Batista (y Zaldívar), Fulgencio

Batista (y Zaldívar), Fulgencio

biographical name

(born Jan. 16, 1901, Banes, Cuba—died Aug. 6, 1973, Guadalmina, near Marbella, Spain) Soldier, president, and dictator who twice ruled Cuba (1933–44, 1952–59). Batista worked his way up through the army and came to power as a strongman, ruling first through associates, then as president himself from 1940. During his first term he cultivated the support of the U.S., the army, organized labour, and the civil service, and he achieved gains in the educational system, public works, and the economy as a whole while enriching himself and his associates. He lost the 1944 election but returned by way of an army revolt in 1952. His second rule was a corrupt and brutal dictatorship that set the stage for his overthrow by Fidel Castro on Jan. 1, 1959.

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