JFK+50 wishes all our visitors a happy, healthy and prosperous NEW YEAR!
BATISTA FLED CUBA 55 YEARS AGO TODAY
Havana, Cuba (JFK+50) Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba 55 years ago today, January 1, 1959, as a result of a revolution led by Fidel Castro.
Batista's rise to power began in 1933 and he served as chief of the Cuban armed forces until his election as president in 1940.
Fulgencio Batista and
US Army Chief of Staff Marlin Craig
Armistice Day, 1938
Harris and Ewing Photo
Library of Congress
At the end of his term, Batista lived in the United States until his return to Cuba in 1952.
Upon the start of Batista's 2nd reign of power, the government of the United States supported him, as it continued to do during the revolution, because of Castro's leftist ideology and potential threat to American investments and property in Cuba.
Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. wrote in response to an analysis request of the Batista regime by the U.S. government...
"The corruption of the (Batista) government, the brutality of the police, the regime's indifference to the needs of the people for education, medical care, housing, for social and economic justice.....is an open invitation to revolution."
Batista reportedly had a relationship with American mafia figures Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano. Under Batista's leadership, Havana became known as "the Latin Las Vegas."
Fulgencio Batista was born in Banes, Cuba in 1901. He was educated at an American Quaker school.
In the presidential campaign of 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy was critical of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's support of Batista.
On October 6, 1960, JFK said...
"Batista turned democratic Cuba into a complete police state--destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror."
Speaking to French-Jewish journalist Jean Daniel on October 24, 1963, President John F. Kennedy said...
"To some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States.
Now we shall have to pay for those sins.
In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries."
photo by jim (2006)
"Fight Against Which is
Impossible and Win"
On January 1, 1959, American businesses owned 40% of the Cuban sugar lands--almost all the cattle ranches--90% of the mines and mineral concessions, 80% of the utilities--practically all the oil industry--and supplied two-thirds of Cuba's imports.
Fulgencio Batista eventually moved to Lisbon, Portugal and died in 1973 near Marbella, Spain.