Machado, Gerardo

Machado, Gerardo

(gārär`thō mächä`thō), 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 MenocalMenocal, Mario García
, 1866–1941, president of Cuba (1913–21). A leader in the fight for liberation from Spain, he later became a Conservative politician. As president he initiated a "businessman" government that was widely criticized as corrupt and arbitrary.
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 in the 1924 election, was aided by President ZayasZayas, Alfredo
, 1861–1934, president of Cuba (1921–25). He was one of the leaders of the Liberal party from the founding of the republic and was vice president (1909–13) under José Miguel Gómez.
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. Machado's campaign for national regeneration initially received wide support. He taxed American capital investments, constructed a 700–mi (1,127–km) central highway and promoted investments in tourism, industry and mining. Increasingly dictatorial, he amended the constitution to permit a six-year term, aiding his reelection. The Wall Street crash and economic crisis fueled growing opposition. Old guard opposition leaders led an abortive revolt in 1931. Student groups and secret societies of middle-class professionals, notably the ABC, subsequently rebelled. A leading figure was university professor, 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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. Machado retaliated with a bloody terrorist campaign. U.S. President Franklin RooseveltRoosevelt, Franklin Delano
, 1882–1945, 32d President of the United States (1933–45), b. Hyde Park, N.Y. Early Life

Through both his father, James Roosevelt, and his mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, he came of old, wealthy families.
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, concerned with the political instability in Cuba, sent an envoy Sumner WellesWelles, Sumner,
1892–1961, American diplomat, b. New York City. Welles began his diplomatic career as secretary of the U.S. embassy at Tokyo (1915–17). Attached to the embassy at Buenos Aires (1917–19), he then served as assistant chief (1920–21) and
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 to resolve the crisis. Machado refused to resign, but a general strike which sparked an army rebellion soon forced him to flee. 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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 became provisional president. Machado died in exile in Miami Beach, Fla.
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