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Fulgencio Batista's first foray into Cuban politics in the 1940s

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posted on Oct, 18 2022 @ 10:57 PM
Although Fulgencio Batista governed Cuba as a right-wing dictator from March 1952 to January 1959, most people forget that Batista actually began his career in politics when he was elected president of Cuba in 1940, serving a four-year term. The Cuban American organization Directorio Democratico Cubano elaborates on Batista's courtship of Cuban communists during his four-year term from 1940 to 1944:

Reality: The Cuban Communist Party supported Fulgencio Batista in exchange the CP was legalized during the Batista dictatorship and even got two cabinet ministers in 1942. Additional documentation of relationship between Batista and the Cuban Communists are outlined below:

"What right does SeƱor Batista have to speak of Communism? After all, in the elections of 1940 he was the candidate of the Communist Party ... his portrait hung next to Blas Roca's and Lazaro Pena's; and half a dozen ministers and confidants of his are leading members of the CP," said Fidel Castro.

Batista's coalition with Cuba 's communists
In November 1940, the communists supported Batista's candidates in the elections to the Constituent Assembly. In return for their support, Batista allowed the communists to organize and control the government sponsored union, Cuban Confederation of Labor (CTC Confederacion de Trabajadores de Cuba ) The first Secretary General of the CTC was Lazaro Pena--who, ironically, enough, held the same post in the Castro regime. In exchange for these favors the communists guaranteed Batista labor peace. In line with the Communist Party's "Popular Front Against Fascism" policy, the alliance of the Communist Party with the Batista was officially consumated when the Party joined the Batista government. The Communist Party leaders Carlos Rafael Rodriguez and Juan Marinello (who now hold high posts in the Castro government) became Ministers Without Portfolio in Batista's Cabinet. To illustrate the intimate connections between the communists and Batista, we quote from a letter of Batista to Blas Roca, Secretary of the Communist Party:

June 13,1944
Dear Blas,
With respect to your letter which our mutual friend, Dr. Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, Minister Without Portfolio, passed to me, I am happy to again express my firm unshakeable confidence in the loyal cooperation the People's Socialist Party [the then official name of the Communist Party of Cuba] its leaders and members have given and continue to give myself and my government. . .

Believe me, as always, Your very affectionate and cordial friend,
Fulgencio Batista

In the electoral campaign the Communist candidates won ten seats in the Cuban parliament and more than a hundred posts in Municipal councils. Later, the communists joined Batista in condemning Fidel Castro's attack on the Moncada Barracks (July 26, 1953 -- the anniversary of the attack is a national holiday in Castro's Cuba). . . the life of the People's Socialist Party (communist). . . has been to combat . . . and unmask the putschists and adventurous activities of the bourgeois opposition as being against the interests of the people. . . (reported in Daily Worker, U.S organ of the Communist Party, August 10, 1953 )

The funny thing is, Batista enlisted a number of communists in his cabinet, yet when he returned to power in 1952 just as Cuba was about to hold a presidential election to decide who would succeed Carlos Prio Socarras as president, Batista turned against communism and became right-wing, viewing moderate leftists with suspicion. Why do most Americans forget that Fulgencio Batista served as Cuban president from 1940-1944 years before he returned to power as a right-wing despot in the 1950s?


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