July 25 – National Holiday in Cuba

Posted on July 25, 2016

According to a popular Cuban song, "The 26th [of July] is the happiest day in history!"

Actually, the group of revolutionaries who attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953, were defeated – but this defeat paved the way for the eventual revolution that succeeded. The insurrection was led by Fidel Castro, and on the same date another group attacked barracks in the city of Bayamo. Together, the attacks are considered the small engine that ignited the big engine of the Revolution.

(You may wonder why Cuba celebrates on July 25 for an anniversary of a July 26 event. Well, the commemoration is so important, it is spread out over three days, from July 25 to July 27!)

Of course, many people in Cuba were terribly upset by the communist revolution that took over their nation in 1959. Many people fled to other nations, including the United States. A lot of the Cubans who came here were the rich people who feared losing – or actually lost – much of their wealth in the Revolution. Some people were fleeing imprisonment, torture, or other horrors.

Since the time of the Revolution until the present, Cuba has been a set of contractions:

Cuba has been an enemy of the U.S. – and it conspired with America's greatest enemy (the Soviet Union), at times; but the two nations are only 90 miles apart.

Cuba has had a bad reputation for human rights abuses and arbitrary imprisonment (in other words, people were imprisoned without good reason), but it has a high ranking in health care and education.

Cuba was off limits to most travelers and had good relationships only with Soviet-bloc nations, for years, but since the collapse of the Soviet Union has cooperated with many nations and has begun to encourage tourism. In 2009 President Obama said that the United States “seeks a new beginning with Cuba,” and in 2014 an agreement called “the Cuban Thaw” restored international relations between the two close neighbors. Obama himself traveled to Cuba in March of this year!

Now the world can flock to Cuba...

Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands, so of course it has some beautiful beaches.

And the occasional iguana-infested beach!

Cuba has some great waterfalls...

...amazing diving...

...breathtaking landscapes...

...and colorful culture!


Also on this date:

Foundation of Guayaquil Day in Ecuador 

Constitution Day in Puerto Rico

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