The army is the people in uniforms. Such premise has ruled the Cuban defense system, born in the heat of a unique aggressive escalade in the world´s history, being our island the light and guide in Latin America, achieving sovereignty only 90 miles from the American power.
On January 1st 1959, with our true independence, started the aplication of the Moncada Program, exposed by Fidel on October 16th 1953 during his defense allegation in the trial that followed the events occurred on July 26th that year in Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo. It was the beginning of a struggle between social classes both internal and external as a consequence of the displacement of political sectors.
The struggle reached its peak in October 1059; american aircraft attacked sugar mills and Havana City; they represented the fulminant of hatred and the assault took the lives of two citizens and other 45 were wounded.
The historical timeframe was also formed by the sedition of commender Hubert Matos, military chief of Camaguey province and the capture on the 18th, in the area of Viñales ( province) of the gang led by ex- corporal Lara, who rose in arms against the power of the government. Twelve farmers later known as “Los Malagones” carried out this mission.
Twentysix days after that tragic October, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz summoned for a people´s parade in the country´s capital in front of the Presidential Palace, during which he called for the formation of the National Revolutionary Militia (spanish acronym MNR)
The aim was set as to join endeavors and already existing brigades from the revolutionary beginnings and it found support of the 10th Congress of the Cuban Union for Workers that took place in those days.
Later, the question on how to get weapons revitalized an agreement between dictator Fulgencio Batista and Belgium, and the transfer to the island of 50 000 rifles in La Coubre French steamer motivated a counter revolutionary sabotage that took the lives of 101 people, not to mention the wounded and missing ones.
The action fueled the fervor; many recruiting offices for the MNR were opened as well as training camps at Ciudad Libertad and Anti- aircraft defense centers at El Esperón and Granma Base, west from Havana.
Actions like the “cleaning” Escambray Mountain Range, the Bay of Pigs invasion and the missile crisis in 1962 glorify the history of Cuban militia.
1980: New clarion
Later on the 70´s, after the Viet Nam war and the exchange of powers from James Carter to Ronald Reagan, the rise regarding agressions provocked the reordering and creation of the Territorial Troops Militia (spanish acronym MTT), conceived from a wider concept: the War of All the People, which states for every citizen a place and means for the defense of the national territory.
It was Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, at Guisa historical scenario in Granma province, who presided the act of constitution of Territorial Troops Militia on January 20th 1981.
This troops are the second step in the national defense and they are formed by over 3 million men and women using light and heavy weaponry. The voluntarily contribution of the Cuban workers, a day´s salary from their year wage, supports the MTT.
This force is formed by officers, regular troops and from the defense councils and their headquarters, who receive training along with militia men and members of the Defense and Production Brigades.
These citizens can carry out defensive actions as well as those of attrition and harassment to the enemy, and others linked to logistics in the different areas.
Every month, the Day for Defense is set, during which the necessary knowlegdge to organize and direct military actions is taught, to be applied in complex conditions, different terrains and applying regular and irregular methods of armed struggle.
The Territorial Troops Militia have had an active participation in drills, strategic exercises during the Bastión operations developed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces, under the principle of learning all necessary in war and doing it under the consitions closest to real combat.
Today this force constitutes an unassailable stronghold of our island; the certainty of safety builds the premise that supports the society and the Revolution in every little part of the Cuban archipelago