By January 1959, Lennon's Quarry Bank friends had left the group, and he began his studies at the Liverpool College of Art. The three guitarists, billing themselves at least three times as Johnny and the Moondogs,were playing rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer.
In response to the victory by Che Guevara at the Battle of Santa Clara, the U.S.-backed President Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba in the early morning of 1 January 1959. After Batista's fall, Raúl had the task of overseeing trials and execution of scores (between 30 and 70) of soldiers loyal to deposed president Batista convicted of war crimes.
At 3 am on January 1, 1959, upon learning that his generals were negotiating a separate peace with Guevara, Fulgencio Batista boarded a plane in Havana and fled for the Dominican Republic, along with an amassed "fortune of more than $300,000,000 through graft and payoffs".
Along with ensuring "revolutionary justice", the other key early platform of Guevara was establishing agrarian land reform. Almost immediately after the success of the revolution, on January 27, 1959, Guevara made one of his most significant speeches where he talked about "the social ideas of the rebel army".