The struggle against mutinous bandits in the six provinces into which the
country was then divided lasted for almost five years from mid 1960 to late
1964. During that period, more than 260 armed bands consisting of more than
2,000 bandits were neutralized. These bands were organized, led, financed and
equipped by the United States government through the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA). These individuals without
morals or scruples tried to defeat the Revolution by means of terrorism and
crime. The sad balance of 549
patriots dead, many of them murdered, and 200 disabled, shows how bloody that
criminal aggression was.
In difficult conditions, the homeland's soldiers fought against the
enemies. Soldiers of the Rebel Army,
members of the Revolutionary National Police and of the Revolutionary National
Militias, the latter with more than 80,000 troops, united in a single army to
wipe out the internal counterrevolution.
This struggle helped to strengthen Cubans' military skill and to
creatively apply historical experience and knowledge of contemporary military
art in a just war. The use of large
and small sieges, the utilization and knowledge of the terrain, ambushes, the
combing of areas and hand-to-hand combat were forms and methods used by the
troops who fought against banditry. Many
of those rookie militia members are now high-ranking officers of the
Revolutionary Armed Forces.