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Granma (yacht)

Granma (yacht)

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Granma is the yacht
Yacht
A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt". It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries...

 that was used to transport 82 fighters of the Cuban Revolution
Cuban Revolution
The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement against the regime of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista between 1953 and 1959. Batista was finally ousted on 1 January 1959, and was replaced by a revolutionary government led by Castro...

 from Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 to Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 in 1956 for the purpose of overthrowing the regime of Fulgencio Batista
Fulgencio Batista
Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was the United States-aligned Cuban President, dictator and military leader who served as the leader of Cuba from 1933 to 1944 and from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution....

. The 60-foot (18 m) diesel-powered cabin cruiser
Cabin cruiser
A cabin cruiser is a type of power boat that provides accommodation for its crew and passengers inside the structure of the craft.A cabin cruiser usually ranges in size from in length, with larger pleasure craft usually considered yachts. Many cabin cruisers can be recovered and towed with a...

 was built in 1943 and designed to accommodate 12 people. "Granma", in English, is an affectionate term for a grandmother; the yacht is said to have been named for the original owner's grandmother.

Role in the Cuban revolution




The yacht was purchased on 10 October 1956 for MX$
Mexican peso
The peso is the currency of Mexico. Modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar, most continuing to use its sign, "$". The Mexican peso is the 12th most traded currency in the world, the third most traded in the Americas, and by far the most...

50,000 (US$15,000) from the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

-based Schuylkill Products Company, Inc. by a Mexican citizen—said to be Mexico City gun dealer Antonio "The Friend" del Conde—secretly representing Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

. Castro's 26th of July Movement
26th of July Movement
The 26th of July Movement was the revolutionary organization planned and led by Fidel Castro that in 1959 overthrew the Fulgencio Batista government in Cuba...

 had attempted to purchase a Catalina flying boat
PBY Catalina
The Consolidated PBY Catalina was an American flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft. It was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II. PBYs served with every branch of the United States Armed Forces and in the air forces and navies of many other...

 or a US naval crash rescue boat
Crash rescue boat
Crash Rescue Boat is a name used in the USA to describe military high-speed offshore rescue boats, similar in size and performance to Motor Torpedo Boats, used to rescue pilots and aircrews of crashed aircraft...

 for the purpose of crossing the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 to Cuba, but their efforts had been thwarted by lack of funds. The money to purchase the Granma had been raised in the U.S. state of Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 by former President of Cuba Carlos Prío Socarrás
Carlos Prío Socarrás
Carlos Prío Socarrás was the President of Cuba from 1948 until he was deposed by a military coup led by Fulgencio Batista on March 10, 1952, three months before new elections were to be held.- Governance :...

.

Shortly after midnight on 25 November 1956 in the Mexican
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 port of Tuxpan, Veracruz, the Granma was surreptitiously boarded by 82 members of the 26th of July movement including their leader, Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

, his brother, Raúl Castro
Raúl Castro
Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz is a Cuban politician and revolutionary who has been President of the Council of State of Cuba and the President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba since 2008; he previously exercised presidential powers in an acting capacity from 2006 to 2008...

, Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

 and Camilo Cienfuegos
Camilo Cienfuegos
Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán was a Cuban revolutionary born in Lawton, Havana. Raised in an anarchist family that had left Spain before the Spanish Civil War, he became a key figure of the Cuban Revolution, along with Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Juan Almeida Bosque, and Raúl Castro.-Political...

. The group—who later came to be known collectively as los expedicionarios del yate Granma—set out from Tuxpan at 1 a.m. and, after a series of vicissitudes and misadventures, including the near-foundering of their heavily overladen and leaking craft, disembarked on 2 December on the Playa Las Coloradas, Municipality of Niquero, in what is now Granma Province
Granma Province
Granma is one of the provinces of Cuba. Its capital is Bayamo. Other towns include Manzanillo and Pilón.-History:...

 (after the vessel), but was then part of the larger Oriente Province. The Granma was piloted by Norberto Collado Abreu
Norberto Collado Abreu
Norberto Collado Abreu was the Cuban captain and helmsman of the yacht Granma, which ferried Fidel Castro and 81 supporters to Cuba from Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, in 1956...

, a Cuban Navy veteran and ally of Castro. The location was chosen to emulate the voyage of national hero José Martí
José Martí
José Julián Martí Pérez was a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature. In his short life he was a poet, an essayist, a journalist, a revolutionary philosopher, a translator, a professor, a publisher, and a political theorist. He was also a part of the Cuban...

, who had landed in the same region 61 years earlier during the wars of independence from Spanish colonial rule.

Landing



After the revolution


Soon after the revolutionary forces triumphed on 1 January 1959, the cabin cruiser was transferred to Havana Bay
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

. Norberto Collado Abreu
Norberto Collado Abreu
Norberto Collado Abreu was the Cuban captain and helmsman of the yacht Granma, which ferried Fidel Castro and 81 supporters to Cuba from Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, in 1956...

, who had served as main helmsman for the 1956 voyage, was given the responsibility of guarding and preserving the yacht.

Since 1976, the yacht has been on permanent display in a glass enclosure at the Granma Memorial adjacent to the Museum of the Revolution
Museum of the Revolution
The Museum of the Revolution is a museum located in the Old Havana section of Havana, Cuba. The museum is housed in what was the Presidential Palace of all Cuban presidents from Mario García Menocal to Fulgencio Batista...

 in Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

. A portion of old Oriente Province, where the expedition made landfall, was renamed Granma Province
Granma Province
Granma is one of the provinces of Cuba. Its capital is Bayamo. Other towns include Manzanillo and Pilón.-History:...

 in honor of the vessel and the Landing of the Granma National Park
Desembarco del Granma National Park
Desembarco del Granma National Park is a national park in south-eastern Cuba, in what is now Granma Province. The park is named after the yacht in which Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Raúl Castro, and 79 of their supporters sailed from Mexico to Cuba in 1956 and incited the Cuban Revolution.In 1999 it...

 established at the location (Playa Las Coloradas) was declared a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 for its natural habitat. Every year on 25 November a group of Cuban youths sets out from Tuxpan aboard a replica of the Granma to re-trace hour by hour the voyage of the original Granma to its landing spot at Playa Las Coloradas a week later.

The date 2 December is celebrated as the "Day of the Cuban Armed Forces", and the replica has also been paraded at state functions to commemorate the original voyage. In further tribute, the official newspaper of the Central Committee
Central Committee
Central Committee was the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to a board of directors, whether ruling or non-ruling in the twentieth century and of the surviving, mostly Trotskyist, states in the early twenty first. In such party organizations the...

 of the Cuban Communist Party has been called Granma
Granma (newspaper)
Granma is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.Its name comes from the yacht Granma that carried Fidel Castro and 81 other rebels to Cuba's shores in 1956 launching the Cuban Revolution.-Editions:...

.
The name of this vessel became an icon for Cuban communism. Although the name is sometimes described as having been misspelled, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary lists granma as a variant of grandma.

External links