Batista y Zaldívar, Fulgencio

Batista y Zaldívar, Fulgencio

(fo͞olhĕn`sēō bätē`stä ē säldē`vär), 1901–73, president of Cuba (1940–44, 1952–59). An army sergeant, Batista took part in the overthrow of Gerardo MachadoMachado, Gerardo
, 1871–1939, president of Cuba (1925–33). A businessman turned presidential candidate in 1924, he channeled the resurgent nationalism of the era. His victory over Menocal in the 1924 election, was aided by President Zayas.
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 in 1933 and subsequently headed the military and student junta that ousted Carlos Manuel de CéspedesCéspedes, Carlos Manuel de,
1871–1939, president of Cuba (1933), b. New York City; son of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes (1819–74). He actively participated in the Revolution of 1895 and the Spanish-American War. When Gerardo Machado was overthrown in Aug.
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 and installed Ramón Grau San MartínGrau San Martín, Ramón
, 1887–1969, president of Cuba (1933–34, 1944–48). Professor of medicine at the Univ. of Havana, Grau San Martín opposed Gerardo Machado.
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. Made chief of staff of the army, he increased its size and power and soon became de facto ruler, launching a three-year plan of economic and social rehabilitation. In 1940, with centrist support, he was elected president and sponsored several reforms that spurred economic growth. After being defeated in 1944, however, he left for the United States. He returned to Cuba in 1949, and in 1952 he seized power through a coup. His second term as president was marked by brutal repression, which led to several uprisings, notably that of Fidel CastroCastro, Fidel
(Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz) , 1926–, Cuban revolutionary, premier of Cuba (1959–76), president of the Council of State and of the Council of Ministers (1976–2008).
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. Pressed by the rebels and after a mock election (1958) had failed to calm the populace, Batista fled Cuba (Jan., 1959) for the Dominican Republic and thence to Portugal and Madeira. He died in Spain.