Cuba History Timeline Events
August 19, 1957
Two of Castro’s M-26-7 rebels descended from the Sierra Maestra to publicly denounce Batista’s Air Force for war atrocities- bombings killing hundreds of defenseless campesinos (farm workers). They also declared that Castro would never accept an electoral solution, “even if the elections were clean and honest.”
After the revolution, soon after Castro assumed the post of Prime Minister, the charges of war crime bombings by Batista planes that killed civilians proved to be false. At a Revolutionary Trial in March 1959, the pilots were found innocent of the charges and it was proven that though the pilots orders were for legitimate military targets, in fact the pilots had overflown the Sierra targets and dropped the bombs out at sea. Irate, Castro demanded a retrial where the pilots were found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The Bulletin of the International Commission of Jurists on Post-revolutionary events in Cuba (No. 9, August 1959) commented upon the miscarriage of justice in the aviators' case. The Organization of American States Inter-American Commission On Human Rights denounced the reversal and the abuse of the pilots in prison (Resolution 47/81, Case 4677/Cuba).