Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE)
REVOLUCINARIO ESTUDIANTIL (DRE)
Often known in the North American press as the Cuban Student
Directorate, the DRE was, in the words of one CIA analyst,
most militant and deeply motivated" of all the Cuban exile
organizations seeking to oust Castro after the Cuban
1959. According to a CIA study in October in 1962, the DRE
largest following of any individual exile group.
The group was formed by Alberto Muller, Ernesto Travieso,
Manual Salvat, young Catholic students at the University of
February 1960. They protested the visit of the Anastas
Soviet deputy foreign minister. They battled with pro-Castro
near the statue of Jose Marti in Havana's Parque Central.
spring they were expelled from the University in hearings
by Castro's campus enforcer, Rolando Cubela.
In Miami the DRE-in-Exile quickly attracted the support of
operations officers such as David Phillips and Howard Hunt.
took care in their memoirs to praise the leaders of the DRE.
Phillips's "The Night Watch" and Hunt's "Give Us This Day.")
In early 1961 Muller, who had been a member of Castro's 26th
Movement, returned to the island to organize peasants in the
mountains to resist the new communist government. Muller, an
intelligent and charismatic young man, attracted a small
was arrested by Castro's security forces at a bus stop just
exiles' aborted invasion at the Bay of Pigs. He would spend
twenty years in jail.
In August 1962, Salvat led a group of DRE militants in a
from Miami to Havana to launch a maritime midnight raid on
de Rosita Hotel, located on the beach on the west side of
Salvat and Co sprayed the hotel with cannon fire terrorizing
residents, mostly advisers from Eastern European countries,
otherwise doing no damage. The DRE denied it was an
The group's leaders passed along reports of Soviet missile
installations in Cuba to the CIA in the summer of 1962. When
reports were confirmed by photographs from U.S.
the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted.
After the missile crisis the group's claims that the Soviet
not removed all of its missiles but had stashed some in
headlines but were soon discredited by the CIA.
In August 1963, the group's delegation in New Orleans had a
encounters with a pro-Castro activist named Lee Harvey
the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963,
publicized Oswald's activities on behalf of the Fair Play
Committee. Their statements attracted wide media coverage in
of the president's murder.
By 1963-64, the group's membership was declining along with
organizational effectiveness. The DRE was formally disbanded
December 1966 by co-founder Juan Manuel Salvat who is now
publishing house Universal Editions [ Ediciones Universal
Muller was released from Cuban jail in 1980 and lives in
Carlos Bringuier lives in Miami.
Several members of the DRE would go on to prominent roles in
the Cuban exile community.
Basulto, the triggerman in the 1962 Hornedo de Rosita
organization Brothers to the Rescue in 1995.
Mas Canosa, the late founder and president of the Cuban
(CANF), got his start in politics as a young member of
End of Page
1998-2014 Cuban Information Archives. All Rights