The Cuban Revolution is too large a topic to attempt to explain in a few slides and captions. This third and final section contains a handful of images of artifacts preserved in Cuba's Museum of the Revolution.
Museo de la Revolución
The museum is housed in the former presidential palace in Havana. Cuban President Mario García Menocall (1913-1921) initiated the project to build a home for the Provincial Government of Cuba overlooking Havana Harbor. Using 3,750,000 USD in public funds (with inflation 88,932,197 USD today) to build the structure, he hired Louis Tiffany to decorate the interior. Casting aside the notion of the building as the seat of parliament, the building would ultimately be his residence and the home of six other Cuban presidents until the Revolution in 1959.
26th of July Movement
This radio was carried by one of the members of the 26th of July Movement, the first and unsuccessful attempt in 1956 by guerrillas led by Che Guevara and Fidel Castro to overthrow the Batista regime. The movement became perhaps the most critical event leading up to the eventual Cuban Revolution.
Early "Social Media"
After the unsuccessful 26th of July movement which saw the loss of 70 of its original 82 members, a small group of 12 survivors, including Guevara and the Castro brothers, regrouped in the Sierra Maestra mountain range and began developing plans for a second campaign. Similar to the role that social media played in the recent Arab Spring, clandestine radio was instrumental in spreading the revolutionaries' message from the seclusion of the mountains to people in Havana.
On New Year's Eve 1958, Batista fled Cuba for Spain and the Movement's forces marched into Havana. They would form the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution and assume control of the Cuban government. The Castros never resided in Cuba's Presidential Palace and Batista's presidential office became part of the museum and is open as an exhibit.
The Golden Telephone
The "golden telephone," now part of the presidential office museum exhibit, was referenced in a 1960 speech by President Kennedy. ITT, the U.S.-owned telephone company serving Cuba in the 1950s, presented Batista with a golden telephone as an expression of gratitude for the excessive telephone rate increase that Batista had granted it. The telephone has since become a well-known symbol of the excess and corruption of Batista's regime.
Under communist rule, all private industry was taken over by the state. This plaque was stripped from a Westinghouse electric generator. While some international companies accepted relatively small payments from the government in exchange for the government takeover, U.S. companies did not.
Bahia de Cochinos
Fidel Castro used this tank now on display in front of the museum during the the Bay of Pigs (Spanish: Bahía de Cochinos) invasion undertaken by the CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506 in April 1961. This would be the first of two major incidents between Cuba and the United States during the presidency of John F. Kennedy.
Cuban Missile Crisis
The United States conducted surveillance flights over post-Revolution Cuba using Lockheed U-2 military aircraft traveling at altitudes of up to 70,000 feet. According to the CIA, the state-of-the-art cameras aboard the plane could take high-resolution pictures of headlines in Russian newspapers as it flew overhead.
On October 27, just five days after President Kennedy's televised address revealing the presence of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over eastern Cuba as U.S. warships blockaded the island. According to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's later testimony, this action could have resulted in immediate retaliation from the U.S. However, Kennedy continued peaceful negotiations with the Soviet Union which ultimately defused the volatile situation.