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Old 07-31-2013, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
159 posts, read 192,822 times
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I have a big interest in Latin American (specifically Cuban) politics, culture, and history (mainly because I have a draft of a science fiction novel set there on my hard drive, and also because I did a very interesting history unit on Che in Year 9- I live in Australia, and the most memorable event in the whole thing was our cool history teacher telling us how Fidel (with the help of Che) instituted laws controlling radio and TV content. I thought, "YES! no stupid cartoons (my brother is a cartoons FREAK) and no annoying commercials! ¬°VIVA FIDEL!" (Well, maybe I wasn't exactly thinking that last one, but I did think that it would be an awesome law, until the teacher told us about dissidents being imprisoned and shipped to labour camps.)

One of my "favourite" (sounds bad, I know) figures that I really found out more about in the research I did is Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973) more often known as Fidel's archenemy and "the guy who opened Cuba up to the Mafia." He also is (weirdly) my historical crush - he was incredibly attractive when he was alive.

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From my research I discovered that he faced a lot of racism during his eight years in the presidency, due to his mixed blood. How important was his race to anti-Batista people? I've read that near the end of his last term, as he lost power, almost the entire population supported Fidel, (including a large population of Blacks, mulattoes and Chinese people) but I've also read on here that Fidel was mainly popular with the White population who saw him as a saviour freeing them from a tyrannical Black leader. The truth is probably somewhere in between, but was racism an important factor in White opposition to Batista?

Also, was Batista an admirer of Juan Peron? I read somewhere that Peron was THE model for all dictators after him. Anyone know anything about Batista's attitude to Peronism?

Last edited by Morwen Edhelwen; 08-01-2013 at 12:51 AM..
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Batista famously courted foreigners who could assist in making him personally wealthy and neglected the needs of the population at large. Given that he seized power in a coup and then conducted a corrupt and brutally repressive regime, I think that all of the ingredients for a revolution were in place irrespective of racial factors.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:33 AM
 
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I agree with GS. The "racism" against him was just convenient fodder to slander him. Batista gave the average Cuban a littany of reasons to hate him regardless of his racial heritage.

As for Batista looking up to Peron, I have never heard that comparison made. Peron may have been a dictator, but he did far more for Argentina than Batista ever did for Cuba. Had Batista modelled himself on Peron, there may never have been a revolution in Cuba.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
159 posts, read 192,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I agree with GS. The "racism" against him was just convenient fodder to slander him. Batista gave the average Cuban a littany of reasons to hate him regardless of his racial heritage.

As for Batista looking up to Peron, I have never heard that comparison made. Peron may have been a dictator, but he did far more for Argentina than Batista ever did for Cuba. Had Batista modelled himself on Peron, there may never have been a revolution in Cuba.
I meant in terms of his populism (remember that the first time around, a whole lot of poorer people LOVED him and he was hated by the rich, the exact reverse of the situation the second time around). I can't find the source, but I did find somewhere that Marta Fernandez Batista's nickname was "Marta del Pobre."
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen Edhelwen View Post
I meant in terms of his populism (remember that the first time around, a whole lot of poorer people LOVED him and he was hated by the rich, the exact reverse of the situation the second time around). I can't find the source, but I did find somewhere that Marta Fernandez Batista's nickname was "Marta del Pobre."
I see what you are getting at, but I have never heard it mentioned that Batista admired Peron or modelled what he did on what Peron had done. In all honesty this is a topic I am not terribly well versed in beyond knowing the players and the general story.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I see what you are getting at, but I have never heard it mentioned that Batista admired Peron or modelled what he did on what Peron had done. In all honesty this is a topic I am not terribly well versed in beyond knowing the players and the general story.
Don't know if Batista ever admired Peron. Castro did. He credited a speech by Peron at Havana University with getting him interested in politics.
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Originally Posted by majoun View Post
Don't know if Batista ever admired Peron. Castro did. He credited a speech by Peron at Havana University with getting him interested in politics.
Why "Castro" instead of "Fidel"? I've seen that a lot, and it sticks out to me.

Last edited by Morwen Edhelwen; 08-04-2013 at 03:56 AM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:17 AM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
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bump
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
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oh, and apparently he was a neat freak.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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Fidel Castro was a young, white intellectual IIRC who got swept up in the long-standing anti-Batista movement, and ended up becoming its leader. As with many revolutions, what started out as a fairly simple political rebellion against a heavy-handed dictator turned into a social and economic revolution with lots of collateral damage and unintended consequences.

The bulk of the Cuban population today are probably materially better off than the bulk of the population of the rest of the Caribbean basin. If Batista had successfully thwarted attempts to overthrow his government, they would probably be on a par with the Dominican Republic.
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