Fulgencio Batista

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Progressive Action Party (1950's)

Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (Spanish pronunciation: [fulˈxenθjo βaˈtista i θalˈdiβar]; January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was a Cuban President, dictator, and military leader closely aligned with and supported by the United States. He served as the leader of Cuba from 1933–1944, and 1952–1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution.[3]

Batista initially rose to power as part of the 1933 "Revolt of the Sergeants" that overthrew the government of Gerardo Machado, becoming the Army Chief of Staff, with the rank of colonel, and effectively controlling the five-member Presidency. He maintained this control until 1940, when he was himself elected President of Cuba, serving until 1944. From 1944-1952 he lived in the United States, returning to Cuba as leader of a U.S. backed coup that preempted the 1952 elections in which Batista was running a distant third.

Throughout the 1950s, Batista's corrupt and repressive regime systematically profited from the exploitation of Cuba's commercial interests, in partnership with U.S. corporations and the American Mafia.[4] As a result, for three years Fidel Castro's July 26th Movement and other rebelling elements led a guerrilla uprising against Batista's regime which culminated in his eventual defeat following the Battle of Santa Clara on New Year's Day 1959. Batista immediately fled the island with an amassed personal fortune.

Batista eventually found political asylum in Portugal, where he lived until dying of a heart attack on August 6, 1973 near Marbella, Spain.[5]

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