Grau San Martín, Ramón

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Grau San Martín, Ramón

(rämōn` grou sän märtēn`), 1887–1969, president of Cuba (1933–34, 1944–48). Professor of medicine at the Univ. of Havana, Grau San Martín opposed Gerardo Machado. He then joined with student radicals and the military 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 was named provisional president. Grau was in turn removed from office by a coup led by Fulgencio Batista y ZaldívarBatista y Zaldívar, Fulgencio
, 1901–73, president of Cuba (1940–44, 1952–59). An army sergeant, Batista took part in the overthrow of Gerardo Machado in 1933 and subsequently headed the military and student junta that ousted Carlos Manuel de
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. He lost the presidential election to Batista in 1940, but he won in the free election of 1944 and as president launched a widely hailed program of social and economic readjustment. Corruption and nepotism were soon rife, and former supporters turned against him. A booming economy, however, favored the election (1948) of Grau's candidate, Carlos Prío Socarrás. Grau's political influence remained strong during Prío's regime, and when Batista ousted Prío (1952) in a second coup, he retained a measure of popularity. In 1954 he ran against Batista but charged fraud before the election and retired. After Batista's ouster (1959) by Fidel Castro, Grau remained in Cuba.
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Grau San Martin, Ramón


Born Sept. 13, 1887. in La Palma, Pinar del Rio Province; died July 28. 1969, in Havana. Statesman and political figure of Cuba. Physiologist.

From 1921. Grau San Martin was a professor of physiology at the University of Havana, and from 1927 he participated in the struggle against the dictatorship of G. Machado. He was the head of Cuba’s provisional revolutionary government from September 1933 to January 1934. In 1934, Grau San Martin founded the so-called Cuban Revolutionary Party (also called the Auténtico Party), and from 1944 to 1948 he was president of the republic. At the beginning of his administration he carried out some progressive reforms, but after World War II he began repressing democratic forces. From 1952 to 1958 he was head of the right wing of the Cuban Revolutionary Party. Although Grau San Martin opposed the regime of the dictator F. Batista, he did not actively fight against it. In 1959 he retired from political activity.


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