Castro's Quarters

In 1958 Fidel Castro and his men encamped in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, in southwestern Cuba, several hundred miles from Havana.

The Castro Brothers

Photojournalist Enrique Meneses, right, spent four months with the unit led by young revolutionary Fidel, left, and his brother Raúl, center.

Shot Heard Round the World

Fidel Castro's small band of rebels engaged in a series of small skirmishes with forces loyal to Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. Here, Castro takes aim at a government garrison near Pino del Agua.
According to the photographer, Castro's shot initiated combat.


Castro's cadre prepares a letter of surrender for the Pino del Agua garrison commander. Their goal was not to take the fortress but to intercept the unit's supplies.
The offer was rejected.

Tobacco Break

Castro smokes a cigar during a lull in the fighting.

Jungle Outpost

It is estimated that Castro's forces in early 1958 numbered no more than 200 men.


Castro lights the cigarette of a young rebel with his own cigar.

Che Guevara

On Christmas Day in 1957, Fidel's comrade-in-arms arrived from another encampment for a celebratory dinner.


Castro chats with one of his men


A Batista soldier is interrogated by Che Guevara. Meneses says when these photographs were exhibited in Havana, the former prisoner arrived in the uniform of a general, explaining that after this photo was taken, he switched allegiances and joined Castro's movement. Later, he fought with Cuban forces in Angola and Eritrea

El Líder

A few months after Meneses filed these photos, Batista would flee Havana and Castro's forces would be left in control of the island nation.