3/21/18

A publication of the Cuban Studies Institute

"THIS DAY IN CUBAN HISTORY....."'  

 Marquito Affair.  The political trial in March 1964 of Marco Armando Rodríguez (“Marquito”) whom the Directorio Revolucionario had discovered to have revealed their leaders’ hideout to the police in 1957 leading to the assassination of several students.  The trial, and especially Marquito’s testimony, shed light on the tactics of the Partido Socialista Popular (Cuba’s Communist Party) toward the student movement of 1955-57.

The Directorio had refused to let him participate in planning the Presidential Palace attack, but whether he had acted on his own initiative in betraying the four students or had followed PSP orders remained unclear. Fidel Castro used the trial to reassert his own power, putting the PSP leadership in the dock with the accused.  All its top leaders testified, taking pains to deny Marquito’s connection with the party.  Toward the end of the trial (mindful, perhaps, of his economic dependence on the Soviet Union and fearful of provoking Moscow’s wrath), Fidel exonerated the PSP and ordered Marquito’s execution.  The trial revealed, nevertheless, that the PSP had used Marquito in its efforts to undermine the non-Communist opposition to Batista.  

*Jaime Suchlicki is Director of the Cuban Studies Institute, CSI, a non-profit research group in Coral Gables, FL. He is the author of Cuba: From Columbus to Castro & Beyond, now in its 5th edition; Mexico: From Montezuma to the Rise of the PAN, 2nd edition, and of the recently published Breve Historia de Cuba.