Urban Guerrilla Warfare

By Anthony James Joes | Go to book overview

4
São Paulo 1965–1971 and
Montevideo 1963–1973

During the 1960s, outbreaks of rural insurgency swept across Latin America, inspired by the success of Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolt—or, rather, by a grotesquely flawed understanding of that success. The resounding failure of these efforts in the countryside, culminating in the 1967 execution of Ernesto Guevara in Bolivia, resulted in a turn by would-be revolutionaries toward urban guerrilla warfare.1


What Really Happened in Cuba

In the 1950s Cuba was in the grip of the dictator Fulgencio Batista. This decidedly uncharismatic figure succeeded in simultaneously antagonizing the Catholic Church and the business community, and eventually the U.S. State Department as well. His unpopular, corrupt, and isolated regime was supported only by its hirelings, who proved to be completely inadequate.

In 1956, Fidel Castro, a lawyer and son of a plantation owner, landed in Cuba at the head of a revolutionary force of about eighty members. Encountering army units, Castro escaped to the Sierra Maestra with a few dozen survivors. Waging a small-scale guerrilla and a large-scale propaganda war against Batista, Castro promised that if he were victorious, he would restore the democratic constitution of 1940 and hold free elections.

However unpopular and unappealing Batista’s regime, his army of fifteen thousand should have been quite adequate to deal with Castro’s band, but it was, in fact, less an army than a uniformed

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Urban Guerrilla Warfare
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Warsaw 1944 9
  • 2 - Budapest 1956 39
  • 3 - Algiers 1957 53
  • 4 - São Paulo 1965–1971 and Montevideo 1963–1973 69
  • 5 - Saigon 1968 91
  • 6 - Northern Ireland 1970–1998 109
  • 7 - Grozny 1994–1996 131
  • Conclusion- Looking Back and Ahead 151
  • Notes 165
  • Bibliography 201
  • Index 219
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