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Fidel Castro: The Cuban Revolution

Burt Glinn captured the spirit of the 1959 Cuban revolution

Burt Glinn

Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Fidel Castro and his rebel army stop along the roadside during their march to liberate Havana. Cuba, 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 New years Day in Havana, confusion is rampant as Castro sympathizers come out into the streets with whatever weapons available. In Havana, loot and destruction followed the news of President Batist (...)
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Batista has fled and there is confusion in the streets, Castro's sympathizers come out with small arms. Havana, Cuba. January 1, 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 New years Day in Havana, confusion is rampant as Castro sympathizers come out into the streets with whatever weapons available. In Havana, loot and destruction followed the news of President Batist (...)
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Fidel Castro speaking in front of the city hall of Santa Clara, that had recently been liberated by Ernesto Che Guevara. Santa Clara, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 A "pickup militia" searching a building downtown for anybody left in it that had opposed the regime. The militiamen are making a search office to office because this is a building from which people (...)
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 New Year Days, police station, Castro sympathizers round up former Batista secret police.

Havana, Cuba. January 1, 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 News vendor with headlines about Batista's departure. Havana, Cuba. January 1, 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Suddenly everyone is a Castro sympathizer and out with whatever weapons available.

Havana, Cuba. January 1, 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Havana mother whose rebel son had been fighting for Castro in the mountains for six months breaks into tears of joy as they are reunited. Her son led a column of victorious rebel troops into Havana (...)
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 In Front of the city hall of Santa Clara, Fidel Castro waving to the crowds. Santa Clara, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Castro Fidel in his office during the first year of his rule. Havana, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Castro and his people were coming in from the Sierra Mastre using any transport they could find including a tank that belonged to Batista. Santa Clara, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Fidel Castro greets the crowd in the court yard on one of the stops. Santa Clara, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Thousands of supporters flocked in front of the Presidential Palace in Havana to welcome their liberator Fidel Castro and the newly appointee Dr. Manuel Urrutia (as Castro was too young to become (...)
Burt Glinn | Cuba 1959 Photographer Burt Glinn with Fidel Castro in Castro's office. Havana, Cuba. 2001. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos

Cuba’s former president Fidel Castro, one of the world’s longest-serving and most iconic leaders, died aged 90 on Friday November 25, 2016. Castro toppled the government in 1959, introducing a Communist revolution. He defied the US for decades, surviving many assassination plots. He had been in power for 49 years, until he delegated his presidential duties to his brother Raul Castro in July 2006.

Magnum’s Burt Glinn captured the Cuban Revolution:

New Year’s Eve, 1958, 10 pm: Burt Glinn is at a black tie party in New York when he hears the news that dictator Fulgencio Batista has fled Cuba. By 7am the next morning he is in Havana in a cab, saying, “Take me to the revolution”.

Such photojournalistic fervour allowed Glinn to be in the middle of the action to capture the Cuban Revolution as it unfolded on the ground. As Glinn said, “I could get up as close as I wanted.” His photographs capture the revolutionary idealism, mayhem, and excitement of a pivotal moment in history.