed suicide by hanging himself with strips of material torn from his shirt". His body was later transferred to Maillot hospital in Algiers. On arrival, two French medical officers stated officially after examining him that he was already dead. General Jacques Massu claimed that Ben M'hidi was "still breathing" on his way to hospital after hanging himself with an electric flex during the night.
General Aussaresses admitted in 2000 that Ben M'hidi had been killed by the state, as had the lawyer Ali Boumendjel.General Bigeard said he had respect for Ben M'Hidi and that he regretted his death.not in citation given] Bigeard had declared himself 'sickened' by the news that French troops had assassinated Ben M'hidi. Another French Army officer, Roger Trinquier, claimed that Ben M'hidi had been killed, but not tortured: "I know that all of you think we tortured him to death, but we did not ... We shot him to death, but we gave him a guard of honor before we shot him". However, Aussaresses' confession appears to contradict this account. Trinquier also regretted Ben M'hidi's death, stating: "I didn't want to shoot him. I had never met anyone like that ... I would have liked to see him as le président de la France."
After Independence one of the main place of Biskra was renamed Place Larbi Ben M'hidi.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larbi_Ben_M%27hidi

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Flickr First summit of the Arab League

Arab heads of state in a meeting during the 1964 Arab League Summit in Cairo. Seated at the table counterclockwise: President Abdul Salam Arif of Iraq, President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, King Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Hussein of Jordan, Emir Abdullah al-Sabah of Kuwait (unseen), Crown Prince Ali Hassan of Libya, not available, King Mohammed of Morocco (unseen), President Amin al-Hafiz of Syria, President Ibrahim Abboud of Sudan, President Habib Bourghiba of Tunisia, President Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria, Chairman Ahmed Shukeiri of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
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Flickr Ahmed Ben Bella T-shirts - Peace does not - Love & Friendship Tshirts
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Peace does not include a vendetta; there will be neither winners nor losers.-Ahmed Ben Bella
This unique quotation top doesn’t go out of style. We feature timeless saying t-shirts , words of understanding tshirts , philosophy shirts , and also literature t-shirts in respect of...
www.tshirtadvice.com/ahmed-ben-bella-t-shirts-peace-does-...

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Flickr Ahmed Ben Bella
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Ahmed Ben Bella on board a ship from Barcelona to Algiers waving at his supporters on his triumphant return to Algeria after being exiled. Circa 1991 - Baptism of Fire, now available from Amazon
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Flickr entree aeroport Ahmed Ben Bella Oran

O R A N Wahran
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Flickr Ahmed Ben Bella DDC_9870
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Free download of the entire Abode of Chaos' Opus IX (504 pages)

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Film HD d'Etienne PERRONE selon un scénario original de thierry Ehrmann.

courtesy of Organ Museum
©2014 www.AbodeofChaos.org

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Flickr Ahmed Ben Bella DDC_9867
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Free download of the entire Abode of Chaos' Opus IX (504 pages)

Secrets revealed of the Abode of Chaos (144 pages, adult only) >>>

"999" English version with English subtitles is available >>>
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999 : visite initiatique au coeur de la Demeure du Chaos insufflée par l'Esprit de la Salamandre
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Flickr Ahmed Ben Bella, 1st president of Algeria
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Flickr U1448006
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17 May 1964 --- Original caption: Premier Nikita Khrushchev/ President Gamel Abdel Nasser of the UAR and President Ben Bella of Algeria at Karnak Temples. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
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Flickr The Tree planted by the first president of the Algerian Republic, ' Ahmed Ben Bella ' 22/09, 2005.
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Commemorative site of the allegiance of the Emir Abdelkader - Derdara Ghriss, Mascara. twitter.com/Mascara_Algeria
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Flickr Today @ ORN Airport Ahmed Ben Bella, Oran
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Flickr 42-17451898
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1961, France --- Mohamed Ahmed Ben Bella went on to become Algeria's first President. --- Image by © Corbis
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Flickr Ahmed Ben Bella- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
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Ahmed Ben Bella, militant leader in Algeria’s struggle for independence, dies at 95

By Adam Bernstein, Thursday, April 12, 2:19 AM

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Flickr Algeria's first President
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Caption: 1963. Ahmed Ben Bella, Algeria's first president visits a school for the blind near Robert Setters home.

Citation: Mennonite Board of Missions. Photographs. Algeria Pax, 1955-1963. IV-10-7.2 Box 1 folder 27, photo #51. Mennonite Church USA Archives - Goshen. Goshen, Indiana.

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Flickr La plaine de Volubilis
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Les parents de Michel Jobert, (1921-2002), homme politique français de la Vème république, né Ruelle Faidherbe à Meknès, proche de Georges Pompidou puis ministre de Mitterrand, possédaient une ferme quelque part dans cette plaine.

Meknès – Cité Interdite

Par Jean-Pierrre Péroncel-Hugoz pour le monde fr.

Le nifé de la capitale du Zehroun, son point modal, là où l’énigme de Meknès vous fait bourdonner les oreilles, c’est peut-être cette simple voie asphaltée de quelques centaines de mètres, souvent déserte, courant tout droit vers Bab-Rih, entre deux hauts et vieux remparts sans ouvertures.

On n’est pas censé savoir que, derrière l’un de ces murs, le jardin des Sultans maintenant recèle, c’est le mot, un golf tout bête. A deux pas, le Méchouar royal conserve toute l’opacité souhaitable, comme ces mosquées providentiellement fermées aux non-musulmans, et d’ailleurs quasi introuvables dans de dédale médinéen.

Au creux de ce double rempart, on se croirait en Chine, dans un mélange de Cité interdite et de Grande Muraille. À Pékin ou au Jehol, l’ex-empire du Milieu rejoint d’ailleurs parfois l’Empire chérifien, avec leurs mêmes parois d’argile lissée à main d’homme, boiseries rouge anémone et faïences jaune acide. Sans parler des yeux berbères bridés….






Impression inédite, en revanche – ou alors, là, il faudrait convoquer les palais équestres de Chantilly ou de Versailles -, dans les colossaux entrepôts et écuries de Moulay Ismaïl (1747 – 1672 – 1727), le Sultan -Soleil qui demanda la main d’une fille de Louis XIV, laquelle craignit la concurrence de dizaines et plus d’autres ‘reines’… Plus tard, sous Mohamed III, une demoiselle corse, Davia Franceschini (née en 1756), eut moins de scrupules et se targua d’être « l’impératrice de Maroc, égalant Marie-Antoinette »….

Sous la centaine d’arcades géantes « à la grandiose architecture barbare » (Jules Roy) et dont chacune pourrait fournir un arc triomphal, croissent aujourd’hui ronces et ricins ; on y abritait jadis les 12.000 destriers de Sa Majesté alaouite, deux palefreniers au moins par monture et des pyramides de foin et grain jusqu’aux plafonds. Lorsque Delacroix, vers 1830, accompagna ici l’ambassadeur de France et y croqua Abdrrahmane 1er, descendant d’Ismaïl, pour le plus grand profit, de nos jours, du musée toulousain des Augustins, Meknès avait encore belle allure, malgré séisme et défaveur.






Médina Meknès

Le protectorat français (1912 – 1956) devait sauver le périmètre en dessinant un spacieux et arboré quartier neuf sur l’autre rive de l’oued Boufekrane, où le roi actuel du Maroc vient de construire une mosquée palatiale splendidement couverte de tuiles vertes (mosquée Mohamed VI) à l’instar de la beaucoup plus modeste coupole de Sidi-Aïssa, littéralement « Saint-Jésus » (mais rien à voir avec le Christ), qui, le long de la médina, attire les fidèles de la confrérie panmaghrébine aïssaoua. Ces pèlerins, dont certains sont prêts à se soumettre à des épreuves sanglantes en l’honneur de leur fondateur, prédicateur populaire d’il y a quatre cent ans, font jaser les dévots bourgeois musulmans de Fès ou de Rabat, enclins, eux, à parler de « pratiques quasi païennes autour de ce marabout… »



L’agglomération meknassi compterait en 2004 pas loin d’un million d’âmes, soit dix fois plus qu’en 1700, où la population locale coexistait avec 25.000 captifs chrétiens. La mini chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Olivier, où entendent à présent la messe les quelques catholiques résidant encore à Meknès, est organisée autour d’une modeste statue de la Vierge, en thuya, que priaient les prisonniers du XVIIe siècle. E temps a passé aussi sur les massacres de civils européens commis soudain, ici, en octobre 1956, dans un accès d’ultra nationalisme chauffé a blanc par l’interception française de l’avion chérifien transportant vers Tunis cinq chefs de l’insurrection algérienne, dont Ahmed Ben Bella.

Du coiffeur au taximan, du sous-lieutenant dans l’armée de l’air à l’agronome formé au Québec, les Meknassis font de nos jours assaut de francophilie, tout en continuant, il est vrai, à professer le plus vif patriotisme local. Un boulanger vous prend par le coude afin de vous montrer, ruelle Faidherbe, la maison natale de Michel JOBERT (1921 – 2002), « pied-noir marocain et fier de l’être », sur laquelle Hassan II fit apposer une plaque laudative du vivant de feu le ministre souverainiste de Pompidou et Mitterand.

Au pied des ruines latino-berbères de Volubilis, au cœur même du djebel Zerhoun, le voiturier agit dmême pour vous faire apercevoir, dans une oliveraie proche, « la petite ferme des parents de M. JOBERT ». Toute bonne bibliothèque, par ici, renferme La Rivière aux grenades, roman autobiographique nord-africain du futur champion de l’indépendance française face à Washington.

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with Ahmed Ben Bella
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French deputy and former head of the French Socialist party Francois Hollande (R) and former Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella (1962-1965) احمد بن بلة pose for a picture during their meeting, on December 8, 2010 in Algiers. Hollande pays a three-day visit to Algeria.
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1967. An interesting mixture of french and arabic culture. Ahmed Ben Bella was the hero,if my memory serves me right.
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Ahmed Ben Bella (Maghnia, 25 dicembre 1918) politico algerino, esponente dell'ala più radicale del movimento di liberazione nazionale d'Algeria, considerato il padre della patria algerina. Fu il primo Presidente dell'Algeria.
Dopo aver abbandonato il movimento nazionalista fondato da Messali Hadj, a cui aveva aderito subito dopo la fine della Seconda guerra mondiale, diede vita ad un movimento rivoluzionario autonomo, e quindi, durante un forzato esilio in Egitto, al Fronte di Liberazione Nazionale ed all'esercito clandestino (1952) che nel 1954 iniziò le azioni militari in grande stile. Nel 1955 i francesi lo arrestarono. Liberato in seguito agli accordi di Évian (1962), che sancirono l'indipendenza dell'Algeria, fu prima vice-presidente e poi presidente del Consiglio dei ministri del nuovo Stato, estromettendo via via dal potere i suoi avversari di destra e di sinistra. Promosse un arduo piano di riforme sociali, ma la sua attività fu bruscamente troncata da un colpo di Stato militare guidato dall'antico compagno d'armi Houari Boumedienne.
Amato dal popolo algerino come pochi altri capi rivoluzionari; il suo nome scandito ritmicamente era il grido di guerra dell'Armata Popolare di Liberazione. La sua popolarità venne però scossa dalla necessità di mantenere un difficile equilibrio fra nazionalisti e progressisti all'interno, fra Europa ed Unione Sovietica all'estero, il che lo condusse alla rottura con i comunisti cercando una Via algerina al socialismo. Inoltre, la rapididità con cui volle imporre il processo di riforme sociali ed economiche gli inimicò anche le forze della borghesia.
Nella foto: Ahmed Ben Bella fotografato a Roma.

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Flickr Bouabid et Ahmed Ben Bella 1980


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Flickr President Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria and Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt during the early 1960s.
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Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria and Gamal Abdel Nassar of Egypt.
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Flickr LA LISTE DES 22


LA LISTE DES 22
& BIOGRAPHIES
BADJI Mokhtar

BELOUIZDAD Athmane

BEN BOULAID Mustapha

BENABDELMALEK Ramdane

BENAOUDA Amar

BENM’HIDI Larbi

BENTOBBAL Lakhdar

BITAT Rabah

BOUADJADJ Zoubir

BOUALI Said

BOUCHAIB Ahmed

BOUDIAF Mohamed

BOUSSOUF Abdelhafid

DERRICHE Elias

DIDOUCHE Mourad

HABACHI Abdesslam

LAMOUDI Abdelkader

MECHATI Mohamed

MELLAH Rachid

MERZOUGUI Mohamed

SOUIDANI Boudjema

ZIGHOUD Youcef


Les "vingt et un"
De Clos Salembier à la légende
Mardi 31 octobre 2000 La Tribune
Par Rachid Mohamed Larbi
Il est convenu désormais de tenir la réunion dans la villa d’Elias Dechir, à Clos Salembier, de juin 1954 comme un point d’ancrage décisif du processus insurrectionnel de Novembre 1954 et d’identifier un collectif -le groupe des 22- comme le promoteur immédiat de l’accélération historique qui tranche, dans le même mouvement, la profonde crise du MTLD et la question du recours à la lutte armée pour concrétiser l’objectif de l’indépendance du pays.
Les "22" sont de fait vingt et un à se concerter et à arrêter les décisions. Les plus âgés d’entre eux —Bouchaïb Belhadj, Boudiaf, Badji- ont tout au plus trente-cinq ans, le plus jeune, Othmane Belouizdad, en vingt-cinq ; la majorité d’entre eux vient de l’est du pays et on se souvient, à ce propos, que Boudiaf s’en était publiquement expliqué lors du débat diffusé en direct par la télévision algérienne à la suite de la présentation de la série Aux sources de Novembre et quasiment tous sont alors des clandestins de l’ancienne organisation spéciale.
L’une des décisions stratégiques du groupe est la mise en place d’un découpage territorial du pays en cinq zones coiffées par Mostefa Benboulaïd pour la zone 1, Didouche Mourad pour la 2, Krim Belkacem pour la 3 —dès mai, ce dernier est en contact avec Boudiaf, Benboulaïd, Didouche, avec le souci de lever l’hypothèque messaliste-, Rabah Bitat pour la 4 —celle de l’Algérois— et Larbi Ben M’hidi pour la 5. Mohamed Boudiaf assure la coordination et les relations avec l’extérieur. Cet organigramme aura, en vérité, tôt fait problème tant dans sa composition que dans la répartition des responsabilités. Les Constantinois —Mechati, Habachi, Zighoud, Bouali, Mellah— contestent la méthode de désignation des responsabilités d’une part, la représentativité des zones et enfin la promotion de Boudiaf au rang de coordinateur (1).
La réunion de clarification qui rassemble à Constantine, autour de Si Abelkader Didouche et de Abderrahmane Gherras, ancien responsable départemental de l’OS, les militants activistes ne débouche pas sur des résultats probants. Constantine ne sera pas au rendez-vous du 1er Novembre. L’une des conséquences peu connues de cette crise constantinoise aura été de voir deux éléments du groupe des vingt et un, Saïd Bouali, dit "La motta", et Slimane Mellah, rejoindre le maquis et mourir au combat en simples djounoud de l’ALN. Le destin des vingt et un sera contrasté. Douze d’entre eux —Bentobbal, Boussouf, Benaouda, Bouarroudj, Merzougui, Belouizdad, Habachi, Mechati, Bouchaïb, Bitat, Lamoudi, Boudiaf— survivront et verront la concrétisation de l’objectif de l’indépendance. Lorsqu’en février 1957, au plus fort de la répression engagée par les paras de Massu, Krim se résout à sortir d’Algérie, il n’y a plus aucun responsable du comité des six effectivement en activité sur le territoire national.
Les six avaient décidé, lors de leur dernière rencontre du 23 octobre 1954, de se retrouver en janvier 1955 pour faire le point de la situation. Les événements en décideront autrement. Boudiaf quitte le pays le 26 octobre 1954, chargé de documents —dont la proclamation du 1er Novembre— avec pour mission de rejoindre Le Caire. La lancinante question des armes verra Benaouda Mostefa affecté à Tunis et, en août 1957, la réunion du CNRA consacrera la sortie définitive hors du territoire des principaux responsables de wilaya dont Boussouf et Bentobbal. Mechati pour sa part avait rejoint dès 1955 la fédération de France du FLN. Ceux qui restaient en Algérie étaient alors dans les geôles françaises. Dès le début de l’insurrection, Bouchaïb, Belouizdad, Bouarroudj, Merzougui sont arrêtés et emprisonnés. Ils ne seront libérés qu’à l’indépendance du pays. En 1955, c’est au tour de Abdesselem Habachi mais c’est l’arrestation en février, à la frontière tuniso-libyenne, de Mostefa Benboulaïd, leader charismatique de la zone 1, qui occupe les titres des journaux. Jugé et condamné à mort, Mostefa Benboulaïd s’évadera de la prison du Coudiat de Constantine avec quelques compagnons en novembre de la même année, une évasion qui aura une profonde répercussion sur l’état de l’opinion algérienne.
C’est l’arrestation de Rabah Bitat, chef de la zone 4, en mars, qui aura des conséquences significatives avec notamment l’avènement de la forte personnalité de Abbane et les choix stratégiques que celui-ci impulsera en compagnie de Larbi Ben M’hidi. On connaît le martyre de Hakim —l’un des noms de guerre de Ben M’hidi— sous la torture des services spéciaux français, auxquels le général Bigeard l’aura livré "sur ordre de Paris", selon ce qu’il avait rapporté à l’hebdomadaire Algérie Actualité. Benboulaïd avait trouvé la mort, victime d’un colis piégé, une année auparavant dans le maquis des Aurès, un mois avant la disparition, du côté de Chréa de Souidani Boudjemaa, le 16 avril 1956. Didouche Mourad et Badji Mokhtar meurent les armes à la main en janvier 1955, le premier du côté de Houadek, dans la région de Skikda, le second à Mzedj Sfa. Si Ahmed Zighoud, successeur de Didouche à la tête de la wilaya 2, succombe en août 1956 au cours d’un accrochage avec l’armée française.
Le 1er Novembre 1954, Benabdelmak Ramdane, premier martyr du groupe qui vient d’engager le processus révolutionnaire, tombe du côté de Cassaigne, en Oranie. Près de la moitié de ceux qui avaient pris sur eux d’imposer le choix de la lutte armée pour concrétiser l’indépendance de l’Algérie, en pleine conformité avec leurs idéaux. "Oui ou non sommes-nous des révolutionnaires ? Alors qu’attendons-nous pour faire cette révolution si nous sommes sincères avec nous-mêmes ?" (2) Telle était la question posée par Souidani Boudjemaa à ses compagnons en juin 1954 lors de la rencontre des vingt et un. L’histoire n’a pas encore achevé de sonder les réponses données.
________________________________________
INTERVIEW avec Mohamed Mechati

« Le groupe des 22 a été le catalyseur »
Mohamed Mechati a fait partie du groupe des 22 qui a déclenché la Révolution. Dans l’entretien qui suit, le vieux militant - 84 ans - retrace les péripéties qui ont abouti à la fameuse réunion du Clos-Salembier où les mots d’ordre de la lutte armée ont été lancés.
Sincèrement, il répond à nos questions avec un souci du détail remarquable. Mechati, dont les contributions dans les journaux ont été régulières au cours de ces dernières années, s’était illustré par un article, au lendemain de l’ouverture démocratique, intitulé « Du parti unique au multipartisme unique » qu’il considère comme prémonitoire. Notre interlocuteur a occupé plusieurs hautes fonctions au lendemain de l’Indépendance. Il a été notamment ambassadeur et vice-président de la Ligue algérienne des droits de l’homme.
Comment s’est constitué le groupe dit des 22 et qui en était l’initiateur ?
D’abord, je précise que le groupe était composé de 21 personnes. Tout le monde parle de 22 parce que le premier qui a écrit sur l’histoire de la guerre d’Algérie était Yves Courrière qui en a fait mention dans son livre Les Fils de la Toussaint. L’historien français avait cité quelqu’un qui n’avait pas assisté à cette fameuse réunion, en l’occurrence Hadj Benhalla. Quant à Lyès Derriche, le propriétaire de la maison qui a abrité la réunion au Clos-Salembier, sa mission était de mettre à notre disposition sa demeure. C’était un militant qui faisait partie de la logistique. Le fait d’avoir ouvert sa maison est un acte de grande valeur, de sacrifice et de discipline, mais il n’a pas assisté à ladite réunion. Il a un grand mérite. Quant à la non-convocation à cette réunion de Benhalla qui était un haut responsable de l’Organisation secrète (OS) dans l’Oranie, cela reste une énigme. Le « cafouillage » qui a eu lieu après à propos de cette réunion est dû au Pouvoir qui, depuis l’Indépendance, n’aime pas parler de l’histoire qui a été occultée à dessein.
Qui a eu l’idée de réunir tous ces militants et pour quel objectif ?
C’est Mohamed Boudiaf. Pourquoi ? Parce que c’était le dernier responsable de l’OS après la dissolution de l’organisation par le parti au niveau de l’état-major à Alger. Par conséquent, lorsque l’OS a volé en éclats, tout le monde s’est dispersé, mais Boudiaf a gardé le contact avec les anciens militants de l’OS. Lorsque le parti a implosé du fait de Messali lui-même, il y avait une crise d’autorité, une crise de confiance. Les gens ne croyaient plus à rien, le parti s’est scindé en plusieurs tendances - messalistes, centralistes... Boudiaf, qui se trouvait en France durant cette période, avait été convoqué par Lahouel Hocine, responsable du parti à Alger. A la suite donc de cette « déchirure » qui a atomisé le parti, Boudiaf a été chargé de réunir les éléments de l’OS pour renverser la situation.
Que lui a demandé le comité central représenté par Lahouel ?
De tout simplement remettre les choses à leur place, en dépassant les conflits nés des scissions qui minaient le parti. L’objectif visé était d’utiliser les éléments de l’OS, mais avant de passer à l’acte, c’est-à-dire à la lutte armée, il fallait créer l’unité du parti. Pour cela, il a été mis en place un organe, le Comité révolutionnaire pour l’unité et l’action (CRUA), chapeauté par Boudiaf et Benboulaïd de l’OS et par Dakhli Bachir et Bouchebouba, délégués par le comité central. La mission de ce comité n’était autre que d’assurer l’union entre tous les militants pour passer à l’action. Benboulaïd a été délégué pour aller voir Messali pour lui faire part des démarches effectuées et pour l’y associer, mais Benboulaïd est revenu bredouille car le zaïm voulait que tout passe par lui. Ce qui n’était pas possible. Le CRUA a donc échoué dans sa mission. Boudiaf a mis tout le monde devant le fait accompli. Il a réuni une équipe de 20 personnes, la plupart du Constantinois. L’Algérois était représenté par Bouadjadj, Merzougui, Belouizdad et Didouche. L’Oranie avait délégué Ahmed Bouchaïb. La grande représentation de l’Est algérien était due au fait que Boudiaf était responsable de l’OS pour le Constantinois et a donc fait appel, pour une question de confiance, aux militants qu’il connaissait. Ces choix, moi je les ai contestés à l’époque, car dans une situation pareille, on fait appel aux éléments de l’OS à l’échelle nationale, aux cadres et pas aux militants. A sa décharge, Boudiaf a voulu faire vite et a donc pris ceux qu’il avait sous la main.
Quel a été le mot d’ordre de la réunion ? De quoi avez-vous parlé au juste ?
Le but de Boudiaf et du groupe était de déclencher la Révolution par la lutte armée. Pour cela, il fallait faire quelque chose qui ne s’était jamais produit auparavant. Depuis 1830, il y avait des révoltes qui étaient réprimées dans le sang. L’OS, lorsqu’elle a été créée, avait pour but de faire la Révolution à l’échelle nationale, c’est-à-dire à travers tout le territoire, d’autant qu’elle disposait des réseaux du parti. Boudiaf et Benboulaïd avaient été élus par le groupe pour la diriger.
50 ans plus tard, quel regard portez-vous sur les actions passées ?
Je peux dire que l’objectif essentiel a été atteint, à savoir la souveraineté nationale et la libération du joug du colonisateur. Mais à quoi sert l’indépendance si on doit tomber dans la misère comme on le constate actuellement ? Je suis scandalisé, car ce n’est pas pour cette Algérie que j’ai combattu. A l’époque, chacun donnait de soi, on militait sincèrement, on avait l’Algérie dans nos cœurs. Notre leitmotiv était de donner et sa personne et ses biens pour la patrie, alors que maintenant, au lieu de servir, les gens se servent beaucoup plus. Voilà la différence. Les gens sont mus par le côté matériel, par la course effrénée vers l’argent... La notion de patrie s’est estompée et le patriotisme perd du terrain de jour en jour.
Tahri Hamid
El Watan
2004-11-01/2004-11-01-7084

















BADJI Mokhtar naquit à Annaba le 17 Avril 1919 au sein d'une famille instruite. Son père était fonctionnaire au tribunal de Souk Ahras. BADJI Mokhtar effectua ses études primaires et secondaires dans la même ville mais fut contraint de quitter les bancs de l'école en 1936 suite à l'arbitraire et au racisme manifestés à son égard par les enseignants français.
Après cela, il s'engagea dans les rangs des Scouts Musulmans où il apprit les principes du militantisme organisé et grandit dans l'amour de la patrie.
En 1940, avec un groupe de nationalistes, BADJI Mokhtar créa à Souk Ahras la première cellule des jeunes rattachés au Parti de le Peuple Algérien.
BADJI Mokhtar put échapper au service militaire obligatoire dans l'armée française en réduisant de façon drastique son poids au moyen du jeûne ; ce qui amena les autorités militaires françaises à le dispenser du service en 1944.
BADJI Mokhtar poursuivit son activité politique dans les rangs du Mouvement des Amis du Manifeste et de la Liberté. Ensuite, il adhéra au Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés et de la Démocratie après sa création en 1946. Il fut ensuite nommé responsable de la cellule de l'Organisation Spéciale à Souk Ahras en 1947 jusqu'à son arrestation le 1er avril 1950, dans le cadre de la campagne menée par les appareils de répression coloniale contre les membres de l'Organisation après la découverte de la découverte de celle-ci.
Au cours de son interrogatoire, BADJI Mokhtar subit toutes sortes de tortures et fut condamné par le tribunal de Guelma à trois années de prison qu’il effectua à la prison de Chlef puis à Blida où il rencontra les dirigeants de l'Organisation Spéciale emprisonnés avec lui : Ahmed Ben Bella et Ahmed Mahsas.
En mars 1954, BADJI Mokhtar participa à la création du Comité Révolutionnaire pour l'Unité et le Travail ainsi qu'à la réunion des 22 tenue à Alger en juin 1954.
Au cours des préparatifs pour la Révolution, BADJI Mokhtar supervisa en tant que commandant du secteur de Souk Ahras l'entraînement des militants, la fourniture de caches, de ravitaillement, d'armes et de munitions…
BADJI Mokhtar dirigea les premières opérations militaires contre les intérêts coloniaux au cours de la nuit du 1er novembre 1954 et après, notamment l'attaque contre la mine de Nadhor ainsi que celle d'un train.
BADJI Mokhtar tomba au champ d'honneur après avoir été encerclé par les forces d'occupation dans la forêt de Beni Salah, dans la région de Medjaz Sfa à Souk Ahras en janvier 1955.




Né en février 1917 à Arris au sein d'une famille aisée et fortement imprégnée des valeurs de l'Islam, il effectua ses études primaires dans son village natal puis à Batna où il rejoignit l'école des indigènes. Il reçut également l'enseignement de l'école de l'Association des Ulémas Musulmans Algériens.
Il émigra en France en 1937 et connut de près la situation des Algériens là-bas. Il constitua un syndicat pour la défense de leurs droits.
En 1939, il accomplit le service militaire obligatoire et fut de nouveau mobilisé durant la deuxième guerre mondiale.
Il débuta son activité politique dans les rangs du Parti du Peuple Algérien à partir des années quarante et fut l'un de ses membres les plus actifs dans la région des Aurès. A la création de l'Organisation Spéciale, il mena une intense activité pour la formation politique des jeunes et leur entraînement militaire, utilisait ses propres deniers pour l'entraînement et l'armement des militants.
En 1948, il participa aux élections de l'Assemblée Algérienne et obtint une victoire écrasante. Cependant, les résultats furent falsifiés par les autorités françaises. Il joua un rôle important dans la création de l'Organisation Spéciale. Lorsque celle-ci fut découverte, il commença à se procurer des armes en les achetant en Libye de même qu'il participa à l'hébergement des militants pourchassés par les autorités. Avec ses compagnons, il créa le Comité Révolutionnaire pour l’Unité et l’Action, participa à la réunion des 22 en juin 1954 et devint responsable de la zone I (les Aurès) de même qu’il fut membre du Comité des six.
Il supervisa personnellement la distribution des armes aux militants. En 1955, il se rendit en Libye pour approvisionner la Révolution en armes mais fut arrêté le 11 février 1955. Jugé par le tribunal militaire de Constantine en juin 1955, il fut condamné à mort. Il réussit à s’évader de prison en compagnie de Tahar Zbiri en novembre 1955 et retourna au sein de la direction de la Révolution. Il participa aux deux batailles d’Ifri el blah et Ahmar Khaddou.
Il poursuivit son combat jusqu’au moment où il tomba au champ d’honneur le 22 mars 1956, suite à l’explosion d’un poste de radio piégé, parachuté par les troupes françaises.








Benabdelmalek Ramdane naquit à Constantine en mars 1928 où il effectua ses études primaires et secondaires avant de rejoindre les cellules clandestines du Parti du Peuple Algérien à la fin de la deuxième guerre mondiale.

Benabdelmalek Ramdane adhéra à l'Organisation Spéciale en 1948 au sein de laquelle il joua un rôle actif. Après la découverte de l'organisation et son démantèlement par les autorités coloniales, il continua à militer pour l'unité du parti du Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques.
Benabdelmalek Ramdane participa en juin 1954 à la réunion des 22, considérée par les nationalistes comme étant le premier jalon sur la voie du soulèvement contre le système colonial par le biais de la lutte armée.
Par la suite, il fut nommé adjoint de Larbi Ben M'hidi, chef de la région oranaise qui le chargea de veiller à la préparation intensive des groupes de moudjahidine dans la région de Mostaganem et leur entraînement à l'utilisation des armes, plans et techniques de combat, en prévision du déclenchement de la Révolution.
Le 1er novembre 1954, Abdelmalek mena les attaques armées contre le siège de la gendarmerie à Cassaniais (Sidi Ali actuellement) dans la région de Mostaganem qui se solda par la mort d'un français, contre les fermes des colons dans la région de Bousquet (Benabdelmalek Ramdane actuellement) ainsi que la destruction d'un important transformateur électrique à Willis.Benadelmalek Ramdane fut tué le 4 novembre 1954 près de Sidi Ali au cours d'un accrochage entre son groupe et les forces d'occupation. Il fut ainsi le premier chef militaire de la Révolution à tomber au champ d'honneur. Son nom fut donné à la commune sur le sol de laquelle il tomba au champ d'honneur.










Le martyr Larbi Ben M'hidi naquit en 1923 à Douar el Kouahi, aux environs de Aïn M'lila. Cadet d'une famille composée de trois filles et deux garçons, il débuta ses études à l'école primaire française de son village natal. A l’issue de la première année scolaire, il se rendit à Batna pour poursuivre ses études primaires et après l'obtention de son certificat d'études primaires, Mohamed Larbi rejoignit sa famille à Biskra où il poursuivit sa scolarité. Il fut admis au brevet et intégra l'école de Constantine.
En 1939, il adhéra aux Scouts Musulmans, section "espoir" à Biskra et quelques mois plus tard, devint chef de la section "juniors".
En 1952, il adhéra au Parti du Peuple de son lieu de résidence où il s'intéressait de près aux affaires politiques nationales. Le 8 Mai 1945, le martyr faisait partie des prisonniers et fut libéré après trois semaines passées dans les interrogatoires et la torture au poste de police.
En 1947, il fut l'un des premiers jeunes à s'engager dans les rangs de l'Organisation Spéciale dont il ne tarda pas à devenir l’un des membres les plus éminents. En 1949, il devint responsable de l'aile militaire à Sétif et en même temps, adjoint du chef d'état-major de l'organisation secrète au niveau de l'Est algérien, dirigée à cette époque par Mohamed Boudiaf.
En 1950, il fut promu au rang de responsable de l'organisation après le départ du martyr Mohamed Boudiaf vers la Capitale.
Après l'incident de mars 1950, il s'évanouit dans la nature et après la dissolution de l'Organisation, il fut nommé responsable de la circonscription du parti à Oran jusqu'en 1953.
Lorsque fut formé le Comité Révolutionnaire pour l'Unité et l'Action, en mars 1984, le martyr devint l'un de ses membres les plus éminents puis un membre actif dans le Comité historique des 22.
Larbi Ben M'hidi joua un rôle très important dans les préparatifs pour la révolution armée et œuvra à convaincre tout le monde d'y participer. Il prononça sa célèbre phrase :"Jetez la révolution dans la rue et elle sera prise en charge par le peuple ". Il fut le premier chef de la zone V (Oran).
Le martyr figure parmi ceux qui œuvrèrent avec sérieux pour la tenue du Congrès de la Soummam le 20 août 1956 et fut ensuite désigné membre du Comité de Coordination et d'Exécution de la Révolution Algérienne (Haut commandement de la Révolution). Il dirigea la bataille d'Alger au début de l'année 1956 et à la fin de l'année 1957 jusqu'à ce qu'il fût arrêté à la fin du mois de février 1957. Il mourut sous la torture au cours de la nuit du trois au quatre mars 1957 après avoir donné une


leçon d'héroïsme et d'endurance à ses bourreaux.
Un portrait souriant de Larbi Ben M'hidi, juste après
son arrestation, le 23 février 1957.
La légende d'époque informe qu'il "se suicidera
dans sa cellule." Photo ECPA
(ministère français de la défense).


De son vrai nom Slimane Bentobbal, il était surtout connu sous les noms de Lakhdar ou Abdallah. Né en 1923 à Mila, il adhéra au Parti du Peuple au cours de la deuxième guerre mondiale puis à l'Organisation Spéciale et supervisa l'organisation de cellules militaires dans le Nord Constantinois.
Après la découverte de l'Organisation Spéciale, il se réfugia dans les Monts des Aurès, pour échapper aux persécutions de la police française. Là, il fit la connaissance des dirigeants du Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques tels que Mustapha Benboulaïd, Rabah Bitat, Amar Benaouda, et autres. Il fut membre du comité des 22.

Lors du déclenchement de la Révolution, il dirigea les premières opérations dans les environs de Jijel et El Milia. Il fut également parmi les encadreurs des attaques du 20 Août 1955, en compagnie du martyr Zigout Youcef.
Il participa au Congrès de la Soummam au sein de la délégation de la Zone II. Désigné comme membre suppléant au sein du Conseil National de la Révolution Algérienne, il succéda à Zigout Youcef à la tête de la wilaya II. En 1957, il se rendit à Tunis et fut nommé en août 1957, membre du Comité de Coordination et d'Exécution.
Lors de la constitution du Gouvernement Provisoire de la Révolution Algérienne, il fut nommé ministre de l'intérieur et conserva ce poste dans les trois formations gouvernementales.
Il participa aux négociations avec les autorités françaises aux Rousses et à Evian.


Rabah Bitat:
Né le 19 décembre 1925 à Aïn el Karma (Constantine), il effectua ses études à Constantine puis travailla à l'usine de tabac appartenant à Bentchicou. Il milita dès son jeune âge dans les rangs du Parti du Peuple Algérien puis au sein du Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques et devint un membre actif de l'Organisation Spéciale.
A partir de 1950, commença pour lui une vie de clandestinité. Il fut jugé par les autorités françaises en 1951 en raison de son activité politique et condamné à 10 ans d'emprisonnement. Il se rendit à Médéa et dans l'Ouest algérien afin de prendre contact avec les militants.
Il fut parmi les fondateurs du Comité Révolutionnaire pour l'Unité et le Travail puis de l'Organisation Spéciale.
Il participa aux préparatifs pour le déclenchement de la Révolution dans la Capitale et ses environs. Il fut arrêté cinq mois après le déclenchement de la Révolution, le 16 mars 1955 et condamné par un tribunal militaire français à la prison à perpétuité assortie de travaux forcés.
En dépit de sa présence en prison en France, la direction du Front de Libération Nationale le désigna néanmoins comme membre du Conseil National de la Révolution Algérienne puis dans le Comité de Coordination et d'Exécution et enfin ministre d'état dans le Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Algérienne (GPRA) en 1958.
Après trois grèves de la faim successives pour revendiquer le statut de prisonnier politique, il fut transféré avec ses compagnons qui avaient été enlevés avec lui en octobre 1956 (Ben Bella, Boudiaf, Aït Ahmed et Khider)
Il fut libéré avec le groupe le 20 mars 1962 et mourut le 11 avril 2000.


Né en 1925, Zoubir Bouadjadj est issu d'une famille très modeste. Son père meurt alors qu'il est âgé de trois ans. Il adhère en 1942 au P.P.A clandestin dans la Casbah d'Alger, milite au A.M.L, participe à la manifestation du 1er mai 1945. Il rejoint le C.R.U.A devient membre du groupe des 22 et participe au congrès des centralistes en août 1954 à Alger.
Vendeur de pièces détachées dans un magasin d'Alger, il prend part à l'insurrection du 1er novembre 1954, en tant que chef de secteur contrôlant cinq groupes à Alger.
Arrêté le 6 novembre 1954, il est condamné aux travaux forcés à perpétuité et libéré après les accords d'Evian. Après 1962 Zoubir Bouadjadj est député à l'Assemblée nationale, membre du Comité Central et responsable de la Fédération F.L.N du Grand Alger.


Mohamed Boudiaf naquit le 23 juin 1919 à Msila, au sein d’une grande famille connue dans la région. Il effectua ses études à M'sila avant d’occuper une fonction administrative.

Après la seconde guerre mondiale, il milita dans les rangs du Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques et devint responsable du Nord Constantinois au sein de l’Organisation Spéciale.
Il joua un rôle éminent dans l’unification du courant pour l’action armée qui s’était détaché du parti, en raison du conflit entre messalistes et centralistes au cours des années 1953-1954.
Il participa efficacement à la réunion des 22 et au Comité Révolutionnaire pour l’Unité et l’Action.
Mohamed Boudiaf est considéré comme l’un des hommes historiques ayant veillé à la préparation puis au déclenchement de la Révolution. Il fut désigné au sein de la Délégation Extérieure du Front de Libération Nationale en 1954 et œuvra à l’organisation du FLN en France.
Il fut emprisonné avec Ahmed Ben Bella le 22 octobre 1956 lors du détournement d’avion et demeura membre du Conseil National de la Révolution de 1956 à 1962. Il fut nommé ministre d’Etat (1958) puis vice-Président du Gouvernement Provisoire en 1961.
Il fut libéré le 19 Mars 1962 en compagnie de ses frères arrêtés avec lui.
Lors de la réunion de Tripoli, en Mai 1962, il refuse de faire parti du bureau politique et quitte cette réunion après avoir remi une lettre motivant son depart au bureau de la session et une procuration Ait Ahmed.
De retour en Algérie, il s'oppose au groupe de tlemcen et rejoint Tizi Ouzou en Juillet 1962. Cet épisode prend fin avec le compromis du 2 Aout 1962 qui voit l'entrée de Boudiaf au BUREAU POLITIQUE. Il en demissionne quelques semaines après en refusant de s'associer à l'appel à l'affrontement armé. Il refuse de même le mendat de député à la premiére assemblée nationale. Il explique alors les raisons de son opposition au régime. Ce sont ses positions politiques qui lui valent son derniér enlevement le 21 Juin 1963 et la sequestration qui est à l'origine du présent ouvrage "Où va l'Algérie?"


Boussouf Abdelhafid
Il naquit en 1926 à Mila, dans le Nord-Constantinois et y effectua ses études primaires. Avant la deuxième guerre mondiale, il se rendit à Constantine où il adhéra au Parti du Peuple Algérien. C’est là également qu’il fit la connaissance de Boudiaf, Ben M’hidi et Bentobbal et d’autres. Il fut l’un des membres les plus éminents de l’Organisation Spéciale.
Après la découverte de celle-ci en 1950, il entra dans la clandestinité dans les environs d’Oran et devint responsable de la circonscription de Tlemcen au sein du Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques, de même qu’il fut membre du Comité Révolutionnaire pour l’Unité et l’Action et assista à la réunion des vingt-deux.
Lors du déclenchement de la Révolution, il fut nommé adjoint de Ben M'hidi dans la zone V (Oran), chargé de la région de Tlemcen.
Après le Congrès de la Soummam, il devint membre du Conseil National de la Révolution Algérienne et, fut nommé en septembre 1956 chef de la Wilaya V, en remplacement de Ben M'hidi, avec grade de colonel. Il participa à la mise en place du réseau de transmissions et renseignements dans la wilaya V puis dans le reste des wilayas.
En septembre 1957, il devint membre du Comité de Coordination et d'Exécution et fut nommé, en septembre 58, ministre des liaisons générales et des communications dans le Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Algérienne. Il joua un rôle important dans la création de l'appareil de renseignements et de communications ainsi que la formation de cadres dans ce domaine au point d'avoir été surnommé le père des services de renseignements algériens.
Il mourut le 31 décembre 1979.




Surnommé "Si Abdelkader" , Didouche Mourad naquit le 13 juillet 1927 à El Mouradia à Alger au sein d'une famille modeste, effectua ses études primaires ainsi que le cycle moyen à l'école d'El Mouradia puis rejoignit le lycée technique du Ruisseau.

Nourrissant dès son jeune âge une haine farouche envers le colonialisme qui fit naître en lui le désir de venger ses compatriotes, il s'engagea, dès 1942, dans les rangs du Parti du Peuple alors qu'il n'avait pas encore atteint l'âge de 16 ans.
Deux ans plus tard, il fut nommé responsable des quartiers d'El Mouradia, El Madania et Birmandreis et créa en 1946, la troupe de Scouts "al amal" ainsi que l'équipe sportive "al-sarie al-riadhi" d'Alger.
En 1947, il organisa les élections municipales dans sa zone. Le martyr fut parmi les membres les plus éminents de l'Organisation Spéciale.
Il se rendit également dans l'Ouest Algérien en vue d'organiser la campagne électorale pour l'Assemblée algérienne, fut arrêté mais réussit à s'enfuir du tribunal.

Lors de la découverte de l'Organisation Spéciale en mars 1950 et après l'échec de l'administration coloniale à le capturer, un jugement par contumace fut prononcé contre lui, le condamnant à 10 ans de prison. Toutes les pressions exercées contre lui furent vouées à l'échec puisqu'il constitua en 1952, avec le martyr Ben Boulaïd, un noyau clandestin dans la Capitale dont la mission était la fabrication de bombes en prévision du déclenchement de la Révolution.

Il se rendit ensuite en France avec pour mission le contrôle interne de la Fédération. A son retour à Alger, il mit en place avec ses compagnons le Comité Révolutionnaire pour l’Unité et l’Action, de même qu’il participa à la réunion des « 22 » tenue en juin 1954, au cours de laquelle fut décidé le déclenchement de la Révolution. De cette réunion, émergea le premier Conseil de la Révolution , composé de 5 membres dont Didouche, lequel fut nommé responsable de la zone II.

Le martyr fut l’un des plus éminents rédacteurs de la Déclaration du 1er novembre 1954 et réussit , après le déclenchement de la Révolution et avec l’aide de son adjoint Zighout Youcef, à jeter les bases d’une organisation politico-militaire jusqu’au 18 janvier 1955 où après une bataille au douar Souadek, il tomba au champ d’honneur alors qu’il n’avait pas encore 28 ans, pour être ainsi le premier chef de zone à tomber au champ d’honneur.


MOHAMED MECHATI EST NE A CONSTANTINE. IL EST ORPHELIN A 07 ANS, IL N'EST PAS RESTE A L'ECOLE TRES LONGTEMPS.. ON LUI FAIT COMPRENDRE QUE L'ENSEIGNEMENT C'EST FINI, IL FAUT ALLER TRAVAILLER…
IL FAIT DONC SON APPRENTISSAGE DANS LA DINANDERIE. (TRAVAIL DU CUIVRE). PUIS SERA AJUSTEUR , VENDEUR DE JOURNAUX, SERVEUR TOUJOURS VETU DE GUENILLES (INDIGENE, ARABE) DESTINE A PLIER ET A DIRE MERCI QUAND ON VEUT BIEN LE PAYER.
C'EST L'ARMEE QUI LUI PERMETTRA D'ECHAPPER A SA CONDITION SOCIALE. IL S'ENGAGE, DE LA TUNISIE A MONTE CASSINO DU DEBARQUEMENT EN PROVINCE A LA LIBERATION DE STASBOURG. IL FINIT SERGENT EN 1945 , MOINS PAYE QU'UN CAPORAL FRANCAIS DE SOUCHE, BIEN SUR.
QUAND IL REVIENT EN ALGERIE, IL N'EN PEUT PLUS D'ENTENDRE LES MIEUX NES QUE LUI LUI REPETER (L'INDIGENE SAIT SE CONTENTER DE PAIN DE DATTES). IL A VU DU PAYS , LIBERE LA FRANCE (C'ETAIT UN PROBLEME DE LIBERTE ET DE DIGNITE)
NOUS VOULIONS ETRE EGAUX ? ALLONS DONC ! ON AVAIT BESOIN DE NOUS POUR SERVIR DE CHAIR A CANON. PUIS NOUS ETIONS REDEVENU DES ESCLAVES, DES SANS DROITS. DANS LES CAMPAGNES NOUS ALLIONS EN HAILLONS. LES QUI S'EN SORTAIENT UN PEU C'ETAIENT CEUX QUI TRAVAILLAIENT POUR LES COLONS.
NOUS ETIONS CONDUITS AU DESESPOIR PAR UN SYSTEME QUI NOUS AVAIT TOUJOURS MENTI , TOUJOURS TRAHIS .. NOUS N'AVIONS PLUS RIEN A ATTENDRE DE L'ADMINISTRATION COLONIALE QUI ORGANISAIT DES ELECTIONS INJUSTES ET TRUQUEES. LA REVOLTE GRONDAIT, RIEN NE POUVAIT PLUS NOUS DETOURNER DU TERRORISME. NOUS ETIONS DECIDE A PRENDRE LES ARMES, NOUS NE VOYONS PLUS D'AUTRES ISSUES. QUAND PLUS TARD, ON REPROCHERA A BEN M'HIDI D'UTILISER LES FEMMES POUR CACHER LES BOMBES DANS LEURS COUFFINS, IL REPONDRA (DONNEZ –NOUS VOS TANKS NOUS VOUS DONNERONS LES COUFFINS)
NOUS ETIONS A LA REUNION CE JOUR D'ETE DE L ANNEE 1954, DANS LA VILLA DU CLOS SALEMBIER. ILS NE METTENT PAS LONTEMPS A TOMBER D'ACCORD LA QUESTION POSEE (EST TRES SIMPLE) PUISQU'IL FAUT PASSER A L'ACTION ARMEE (DIRECTE) QUELLE FORME ET QUEL SENS PEUT ELLE PRENDRE?
S'AGIT IL D'UN SIMPLE COUP DE SEMONCE POUR OBLIGER LA FRANCE A NEGOCIER, OU DOIT ON S'ENGAGER DANS UNE LUTTE QUI NE S'ARRETERA QU'A L INDEPENDENCE .
LA PLUPART DES HOMMES PRESENTS A CETTE REUNION SONT DES MEMBRES DE (L' O S ) L'ORGANISATION SPECIALE), EMANANT DU M.T.L.D. (MOUVEMENT POUR LE TRIOMPHE DES LIBERTES DEMOCRATIQUES) DISSOUTE DEPUIS 1950, CE SONT DES CLANDESTINS, DES MILITANTS QUI CONNAISSAIENT LEUR PAYS PAR COEUR. ILS SONT SUR QUE L'ALGERIE EST PRETE A SE SOULEVER.


Le 10 janvier 1922, naquit à Guelma le héros martyr Souidani Boudjemaa, au sein d'une famille très modeste. Ayant perdu son père à l'âge de quatre ans, c’est sa mère qui subvint à ses besoins.
Il effectua ses études dans sa ville natale et grâce à son intelligence très vive et son esprit éveillé, il réussit à décrocher la première partie du baccalauréat. Cela lui permit de travailler dans l'imprimerie d'un colon français nommé Attias de 1939 à 1942.
Dès son jeune âge, Souidani fut membre de l'association des Scouts Musulmans qui fut, d’une certaine façon, une première école pour la formation de patriotes. Il fut également l’un des meilleurs joueurs dans le club de football l'Espérance de Guelma.

L'adhésion de Souidani Boudjemâa à l'association des Scouts Muslmans eut lieu très tôt et les contacts qu'il avait avec les Européens compte tenu de son lieu de résidence et du travail d'imprimeur qu'il exerçait jouèrent un rôle important dans l'évolution de sa conscience politique et la formation du sens patriotique chez lui et expliquent son adhésion au mouvement national (Parti du Peuple Algérien ). C’est son responsable hiérarchique au travail "Ahmed Djelloul" qui contribua à son adhésion à ce parti car ce fut auprès de lui qu'il s'initia aux premiers concepts du nationalisme algérien et pris ainsi connaissance de ses objectifs et ses revendications .
L'activité intense que le martyr déploya lui valut d'être nommé chef de groupement puis chef de section.
En 1943, eut lieu dans les rues de la ville de Guelma , une manifestation imposante dénonçant les mesures répressives promulguées par les autorités françaises à l'égard des indigènes algériens. La cause directe de ces manifestations fut la publication d'un décision interdisant aux indigènes la fréquentation des salles de cinéma le samedi et le dimanche.
Ceci révolta le martyr et le poussa à organiser et diriger cette manifestation dont le résultat fut son arrestation pour la première fois. Il fut condamné à trois mois de prison ferme et une amende de 600 anciens francs français
En 1944, il fut appelé au service militaire obligatoire et envoyé à la caserne de Aïn Arnat à Sétif puis affecté, après la guerre, dans l'une des imprimeries militaires à Guelma .
Malgré sa présence sous les drapeaux, il participa aux manifestations du 1er mai 1945 et pour cette raison, il lui fut interdit de quitter la caserne et il ne put donc pas participer aux manifestations historiques du 8 mai 1945.
En dépit de cela, ces massacres affectèrent profondément son moral et l'idée de la lutte armée en tant que moyen unique de sortir de l'obscurité qui l'entourait commença à se former chez lui.
Il adhéra donc à l'Organisation Spéciale à sa création et put ainsi accomplir diverses activités dont nous citerons par exemple la collecte des armes.
En 1948, il fut découvert , arrêté et condamné à 8 mois de prison ferme.
A sa sortie de prison, il poursuivit son activité militante dans le cadre de l'Organisation Spéciale dans laquelle il fut chargé de convoyer les armes. Au cours de l'une des opérations, il fut identifié par la police français lors d'un barrage établi entre Skikda et Guelma mais put s'enfuir vers Oran.
Là, il participa à l'attaque contre la poste d'Oran organisée en vue d'obtenir les fonds nécessaires à la poursuite des activités de l'Organisation.
Suite à cela, le tribunal d'Oran prononça contre lui une condamnation à mort par contumace.
D'Oran , Souidani Boudjemaa se rendit à Alger et de là à Boudouaou où il séjourna chez un paysan militant.
Suite à une dénonciation par l'un des traîtres, la cabane qui l'abritait fut encerclée mais il put par miracle s'échapper après avoir tiré sur l'inspecteur de police "Kelly" le tuant.
Après Boudouaou, le martyr se dirigea vers la région de Souidania où il séjourna pendant un certain temps.
Par la suite, le Parti le transféra à Soumâa puis à Bouinane où il s'établit chez le militant Mouaci el Mahfoud qui le maria à l'une de ses filles en 1951.
Souidani Boudjemaa poursuivit son action militante, à partir de la Mitidja notamment après la survenue de la célèbre crise du parti qui ouvrit la voie à un groupe d'anciens militants de l'Organisation Spéciale pour entamer les premiers préparatifs pour la lutte armée.
Souidani Boudjemaa joua un rôle prépondérant puisqu'il supervisa personnellement les différentes étapes de préparation de la Révolution dans la région de la Mitidja et planifia les attaques de la nuit du premier novembre; de même qu'il participa à l'attaque menée contre la caserne de Boufarik en compagnie du militant Amar Ouamrane, Boualem Kanoun et Rabah Abdelkader.
Souidani Boudjemaa débuta son activité militante par la réorganisation des groupes et la supervision de l'entraînement des militants conformément aux conditions de la Révolution et l'évolution des évènements.
Il organisa dans ce but un certain nombre de réunions locales dont les plus importantes furent celle d'Ouled Fayet et celle de Sidi M'hamed Belaïche. Il établit par ailleurs plusieurs caches dans la zone ouest de la région qui constituèrent des bastions dans lesquels les militants se réfugiaient en cas de nécessité.
Le martyr planifia également de nombreuses opérations commandos en participant à la plupart d'entre elles et il poursuivit ses activités militaires et politiques jusqu'au moment où il tomba au champ d'honneur le 16 avril 1956 au cours d'un barrage dressé près de la ville de Koléa.




Zighoud Youcef naquit le 18 février 1921 dans le village de Smendou dans le Nord Constantinois. Parallèlement à la fréquentation de l'école coranique pour l’apprentissage de la langue arabe et des préceptes de la religion musulmane, il était également scolarisé à l'école primaire française. Il quitta l'école après avoir obtenu le certificat d'études primaires en langue française, vu que les autorités françaises ne permettaient aux enfants d'Algériens de dépasser ce niveau.

A l'âge de quatorze ans, il rejoignit les rangs du Parti du Peuple Algérien et fut désigné comme responsable de son village en 1938. En 1948, il présenta sa candidature à la mairie de Smendou sur la liste électorale du Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques et réussit à être élu malgré les manigances du colonialisme et de ses sbires. Il adhéra à l'Organisation Spéciale et œuvra à l'implantation des cellules de celle-ci dans sa région.
Lorsque l'Organisation fut découverte en 1950, il fut emprisonné avec ses compagnons à la prison de Annaba mais réussit à s'évader et retourna dans son village. Là commencera pour lui l'épreuve de la clandestinité. En 1953, sa conviction s'affirma que l'action armée était l'unique choix.
Dans cet objectif, il commença à organiser les militants et les préparer en vue du jour du déclenchement de la Révolution, notamment après la création du Comité Révolutionnaire pour l'Unité et l'Action (CRUA)

Avec le déclenchement de la Révolution, il fut l'un de ses premiers dirigeants sous le commandement du martyr Didouche Mourad aux côtés duquel il participa le 18 janvier 1955 à la bataille d'Oued Boukerker, au cours de laquelle Didouche trouva la mort.
Zighoud lui succéda alors à la tête de la zone II (Nord Constantinois ) et poursuivit son combat avec abnégation jusqu'à l'été 1955 au cours duquel il dirigea l'organisation et la préparation des attaques du 20 août 1955 dont il fut le principal artisan à tel point que les attaques qui eurent lieu ce jour-là furent liées à son nom.

Parallèlement à son activité militaire, il était connu pour sa compétence politique puisqu'il fut l'un des principaux organisateurs du Congrès de la Soummam du 20 août 1955.
A la fin du Congrès, il retourna dans le Nord Constantinois pour poursuivre son combat jusqu'au 23 septembre 1956, lorsqu'il y eut un accrochage avec les troupes de l'ennemi près de Sidi Mezghiche dans la wilaya de Skikda au cours duquel le commandant Zighoud Youcef tomba au champ d'honneur.











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