CALIXTO SÁNCHEZ WHYTE: Cuban Labor Leader and Revolutionary Martyr

This is the first full-length biography of Calixto Sánchez Whyte, who has been neglected in most Cuban historical accounts.

28 Jul CALIXTO SÁNCHEZ WHYTE: Cuban Labor Leader and Revolutionary Martyr


Rafael de la Cova (1950-) left his native Havana as a child refugee on February 1, 1961. He holds a Ph.D. in history from West Virginia University (1994) and teaches at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He is the author of Cuban Confederate Colonel: The Life of Ambrosio José GonzalesThe Moncada Attack: Birth of the Cuban RevolutionColonel Henry Theodore Titus: Antebellum Soldier of Fortune and Florida PioneerLa guerra aérea en Cuba en 1958,Cuba: La revolución de 1933, el golpe de estado de 1952, y la represión del comunismo, and numerous essays on Cuban history and nineteenth-century military filibusters.


The pantheon of martyrs of the Cuban Revolution has only one union leader who perished during the guerrilla war of 1956-58: Calixto Sánchez Whyte, the secretary general of the Cuban National Air Federation (FAN). Born in Glasgow, Scotland, he was raised in the United States and Cuba. A World War II Canadian Army veteran, Calixto had a leadership role in the attack on the Presidential Palace in Havana on March 13, 1957, in a failed effort to assassinate Fulgencio Batista. In consequence, he was forced into exile in Miami, Florida, and soon returned to Cuba heading the Corinthia yacht paramilitary expedition, mustered by the Organización Auténtica. After shipwrecking, Calixto and fifteen expeditionaries who surrendered to the army were summarily executed.  This is the first full-length biography of Calixto, who has been neglected in most Cuban historical accounts.

Calixto led the FAN for eight years and was the Juridical Affairs secretary of the Cuban Confederation of Workers (CTC). He served on the board of directors of Expreso Aéreo Interamericano and Cubana de Aviación, where he worked as a pilot. His labor advocacy and strikes prompted successful negotiations with various cabinet ministers and the president. Calixto’s bilingual skills allowed him to successfully lobby in Washington, D.C. with government officials on behalf of the Cuban sugar quota and air transport regulations. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) described Calixto’s FAN as “one of the most effective Cuban unions” and “one of the anti-Communist strongholds in Cuba.” Calixto was a leader of the Cuban Anti-Communist Directorate and his activism led to a CTC resolution in 1954 banning Communists from the labor movement.


SERIES:  Colección Cuba y sus Jueces

EDITION:  First edition


BINDING :  Paper

FORMAT-PAGES:  6″ x 9″ 316 p.


ISBN-10: 1-59388-299-8 / ISBN-13: 978-1-59388-299-0

PRICE:  $ 39.95

Frank Rodriguez Junior
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