Batista y Zalvidar, Ruben Fulgencio

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Batista y Zalvidar, Ruben Fulgencio


Born Jan. 16, 1901, in Banes. Government and political figure of Cuba; general. From a peasant family; joined the army in 1921.

In September 1933, Batista headed the so-called sergeants’ revolt, and in January 1934 he carried out a coup d’etat which made him the de facto dictator of Cuba until 1940 and its president from 1940 to 1944. He left Cuba that year after his defeat in the elections. He resided in the United States until 1947, when he returned to his own country.

On Mar. 10, 1952, he once again organized a military coup and subsequently provoked a break of diplomatic relations with the USSR (April 1952), banned all progressive organizations, and established a dictatorship based on terror. In 1954 he was “elected” president. He concluded a number of economic and military agreements with the United States that were unfavorable to Cuba. In late 1956 an armed struggle began against the unpopular Batista regime, resulting in victory for the people’s revolution on Jan. 1, 1959, and Batista’s flight from Cuba.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.