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Cubans size up their 50-year resistance

As the Cuban Revolution marks its 50th anniversary on Thursday, Cubans old, young, weary and proud, are wearing mixed emotions on their sleeves.

world Updated: Dec 31, 2008 21:28 IST

As the Cuban Revolution marks its 50th anniversary Thursday, Cubans old, young, weary and proud, are wearing mixed emotions on their sleeves.

Speaking bluntly at 85 years young, Dulce Maria Arranz —who helped Fidel Castro’s revolution — issues a report card on a half-century: “I do not like communism, but I don’t like the Americans either. Hell, we’ve got a lot left ahead of us to do.”

Arranz remembers 50 years ago like it was yesterday, when the swirl of history’s page turning saw US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista driven from power. Santiago city, watched closely back when a bold young lawyer named Fidel Castro, who spent part of his youth here, at age 26 in 1953 attacked the local Moncada Barracks under Batista before being driven into exile.

When Castro returned in 1956 with a motley crew of 81 men fighting for change, Santiago was first on board to back the change Castro led.