Fulgencio Batista
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Fulgencio Batista was born on January 16, 1901. He is known for being the military leader and president of Cuba and target of the rebels of the Cuban Revolution. He was no stranger to coups and takeovers, as he himself was part of the successful overthrow of Gerardo Machado in 1933, in the event known as the Revolt of the Sergeants. Once they had taken control, the role of president was passed around by several individuals and Batista was placed in charge of the military. In 1940 Batista decided to become president himself.

He was quite popular in the country, generally pleasing both sides; he was a capitalist in his views yet his labor laws helped to support the communists. Once his four-year term had ended, he was replaced by Grau, the same man that he had originally ousted. Displeased at the prospect of Grau returning, Batista made several efforts to make things financially difficult for him. He decided to live in the United States for the next 8 years.

Upon his return, he formed the Unitary Action Party and decided to run for president again. He soon staged another coup as, from the poll results, it was evident he wasn't going win. He seemed to focus more of his attention on generating personal wealth rather than passing any reforms which started to really affect the country. There was also a developing problem of organized crime and the surfacing of dubious activities, like gambling and brothels, and American gangsters began taking advantage of the deals presented to those investing in Cuba.

The revolution was showing signs of igniting when the Moncada Barrack attacks took place, only a year after Batista returned to power. Batista's sense of paranoia led him to create an environment of severe brutality, especially against university students. Round about that time, international and national support began shifting towards the revolution.

All of Batista's efforts, which revolved around intimidation, only garnered support for the rebels. He had been receiving military support from the United States, as they had originally placed Batista in the line up for presidency but an embargo in March of 1958 put an end to that. Finally, in early 1959 he toasted his cabinet and went into exile, allowing the revolutionaries to take over.