Batista mounted a 1958 summer offensive which eventually ended in failure. Perceiving that the president was unable to control the situation, many members of the upper class withdrew their support from the government and tried to establish contact with the insurrectionists. Substantial donations of money also appeared.
The attitude of ordinary workers began to change and they became more willing to cooperate with the various underground cells in the working centers. For example, in early 1958 there was only one militant in the DR (Directorio Revolucionario) underground in the Goodyear Tire Company located on the outskirts of Havana. By mid-October the factory was a main source of tires, spare parts, and other services for the opposition movement.
The urban underground also succeeded in organizing cells in various associations such as the Association of Press Reporters and several landlord’s associations.
Cells were formed in Havana’s hotels to check on visitors from foreign countries and to maintain vigilance over people invited to visit Cuba by the government. The Copacabana Hotel, the Chateau-Miramar, Colina, Lido, Rosito de Hornedo, Capri, and Havana Riviera were mostly under the control of the DR and the opposition as were the Havana Hilton, St. John’s, Flamingo and Emperador Hotels.
There were also DR cells among the workers in the Bay of Havana.
Political conditions played havoc with the economy and made renewed economic growth impossible.
Dairy, vegetable, and meat products no longer flowed from the countryside to the city. Prices of basic staples soared and many products disappeared altogether.
Sabotage and the destruction of property led to a drop in sugar production.
Shortages of gasoline and oil brought railroads, trucking, and sugar mills to a standstill.
Telephone and telegraph service across the island was paralyzed.
Bridges were out of service, and transportation between Havana and the three eastern provinces was all but destroyed.
Manufacturers’ inventories began to pile up at plants.
The city was approaching a full-blown revolutionary situation.
During November 1958, 12 new cells were added to the underground in Marianao. Most of the newcomers were easy victims of the police because of their inexperience. Still, there were approximately 32 guerrilla operations during November, mainly shootings at police precincts in Havana.
Public utilities were constantly attacked; there were seven such attacks on the night of November 25.
During the first 15 days of December 1958, 45 guerillas were shot to death in Marianao and about the same number in Guanabacoa.
From November 1 to December 31, 1958, about 300 bombs exploded in the Havana metropolitan area.
Bombs exploded every night, and on the evening of December 7 over 100 bombs exploded in the capital.
Havana was clearly in crisis.