Ruben Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar was born on January
16, 1901 from a humble family working in the sugar
plantations in Banes, in the Province of Holguin. He
was a mulatto (mixed origin), an avid reader and a
self-made man. He married twice first to Eliza
Godinez then to Marta Fernadez Miranda. He had three
children of his first marriage and two children of
the second one.
Ruben Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar started working at
a tender age and at twenty bought a ticket to Havana
to join the army. In 1932, he became sergeant and
was the union leader of the army. On September 4,
1933, he launched a coup, the Sergeant Revolt,
against the provisional government of Carlos Manuel
de Cèspedes. This marked the start of the army
influence in the administration of Cuba.
He forced the provisional President Ramon Grau San
Martin to resign. From 1934 to 1940, Batista ruled
afterwards in the shadow of puppet presidents. His
rule was characterized by corruption in the
government and the armed forces of Cuba. Friends of
both the mafia and American interest in Cuba, many
of his enemies and opponents to his regime were
killed. Bugsy Siegel was assassinated by the mafia,
Antonio Guiteras was killed by the governmental
forces as well as members of the troops which helped
him to oust out the previous government.
In 1940, supported by his allies and communist
parties, Batista was elected as President defeating
his opponent Grau San Martin. Under his presidency,
there was an increase in the commercial relations
with the United States and also taxes on Cuban
citizens. He also amended the constitution.
In the 1944 elections, San Grau won. Batista was
defeated and he retired to Florida till 1948.
Twenty years after the ‘Sergeant Revolt’ and unsure
of the poll, Batista launched a second coup on March
10, 1952 overthrowing the President Carlos Prios
Socorras three months before democratic elections.
In the same election, Fidel Castro, a young lawyer,
was concurring for a different post.
On 27 March 1952, 17 days after Batista seized power
illegally, his government was recognised by US
government. During his second access to power
organized crime, gambling, corruption and abundance
of those close to power prevailed in Cuba at the
expense of the public welfare and development for
example education, health care. This created
social unrest in the country.
A year after he established his government, a group
of revolutionaries lead by Fidel Castro attacked
Moncada Army Barrack. The latter was unsuccessful.
In order to counterattack his enemies,
Batista ordered to kill 10 rebels for every
dead soldier. The remaining members of the
guerrilla, among them Fidel Castro, were
On May 15, 1955,
sure of his power Batista freed Fidel Castro and his
comrades. But the governmental police forces looked
for the revolutionary leader a few weeks later to
kill him and together the revolution. Fidel and his
troops exiled to Mexico to prepare for the
In the late1955, there were again student riots,
social upheaval and anti-batista demonstrations on
the streets. Instead of changing its policy, Batista
strengthened his undemocratic actions by censoring
the media, legalizing violence and suspending the
rights of the citizens. No one was allowed to wander
in the streets at night without a repression. This
booted up the decline of the Batista era.
In 1956 the Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul and Che
Gueveras arrived at Granma, Cuba and started to
fight against the government forces.
By that time Batista regime lost all the support of
US government. On 1 January 1959, Batista submitted
his resignation and moved to Portugual, then Spain
where he wrote for the rest of his life. He died on
August 6,1973 in Guadalmina, Spain.