The action aimed to disconcert the regime with the execution of Dictator Fulgencio Batista, who came to power after a coup d’état in March 1952.
After achieving their goal, the weapons from the Palace’s garrison would be given to the people, who would be summoned by the national news radio station to attack other sites in the city, such as the Maestre Garrison and police stations, to take control of the Cuban capital.
That day, some 50 youths entered the Presidential Palace amid heavy fire that caused several casualties among the attackers, but the dictator escaped through an internal staircase, annexed to his office.
After attacking Radio Reloj, 24-year-old student leader Jose Antonio Echeverria, who commanded the actions, went to the University of Havana, where he was intercepted by a police car and was killed.
According to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, the attack on the Presidential Palace was “a well-organized operation, an act of extraordinary boldness and courage, in which there were also some imponderable failures.”
Although its objective was not achieved, the March 13, 1957, actions raised people’s awareness and proved the relevance of the revolutionary action to fight Batista’s tyranny.