Batista

June 10, 1957 – The New York Times Reports Santiago de Cuba in Open Revolt

On June 10, 1957, New York Times special correspondent Herbert L Mathews reported that “virtually every man, woman, and child in Santiago de Cuba, except police and army authorities, are struggling at all costs to themselves to overthrow the military dictatorship in Havana.”  “If Havana had anything like the civic resistance movement of Santiago de Cuba, ” Mathews stated, “the Batista regime might have ended a long time ago.”  Mathews went on to describe a reign of terror by recently arrived Lieut. Col. Jose Maria Salas Canizares, selected by Batista to serve as chief of police.  Beatings, torture, stabbings, shootings, murder – intimidation and repression, reprisals for talking to outside reporters – Mathews heard accounts of violence and counter-terrorism from all fronts.  Those coming forward to talk with him at great personal risk  included business and professional groups, workers, union leaders, clergy, peasants, students, Rotarians, mothers, and people on the street.  Many Santiagueros were grateful to the Times for reporting the plight of the citizens of Cuba and their determination to resist the Batista regime.