Full Text

Cuba, general strikes under Batista regime, 1952–1958

Mike Gonzalez


Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place The Caribbean » Cuba

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

People Castro, Fidel

Key-Topics labor, labor movements, revolution, strikes

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00429.x


Extract

Fulgencio Batista, who led the sergeants' revolt of 1933, had become the dominant presence in Cuban political life by the following year. He was not himself elected to office until 1940, but he largely controlled and shaped events in the intervening years through others. Thus he supported the government of Guiteras and Grau San Martin which took power (so to speak) in September 1933 with the express intention of realizing the radical demands of the movements of that year. Batista's sights were set on a future relationship with the United States, which was resolutely opposed to the Guiteras-Grau coalition – though the US ambassador had been happy enough to sit on his hands while Machado fell. Batista knew that his project would not prosper while the radicals were in power, so he engineered the situation to have them replaced by Colonel Mendieta, head of the right-wing Unión Nacionalista (Nationalist Union). Guiteras called for a general strike in defense of the short-lived administration, but there was virtually no response. On January 18, Mendieta was installed in the presidency; Batista for his part had survived his first general strike and could now conduct Cuban affairs from behind a throne whose occupant was entirely beholden to him. The four months of a populist government had given Batista the time to assert his power within the army and to forge an alliance with the US ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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