Fulgencio batista

Fulgencio Batista to 1941

  • United Fruit makes a plantation near Batista's birthplace

    In, the same year Batista was born, United Fruit opened an enormous sugar processing plant, “the Central Boston,” on the Bay of Banes. At some point, Batista’s father becomes a sugar cane cutter.
    Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista is born

    Born to a life of abject poverty in Banes. He was named for the famous Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío, then at the height of his popularity, and Saint Fulgentius, a seventh-century Spanish bishop.
    Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista leaves his primary school to work in the fields

    Due to family finances, Batista a 9 year old Batista becomes a cane cutter.
    Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Quakers set up a school near Batista's birthplace

    Head of Quaker mission says “we shall hope to be able to arrange for a school which will thoroughly meet their [United Fruit’s] wishes.” Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista begins attending Quaker school

    Batista acquires a love for reading and self-education, despite his parent's lukewarm reception that he is attending school. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista's mother passes away

    Before her 30th birthday Batista's mom passes away of an unknown illness. The young Batista is devastated, and his frayed relationship with his father makes him want to leave home. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista leaves home

    The 15 year old leaves Banes, heading west on foot, occasionally hitching a ride on a cane cart. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista arrives in Holguin to work

    Goes to live with mother's sister, Cándida
    Zaldívar, and her husband, Alberto Almaguer. While at their home, he worked on an orange farm, picking and packaging fruit. Finds conditions intolerable and bosses abusive. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Leaves Holguin

    Goes to San Germán, about nineteen miles southeast of Holguín, where he was hired to help clear land for a sugar plantation. Works a variety of sugar plantation jobs. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Goes to see his father

    Considers becoming an independent cane grower but leaves again. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista experiences homelessness in Dumois

    Batista travels sixteen miles to the south of Banes, a railroad town where he hoped to land a job. He lived for several weeks in and around the train station, more often than not sleeping on the floor or on a wooden bench. He used boxes and sacks to cover himself on chilly evenings and mornings. Ran errands for railroad men for money. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Arrives in Antilla to work

    Anxious for work, he arrives in Antilla after hitching a train ride to a strike against United Fruit. Accounts are uncertain whether he crossed the picket line. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Returns to cane fields

    The sugar processing plant at Alto Cedro, a village twenty-eight miles southwest of Antilla, was offering higher wages than United Fruit in an effort to attract workers and maximize production. Batista returns to the cane fields at the height of a WWI sugar bonanza known as "the dance of millions". Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista returns to Holguin

    Back in the back city, not much is known what he did during this time, probably ran errands for military men in exchange for tips and mess hall food. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista lands a job

    Batista returned home for a brief time to visit his father and found a job as a brakeman on United Fruit’s railway, working on the line between Banes and Antilla. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista lands a better job

    Batista leaves the Orient to Camaguey, looking to be hired at Ferrocarriles del Norte (Northern Rail Line). Knows no one, befriends an old prostitute to stay at her place. Hired as a brakeman due to his insistence.
  • Batista almost dies

    Batista falls between two cars while moving through the roof of a moving train. Almost lost his leg.
  • Batista joins the army

    Seeking advancement, educational opportunities, and paid lodging, he joins the army. Considers becoming a lawyer and finishing high school. Moves to Havana, never sees his father again. Batista is 21. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista chooses to leave army

    The life of a private in the Cuban army was harsh, they faced privation and social slights from an aristocratically minded and corrupt officer class. Sick of this, Batista momentarily chooses the civilian life. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista goes to Stenography School

    To sharpen his skills and advanced Batista enrolled at a small technical school, Colegio San Mario, He was learning the Gregg shorthand system, a method by which entire sentences and paragraphs are reduced to a few notations. There are hundreds of symbols and it is complex to learn. Batista becomes incredibly talented at Stenography. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Becomes an Instructor in Stenography School

    Becomes instructor in commercial grammar at the college, he would continue involving himself in the affairs of stenography, writing in the college periodical. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista re-enlists in army

    Seeking to advance in the army once again, Batista is assigned assigned to a desk job at the Fifth Squadron Headquarters in Atarés Fortress in Havana. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista's first public political position

    In his college periodical, he attacked the army for reducing the pension of a veteran of the War of Independence. It wasn't outright critical of the Zayas administration, but it will still risky to do. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Transferred to the Presidential Security Team

    Assigned to Finca María, in the small town of Wajay on the southwestern outskirts of Havana, where the president had his finca. The assignment was an easy one, as the President was often accent. Batista took advantage of the time, reading through the president’s extensive library, so much so that Zayas called him “the bookworm.” Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista meets his first wife

    Batista meets Elisa Godínez, twenty-one, with light brown hair and hazel eyes. Elisa’s sister was engaged to another officer in the president’s security detail, Antonio Bausa, a friend of Batista. Batista begins courting Elisa. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista marries Elisa Godinez

    Elisa Godínez was a typical Cuban housewife of the period. She was responsible for the home, while her husband worked a variety of jobs in order to support the family. She was a woman of few words and preferred to express her affection through attentive acts. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista's sick brother comes to Havana

    Juan Batista, Batista's 20 year old brother, arrives in Havana from Camagüey suffering from tuberculosis It falls to 25 year old Batista to take care of him. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista promoted to Sergeant Stenographer

    His side businesses were making him financially secure at this point, to the point he was able to buy an automobile. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista's brother passes away

    After a 2 year fight Juan Batista succumbs to tuberculosis. Once in power, Batista launched an aggressive campaign against the disease, opening up tuberculosis clinics throughout Cuba and a state-of-the art sanatorium. He also established the Consejo Nacional de Tuberculosis (National Council on Tuberculosis). Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista's youngest brother gets tuberculosis

    Unlike Juan Batista, Panchin survives. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Belisario Batista, his father, passes away

    Batista was not given permission to travel until March 2nd. By the time he arrived in Banes, his father had already been buried. In his diary he notes the “insensitivity” of the Lieutenant Rufino Blanco, who made him wait a day for the travel funds and then gave him only forty of the one hundred dollars. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista joins the ABC

    Batista joins the Anti-Machado ABC political organization. As a stenographer Batista is privy to military trials of Anti-Machado figures. Batista provides information to clandestine radio stations. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Machado falls, Batista plots

    DIctator Gerardo Machado flees Cuba and 2 weak provisional presidents take power. All army men are plotting, including Batista, who was a member of a defensive conspiracy to stop the junior officers from abusing enlisted men by cutting their salaries and stalling promotions. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Friendship with politician and journalist, Sergio Carbó, intensifies.

    In the coming crises and coups, Carbo will provide Batista with much needed legitimacy and political contacts. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista gives public speech

    At the burial of a Sergeant tortured and killed by Machado, Batista gave a graveside eulogy, which he called for enlisted men to unite and purge officers. This was a tactical mistake, revealed his plans too early. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Seargent's Revolt

    What had been planned for months is finally carried out. Fearing pay cuts and layoffs Batista and his enlisted men allies take over Camp Columbia in Havana and arrest the officers. There was no talk of revolution or overthrowing the government, but that certainly was a possibility if civilian support could be achieved. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Coup succeeds, Pentarchy is established

    As civilian leaders trickle in to Camp Columbia, them and Batista iron out a deal. Rule by a committee of 5. This unwieldy arrangement doesn't last a week, and ultimately would be replaced by the presidency of one of its members, Dr. Ramon Grau San Martin. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista makes army restructuring a public priority

    In his first speech to the nation from the balcony of the Presidential Palace, Batista made the purging of the armed forces a main priority. Talks are opened up with the old officer class to reach a compromise, talks that go nowhere. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista made Colonel

    Carbo (now Comissioner of War) and the Student Directorate, without consulting the Pentarchy ruling body, give Batista a general rank. He refuses and takes Colonel, and military chief of staff. The old officer class will not agree to any deal that has Batista leading them. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista's army opens fire on communists

    Attempting to gather in celebration of their martyr, Julio Antonio Mella, the communists organize a march to inter his ashes. Army breaks it up, six people were killed and twenty-seven injured, although some estimates range as high as thirty dead and more than one hundred wounded. Part of Grau and Batista's campaign to not be seen as too left by the U.S. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • The Mob bribes Batista

    Meyer Lansky and other associates, including Lucky Luciano, dream up of a scheme to set up gambling operations in Cuba. They pick Batista as their insider, and give him anywhere between 3 million to 5 million, with promises of yearly payments. Source: Havana Nocturne For more click here
  • Battle of the Hotel Nacional

    Officers had been amassing at the Hotel Nacional for a showdown with President Grau and Batista. Batista's men siege the hotel and win, but it was a costly victory and a military fiasco. Some extra-judicial assassination of officers by heavily armed civilians. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista maneuvers against Grau and the Students

    U.S. Ambassador Sumner Welles, who wields immense power through cautioning not recognizing the new government, starts warming up to Batista after the Hotel Nacional battle, seeing him as a way to strike a bargain with politicians friendlier to the U.S. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista survives assassination

    The students currently in government, led by the young minister Antonio Guiteras, almost assassinate Batista at a meeting due to his participation in conspiracies against the government. Saved last minute by the clemency of Dr. Grau, who believes a dressing down will humble Batista. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Final victory against counter-revolutionary forces

    Batista beats back a large insurrection by anti-government forces, former officers, and the ABC revolutionary society. Fighting was intense, rebels captured the airfield and many key posts in Havana. A bargain is struck and remaining rebels flee to Atarés, a stone fortress above the Havana Harbor. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Siege of Atares

    Batista and his men siege Atarés, which has 1000 men inside, with 3 women. Artillery fire breaks their resolve quickly. After the surrender, about 20 extra judicial killings are carried out.
  • Batista readies to remove President Grau with U.S. blessing

    Batista meets with Carlos Mendieta, a politician who is the U.S.’s favorite candidate for President. Batista expresses his support for Mendieta.
  • Junta leads to 3 successive Presidencies

    Batista organizes a junta packed with his supporters and tells the President, Dr. Grau, that he must resign. A compromise candidate, Grau’s Agriculture Minister Hevia, is made President. His government fails within the day as it has no support. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Carlos Mendieta becomes President

    At the urging of Batista and several political leaders, Hevia leaves the presidency. Presidency passes to Secretary of State Marquez Sterling, who at the behest of Batista, convenes a rubber-stamp junta and passes it on to Carlos Mendieta, Batista’s favorite candidate. The colonel has now participated in the fall of 3 presidencies. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Attack on the Newspaper "Accion"

    Batista increasingly rules through fear, beatings, torture and assassination. Batista’s men break into an ABC newspaper and kidnap 6 journalists at gunpoint. They are forced to ingest castor oil (a foul tasting laxative). This becomes a well known torture technique. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Presidential Aspirations

    Batista starts to consider seeking the presidency at some point. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Strike of 1935

    Largest labor strike in Cuban history, lasting a month, in several sectors of the economy. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista breaks the strike

    Martial law declared by the Mendieta government. Batista considers establishing himself as a military dictator. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista kills Guiteras

    Antonio Guiteras, student leader, strident revolutionary, part of the Grau government, had caused Batista all sorts of trouble through his political party/terrorist group- Young Cuba. Government forces killed Guiteras in a shoot out as he was attempting to flee to Mexico. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Another assassination

    Batista survives another conspiracy to end his life, this time from within the army by men who feel slighted by Batista’s precipitous rise. Lead plotter killed by army. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista and Ambassador Caffrey nudge President Mendieta out

    The United States, wishing for a more stable, democratic country after the violence and instability of 1933-1935, urges Mendieta not to run. Batista comes around to this position, and urges Mendieta to not run in the upcoming December elections. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • New President Elected

    Batista’s impressive coalition building results in the Presidency of Miguel Mariano Gomez, son of the second President of Cuba. Batista believed him to be young and malleable. Right away their relationship was fraught, with the president announcing his cabinet without Batista’s input. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • The rural school program

    In his turn to be less violent and more populist, Batista establishes a program to bring Sergeant teachers to the countryside. He spent 1936 and subsequent years arguing for social reforms, pensions, better hospitals, etc… Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Rural School Showdown

    Needing money to secure his popular rural schooling program, Batista tries to get a sugar tax passed through the Senate. Without prior warning President Gomez announces he will fight the legislation. He vetoes the bill on the 19th. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista impeaches President

    The Cuban Senate convened and impeached President Gomez. The president was to be charged with “interfering” in the work of the legislative body and “threatening” members with reprisal if they did not vote his way. His VP, Federico Laredo Brú, takes over. Bru was a pragmatism who took no issue with the limitations forced on his power by the military and Batista. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista transforms into a social reformer

    Batista announced and campaigned spiritedly for the “triennial plan”, a series of reforms to completely restructure Cuban society materially- including distribution of land to the rural poor, free schooling, housing program for elderly, as well as the establishment of a national bank. Much of it is not accomplished, or done under non-Batista governments in the future. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista allies with the communists and the right wing

    Preparing himself for a presidential race in 1940, Batista triangulates. He approaches the communist party and meets its chairperson, Blas Roca. Out of this relationship Batista received left wing bonafides and the support of communist controller worker unions. The Communist Party was legalized. He also courted the right-wing by stoking false fears of social revolution led by the Autentico Party. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista elected President

    He handily beats his opponent, Dr. Gau San Martin, in a mostly fair election. Source: Batista Revolutionary to Strongman click here for biography
  • Batista survives a military coup

    After dismissing his chief of police for negligence, angered the army chief of staff, who almost ousted Batista from power by driving to the presidential palace with armed men. Batista asks for time and goes to Camp Columbia, where he nips it in the bud and takes personal control.
    Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for more click here
  • Cuba joins the allies in WW2

    Following the Pearl Harbor attack, Cuba declares war on the axis. They contribute to the defense of the Caribbean, and receive economic aid for it. Source: Cuba by Hugh Thomas for book click here