Knowing his biography, it is hard to believe that Ricardo was predestined to be a Politburo member of the Cuban Communist Party or, more generally, that Cuba's journey into Marxism-Leninism was inevitable. The island's long battle for real independence from the United States, combined with America's Cold War version of Manifest Destiny, produced those outcomes.
Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada was born in 1937, blue-eyed and blond-haired, into a family he describes as "the Camaüey aristocracy" but which also included a long line of nationalist ancestors. Ricardo was sixteen years old when Fidel and 160 others assaulted Batista's Moncada army barracks on July 26, 1953, leaving at least 80 young revolutionaries dead, and Fidel and Raúl Castro imprisoned with others. Just the year before, Fidel was attempting to confront injustice by political means. Wanting to combat corruption and seeing himself as the heir to the Orthodox Party, whose leader, Eduardo Chibás, had committed suicide in 1951 after a militant radio speech. Fidel ran for Cuba's House of Representatives, driving his American Chevrolet 50,000 kilometers across the island before the elections were suspended when Batista seized power. Ricardo would become devoted to the 26th of July Movement.
These young Cuban revolutionaries were plagued by the divisions that confront many social movements. Their ranks included nationalists, Marxists, Trotskyites, constitutionalists, torch-carriers, bomb-makers, clandestine couriers, and furious militants seeking revenge, united temporarily in a sea of boiling currents. Though a member of the 26th of July, Ricardo grew up with many friends in the Revolutionary Directorate, or Directorio, a student-led movement devoted to overthrowing the dictator.
I was not a member of the Directorio but was close to many of its members, especially Fructuoso.
His friend Fructuoso Rodriguez was the student leader who helped lead the audacious but unsuccessful attack on Batista's presidential palace on March 13, 1957. These extraordinary instances of student-led urban uprisings—Moncada in 1953, the palace attack of 1957, and another in Santiago in 1956 meant to accompany Fidel's landing in the leaking Granma vessel—all in less than five years—would mark forever the lives of those in their twenties who made the Cuban Revolution.
When I entered the university, as a student at the School of Philosophy and Letters, I got involved in the student struggles around two main issues, the role of the student movement in opposition to Batista, especially the decisive question of armed struggle versus the peaceful mass struggle advocated by the communists, and the University Reform movement to improve the quality of education and cleaning up the corrupt politicking...I got involved with the activities of a group of women who were working on the second point, the moral recovery of the student association.
University Reform, one of the central strands leading to the Cuban Revolution, arose in Argentina at the time of the Russian and Mexican revolutions under the intellectual and idealistic leadership of José Ingenieros, whose writings condemned the alleged "mediocre man" formed by capitalism—akin to the "man in a grey flannel suit" in American Fifties' cultural criticism—and extolled the "moral man" with a new revolutionary ethos. The University Reform project suggested a central role for young students and intellectuals if they would commit to rebel on behalf of moral incentives, a precursor, perhaps, to Ernesto “Che” Guevara's later call for a "new man.”
Deep corruption and compromise characterized Havana at the time, reflecting the establishment of a de facto Mafia empire operated from the United States.
The ethos of gangsterism infected the campuses. Ricardo's generation witnessed seizures of power, dictatorship, the zoning of their island for US-based mafia rule, and the unique absorption of the Left and its trade unions into the ruling regime, leaving many young radicals feeling there was nowhere to turn. Gen. Fulgencio Batista had led a September 1933 coup against the weak provisional government of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes y Quesada who had only come to power less than a month before, replacing his predecessor, the dictator Gerardo Machado. Batista then took control of Cuba's military, manipulated presidential elections from behind the scenes, was elected as an authoritarian president himself in 1940, and ushered in just enough reform, especially labor legislation, to attract the support of the Cuban Communist Party (the Popular Socialist Party, or PSP). The party sought shelter against anti-communist repression, and communist-affiliated unions benefited from concessions to their workers. During the Thirties and Forties, the party adopted a Popular Front policy of collaborating with conservative governments like Cuba's in the interest of building Western support for the Soviet Union against Nazi aggression. By 1952, on the eve of Moncada, what Ricardo calls the "peaceful mass struggle advocated by the communists" had stagnated into an understanding between the Cuban CP and the Batista dictatorship, while at the same time Havana was being transformed into a garish sanctuary for casinos, brothels, drugs, and money-laundering on behalf of the North American Cosa Nostra. According to Robert Scheer and Maurice Zeitlin's 1963 study, "the Cuban [Communist] party had been the first to place a member in the national cabinet, first to learn how to survive under a dictatorship, and first to achieve power in the labor movement and politics."
Given their politics and alliances, the Cuban CP condemned the rebel storming of Moncada as reckless adventurism and frowned as well on conspiracies to storm the presidential palace.
Of some 160 Cubans involved in the Moncada attack, 80 were captured in three days. Sixty-eight were brutally tortured before being executed. One of the movement's young leaders, Haydée Santamaría, was forced by her jailers to stare at her brother Abel's eye, torn bleeding from its socket, in a futile effort to break her down. Her brother dead, Haydée was one of 51 survivors who finally stood trial, with Fidel, who smuggled out his "History Will Absolve Me" speech, scribbled in invisible lemon juice, in defense of the uprising. Especially because of Batista's killings and torture, the Moncada attackers drew the admiration of the Cuban public, further isolating the CP for its tacit support of the regime. Not all party members agreed with the agreement with the dictator, but maintained discipline in support of the line taken by their leadership.
The understanding between the CP and Batista was a contradiction, Fidel said later, which caused "many of the young people with revolutionary inclinations as well as people on the Left, to stop sympathizing with the Cuban Marxist-Leninist Party." Further, the Cuban party had pulled back from a general strike once before, under the Machado dictatorship in 1933, preferring to pact with the tyrant in exchange for concessions rather than push for real victories at the risk of an American intervention. Scheer and Zeitlin interviewed anti-Communist labor leaders who charged that the party "accepted an offer by Machado to legalize it and give it financial support if the Communists would try to stop the strike." Whatever the reasons, the opportunistic alliances alienated many in Ricardo (and Fidel's) generation sharply enough to compel a search for a Cuban New Left, one which would revive what historian Richard Gott calls Cuba's "long insurrectionary traditions."
This insurrectionary tradition was embodied in the life of Julio Antonio Mella, a founder of the Cuban Communist Party who was exiled to Mexico where, like Fidel a generation later, he planned an invasion by sea. Mella was killed after taking two bullets to the back on January 10, 1929, using his final moments to accuse Machado of ordering his assassination. Influencing Mella was a Peruvian thinker, José Carlos Mariátegui (1894-1930), who adapted to his Peru the Marxist ideas he absorbed during an Italian exile. Mariátegui’s greatest relevance may lie in his early insistence on a Communist Party of Peru independent of the dictates of the Communist International's Soviet-centered leadership. Thus he helped originate the "Latin Americanization" of inherited European-centered Marxism. Both revolutionaries would be deep influences on Ricardo and his generation.
In every meeting of our movement, for previous generations as well, nobody ever denied that Mella was our president. He was the greatest member of our generation. Even people fighting the communists thought so. Not long ago, Cuba published some work on Mella. He had been a most outstanding defender of the Russian Revolution in those days. But later he said he didn't want to have in Cuba what Lenin did in Russia. It was one thing to follow a revolution in a different country with a different history, but it went beyond that. Mella said, “We want people who think with their own brains, not the brains of others.” We don't want what he called "conducted brains." That spirit disappeared. I discovered the article by Mella many years later. It was never in any Communist Party newspapers. This was by a young leader of a party that was supposed to follow a Soviet line!
Mariátegui was a Peruvian theorist who was another big Bolshevik supporter but who advocated a different, original kind of socialism, one that cannot be copied. "Heroic creation", he called the process. "Creation" meant it had to be original, or originated through an act. "Heroic" meant it would come into shape through struggle.
That phrase—heroic creation—well describes the birth experience of the Cuban Revolution. It was forged in Cuba's long struggle for sovereignty, going back to the wars of independence against Spain (1868-78, 1879, 1895-98), the leadership of the exiled José Martí, who was killed in battle in 1895, the overthrow of Machado in 1933, followed by the generation of Fidel and Ricardo, ten years younger, in the 1950s—a continuous ninety-year process interrupted by periodic defeats. Many say the Revolution's roots go even deeper, starting with uprisings of the indigenous Taino people and African slaves. The point is that the Cuban Revolution was a Cuban creation, not an event implanted by a foreign power. Ricardo calls the Revolution "heroic" because it was literally willed into existence, and wrested from imperialists and oligarchs, by generations of dreamers who often gave their lives crying out Patria o Muerte. The sovereignty of Cuba therefore is blood-sealed, not a philosophical proposition.
Creation, of course, refers only to a birth phase. Few revolutionaries back in 1960 were wondering what heroism might look like in middle age or beyond.
From its very origins the Revolution included internal “power struggles”. There were sharp clashes between those believing in institutional reform and those committed to an insurrection, and over tactics as well among the ranks of the young revolutionaries. The fate of Ricardo's friend Fructuoso was a flashpoint, which deepened these original divisions. Ricardo and Fructuoso had become close at the University, where they were involved in student resistance to the regime.
We were together practically every day. One day Fructuoso told me about plans to create a student Directorio [an activist political association] and invited me to join the new organization. I told him that I was already a member of M-26-7 [the 26th of July Movement]. At the time I worked with JoséGarcerán, a neighbor and friend from childhood who was responsible for the finances of M-26-7. Fructuoso told me, ‘It's okay, it's the same.’ So we continued working together in the student movement, with Fructuoso as the leader, while belonging to two different groups.
A major difference arose over the Directorio's secret plan to attack the presidential palace and a nearby radio station, capture or kill Batista, and to announce to a startled nation that they were free of the dictator. José Antonio Echeverría and Fructuoso Rodriguez were among the key leaders. Fidel, already by then in the Sierra, apparently did not know about the timing or detailed plans, and later was quoted remarking that it was a "useless expenditure of blood." While the attack on Batista's palace was being prepared, M-26-7 cadre in the Sierra were immersed in quite another plan: to smuggle a New York Times correspondent, Herbert Matthews, into the mountains for a clandestine interview with Fidel. That took priority over any plans for the Directorio's palace attack, according to Julia Sweig. The M-26-7 members in Havana were therefore sidelined, though many of them sympathized with the Palace attack.
I asked Ricardo if the palace attack was in any way meant to be another Moncada.
I was not personally involved in the planning of any of those operations, but it seems to me there were substantial differences. It can be said that Moncada was an inspiration but didn't serve as a model in operational terms. There was a Directorio commitment to fight based on the earlier "Mexico Pact." But in the case of the Palace attack, Batista was the direct personal target, coupled with an open call to popular uprising on Radio Reloj. In the case of Moncada, Fidel's strategic idea connected his action with a possible follow up in the Sierra through guerrilla warfare, while the Directorio strategy was linked to an urban insurrection.
The young revolutionaries came close to shooting their way into Batista's private lair on March 13, 1957. The leader of the Directorio, José Echeverría, even announced prematurely over the captured radio that Batista was dead, before he himself was shot and killed in a street battle. At least fourty Directorio activists were killed that day, along with five palace police. The crackdown that followed was fierce, including rounding up, torturing and killing an unknown number of "suspects." There were also hard feelings generated towards those revolutionary groups that refused to formally participate—among them the 26th of July Movement—although M-26-7 members helped take in the wounded. Guns belonging to the Directorio left behind in a lorry were smuggled to the Sierra for M-26-7.
After barely escaping the police that day, Ricardo's close friend Fructuoso Rodriguez scrambled for underground refuge.
I was not involved at all in the March 13 events. But I met Fructuoso a few days later. He had taken refuge at Garcerón's house, and there we tried to organize a furthering of the struggle under those extremely difficult circumstances, and to save as much as possible what remained of the Directorio. Fructuoso and some friends had to be moved to another hiding place where we were going to discuss how the two organizations—M-26-7 and Directorio—could promote the student strikes. We got a message from Fructuoso on April 20 in the morning to meet the following day. Ironically, on April 20th, 1957, my father died a natural death, and I had to go to recognize his body at the same hospital, near Humboldt Street, where the bodies of the four comrades would be carried later that same day.
Ricardo's four comrades, including his close friend Fructuoso, were ambushed and killed by Batista's police while hiding in an apartment at Humboldt No. 7. Besides Fructuoso, the others were Joe Westbrook Rosales, José Machado Rodríguez, and Juan Pedro Carbó Serviá. One of the student militants jumped out a window, broke his leg, and was shot in the alley. The incident was made famous in a photo of a little boy looking at the blood dripping down the stairwell. The event, which became known as "the Humboldt Seven massacre," left the Directorio leaderless. As large crowds gathered for the burial, suspicions about an informant pointed to a Communist Party connection, the party at the time being the principal organizational rival in the student movement to the Directorio.
The informant who directed the police to the Humboldt safe house was indeed associated with the Party, a person named Marcos Armando Rodriguez, nicknamed "Marquitos." His treachery caused lasting anger and bitterness. According to a Havana University researcher I interviewed, Andrés Pertierra, "after returning to Cuba from self-imposed exile in Mexico Marquitos was discovered by the family and friends of the Humboldt 7 victims. After a brief detention he was freed and promptly sent by the CP to Czechoslovakia" where "he spends from 1959 until January of 1961 on a scholarship at first and later a diplomatic mission to Prague, until being recalled by the Cuban government because of his participation in Humboldt 7." During this time, Marquitos was under the de facto protection of several leading Cuban communists, in particular PSP leader Joaquín Ordoqui and his wife, Edith García Buchaca, a screen which continued even after he was arrested and returned to Cuba, to the enduring anger of the leaders of the Directorio. Marquitos' ultimate extradition from Czechoslovakia and prosecution was pursued by Fructuoso's widow, Martha Jiménez, a close friend of Ricardo's. Even while being interrogated in a Cuban prison, according to Hugh Thomas, Marquitos was supported by several members of the Communist Party's Central Committee. When a Cuban legal case was brought against him in 1964, "it seemed clear that he had intentionally given information to one of the worst mafiosos of the police," said Pertierra. In 1964, Marquitos was convicted of having been an informer and was executed by a Cuban firing squad.
There are indications that the CP set up the Directorio members to eliminate competition that they normally couldn’t best. According to Pertierra, "This created an ongoing wound within the Revolution's coalition because at the time Fidel's government was creating a close alliance with the Cuban Communist Party [PSP]. Why did this person give the information to the police? It was sectarianism. The CP formerly had been allies of Batista and had called Fidel a "petit bourgois" and a " putschist." They thought the same thing of the Directorio."
From the earliest days of his revolutionary experience, Ricardo functioned amidst this continuous culture of rivalries, ego conflicts, warring fundamentalisms, and ideological competitions, often worsened by informants, that often infects the potential unity of revolutionary movements. Even after the Revolution's triumph in 1959, the sole leadership of the M-26-7 was "contested by other groups" including the Directorio, the Directorio Estudiantil, and the PSP [Communist Party]. Perhaps this threat of deadly disunity would shape Ricardo's evolution as a diplomat, though diplomatic mediation was not enough to paper over differences. Fidel would become the ultimate arbiter and unifier, a triumph of his charisma, courage in the Sierra, and political brilliance. But nothing was guaranteed at the time. Everything could be fragmented or lost.
The relations between the Directorio and the CP have to be considered in the light of existing differences in those days. Some people in the Directorio may have had anti-communist prejudices, which were very common at the time. But at our university the personal relations between the Humboldt 7 martyrs and the young Communists were pretty friendly. It was quite normal to see Juan Pedro Carbó and José Machado helping the communists distribute their literature. Fructuoso's vice-president, Anotonio Massip, was a well-known militant of the CP youth organization. At that time only two communists had positions of leadership (the president of the philosophy school and vice-president of the agronomy school).
Fructuoso was seen as very dangerous by the conservatives. When I was running for the elections at my school I was approached by a classmate who offered the support of the bourgeois Catholics, but he put one condition, only one: that we should break wth Fructuoso. The classmate was Laureano Batista Falla, heir to one of the country's most powerful banks. Of course we refused and were defeated in the election. Surprisingly, the winner was the communist!
I met José Antonio [Echeverría] through Fructuoso. He was a very charismatic person, a real leader, much respected by the vast majority of people at the university, including professors and employees. I am sure he would have been—like Fructuoso—in the front ranks of our people through the years ahead.
I was attracted by the radical view of the Directorio against the Batista regime, by their view of university reform, and also by their personal integrity and willingness to sacrifice themselves. They were real students too, interested in learning and cultivating themselves. We became friends.
I learned the story of Marcos Rodriguez [the informant] in 1959. I think it's not fair to blame the CP as such, but certainly some of the individuals who occupied positions of party leadership protected that person. It was a very sad story because those killed at Humboldt 7 were real revolutionaries and they never discriminated against the communists.
I will not say that they were killed by the sectarians, but sectarianism was a factor in protecting the traitor and covering up the crime. I think sectarianism is a life-threatening disease for a revolution.
I asked Ricardo if he'd ever said something that Cuban acquaintances have attributed to him, to the effect that "Fidel united us in the present but never in the past," a reference to those submerged sectarian struggles. At a book presentation a few years ago, according to one Cuban source who was there, there was "a big debate between Directorio and 26th of July partisans, "very heated, over who betrayed whom, like it was yesterday. It was common knowledge among historians at the university. You realize that they never forget." Ricardo in retrospect took a much more diplomatic view of the clashes, though not denying their lingering roots:
It is much more complex. I am not referring to disputes early in the Revolution, much less between Directorio and M-26-7. Our entire history since the Ten Years War was affected by divisions that were very much present during the Republic. Fidel developed a successful strategy that got the early support of the Directorio and beyond that he was able to gain the trust of the people in a long process that led to Batista's defeat. Fidel insisted on uniting the people, the larger masses, well beyond the various organizations. "Hemos hecha una revolucion mas grande que nosotros mismos"—we made a revolution larger than us all, he would say. Also, the US threat helped to unify large sectors of the population. Unity was achieved, finally, in 1959, and then to the present. But when we looked to the past, differences referring to that past remained.
 Notable Quesadas include Gonzalo de Quesada y Aróstegui (1868-1915) who would go on to compile José Martí´s seminal writings and extract permission from then American governor, Leonard Wood, to build the National Library. Another prominent figure is President Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada (1871-1939), who in turn was the son of the nation’s first president.
 Hugh Smith: Cuba, The Pursuit of Freedom, Da Capo, 1998, p. 838.
 After decades of internal instability, the young Cuban republic found a period of relative stability after the Revolution of 1933 and the creation of the extremely progressive constitution of 1940. Although the next decade was characterized by systemic corruption and increased inequality, the major impulse of political movements was towards reform from within instead of attempts at revolution. As time went on radical reformist movements like the Orthodox Party, of which Fidel was a congressional candidate, gained tremendous political momentum and seemed poised to be swept into power in the coming 1952 elections. Preempting the vote, Batista took power and suspended the 1940 constitution, silencing grievances and leaving no legal avenues for change. In response to this, Fidel organized an attack on several targets, in particular the Moncada military barracks in the heart of Santiago de Cuba, the nation’s second largest city. Although his 1953 attack failed militarily, Fidel was able to turn the incident into a public relations success through the sub rosa publication of his historic speech during his trial. Convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison, he spent only two behind bars before being the subject of a political amnesty along with his co-conspirators in 1955, after which he swiftly fled to Mexico in self-imposed exile. There he built up an expeditionary force which returned to the island with Fidel at its head in 1956, beginning the guerrilla war that would culminate in Batista fleeing the country with the rebels hot on his heels on New Year’s Eve 1958.
 Chibás had made a very public and specific accusation of corruption against a public official. The official demanded proof of the accusation, which Chibás had promised to provide, citing the same sources that had informed him of the story in the first place. Finding out that there was no evidence and, perhaps, that the whole story had been an excuse to discredit those criticizing corruption, Chibás committed suicide so as to clean himself and his party of the shame.
 The Directorate was a student organization largely composed of the most radical and politically minded members of the FEU, including then student president José Antonio Echeverría.
 Scheer and Zeitlin, along with Saul Landau, were early New Left intellectuals attracted to the Revolution, spending weeks there interviewing workers and intellectuals, including Che Guevara, beginning as early as 1959. Their 1963 book, Cuba: Tragedy in our Hemisphere (Grove Press, 1963), and later republished as Cuba, An American Tragedy Penguin, 1964, remains an important work.
 To be precise, on Aug. 30, 1953, the PSP described the Moncada assault as "a rabble-rousing, undisciplined, desperate initiative, typical of a petty bourgoisie without principles and compromised by gangsterism." Kohan and Scherma, Fidel, 2010, p. 41
 The Moncada numbers are from Hugh Thomas, Cuba, The Pursuit of Freedom, Da Capo, [rev.] 1998, p. 838
 Any Gravette, Globetrotter: Cuba, New Holland Publishers, 2007. p. 103.
 The Moscow mandated Popular Front strategy prohibited the more radical strategies of the CP’s early years, breeding discontent in its ranks and causing the more radical individuals to seek other outlets when Batista took power in 1952. Worsening its reputation during this period and since is the fact that it used its relative safety from Batista’s secret police to publicly criticize and attempt to divide those who did rise up against the dictatorship. It would only compound the wounds of that time that many of these same figures in the CP would find leadership roles in the post-Batista regime.
 Sept. 4, 1995 Fidel speech, in Kohan and Scherma, Fidel, Seven Stories Press, 2010, p. 31.
 Hugh Thomas, p. 605-606, 618.
 Scheer and Zeitlin, p. 121
 Richard Gott, Cuba, A New History, Yale, 2004, p. 147
 Mariategui was a more complex thinker than I can do justice to. He was branded a follower of Leon Trotsky even though he hadn't read such works as Permanent Revolution. The Cuban Communists would have supported Stalin's banishment of Trotsky to Mexico and subsequent assassination. One of Mariategui's formulations bore a resemblance to both Trotsky and the Cuban Revolution's model. Matiategui rejected in his era that "class collaboration" model adopted by the Cuban Communists with Batista in the 1950s, in favor of a complete revolution bypassing the "stage" of a "national democratic revolution" in which revolutionaries collaborate with the "bourgeois" and "patriotic" sectors of the business class. The Castro revolution, in bypassing that stage, echoed Mariategui's belief that the business sector was too compromised by international capitalism [or Yankee imperialism] to stand for genuine independence and substantial improvements for the Cuban working class. For a general treatment that contextualizes Mariátegui, consult “The Left in Latin America since c. 1920” by Alan Angell, in Volume VI of Leslie Bethells monumental collaborative work The Cambridge History of Latin America, Cambridge University Press, 1994.
 Ricardo refers to the February 1924 article by Mella titled “Lenin Coronado” (Lenin Crowned) in Juventudmagazine.
 The "power struggle" quote is attributed to Manuel Piñeiro in Sweig, p.10. Piñeiro as a young revolutionary helped smuggle arms left behind in the failed palace insurrection to the Sierra guerilla front (Hugh Thomas, De Capo Press, 1998, p. 930). He became the Cuban revolutionary government's chief of intelligence for many decades. Piñeiro, genially known as "Barbarrosa" (for his red beard) died in a car accident in 1998 .
 Hugh Thomas, p. 928
 Hugh Thomas, p. 930
 “Cuban Rebel is Visited in Hideout”, The New York Times, February 24, 1957.
 The Mexico Pact was negotiated between Echeverría of the Directorio and Fidel’s M-26-7 in August 1956, uniting their forces in a revolutionary commitment to Batista's overthrow, a broad reform program and a post-Batista coalition including dissident Cuban military leaders.
 Hugh Thomas, De Capo Press, 1998, p. 930.
 Marquitos was a drama student at the University of Havana Theater and the youth branch of the Communist party. He had been assigned to inform the party of the activities of the Directorio. He personally visited the hideout on the afternoon of April 19th. On the 20th he contacted police colonel Esteban Ventura Novo, who promptly surrounded the location and proceeded to massacre Directorio members using automatic machine guns. Ramon L. Bonachea, Marta San Martin: The Cuban Insurrection, 1952-1959, Transaction Publishers, 1974. P. 127-130.
 Personal interview with Andrés Pertierra, University of Havana, 2013.
 Hugh Thomas, ibid., p. 931, 1319
 Thomas, footnote, p. 1319
 Thomas, p. 1319
 Ramon L. Bonachea, Marta San Martin: The Cuban Insurrection, 1952-1959, Transaction Publishers, 1974. P. 127-130
 Andrés Pertierra interview
 Nancy Stout, One Day in December, p. 329
 Hugh Thomas writes that the "general attitude of the Directorio was anti-communist, democratic, middle class and basically Catholic despite what has sometimes been suggested since." p. 927. It also carried out urban sabotage and later attempted to establish a guerrilla base of its own in the Sierra. Its slain leader, Echeverría, would have been one of the Revolution's foremost figures. After the Revolution, the Directorio was integrated into the ORI (Organizaciones Revolucionarias Integradas), an initial attempt to merge the revolutionary factions before the transition to the PSP, or new Communist Party.
 The Ten Years War (1868-1878) was the first, sustained war of independence in Cuba. An irregular army of property owners, peasants and freed slaves prosecuted a relatively successful guerrilla war for a decade against all the efforts of the Spanish military. Eventually, the war stagnated, morale ebbed, resources ran low, and the extremely capable Spanish General, Arsenio Martínez Campos, took the field. The cumulative result of these changes led to the Pact of Zanjón (1878) where most of the Cuban forces agreed to surrender.