Degree Granting Department
Paul Dosal, Ph.D.
Cuba, Latin America, Communism, Labor, Pre-Revolutionary (Republican) Period
This paper examines the relationship between Fulgencio Batista and the Communist Party of Cuba. At odds during the first several years of Batista's rule, when strikes and repression were the topics of the day, the two sides eventually saw in each other a means to an end. In efforts to understand the Cuban Revolution of the late 1950's, historians often portray Batista as a dictatorial puppet of American business and policy. Contrary to this image, in his first regime (1934 until 1944), Batista presided over the creation of a nominal constitutional democracy. To do this he needed the support and good conduct of organized labor, in which the Communists could be a powerful force. In 1935 the Communist Party International, based in Moscow, adopted a shift in tactics. So as to combat fascism, the Party turned away from its traditionally isolationist line. It sought to make alliances with like-minded groups and wanted to serve in the government. In mid-1938 an agreement was reached between Batista and Party heads from which sprang a mutually beneficial alliance lasting through the first batistato. The relationship is often overlooked in Cuban historiography and many questions remain.To truly understand its significance we need more information as to origins, conditions, and consequences of the agreements. This paper explores the conditions on both sides, seeking to understand how and why the unlikely bedfellows came together. As well, it traces the relationship until the end of Batista's term in 1944, focusing on the ebb and flow of support concerning major issues of the day, such as organized labor, the constitutional assembly, the election of 1940, and involvement in World War II. Finally, this study shows how the alliance with the Communist Party is a necessary point in a full understanding of Fulgencio Batista and the era.
Scholar Commons Citation
Hollenkamp, Charles Clayton, "A marriage of convenience: Batista and the Communists, 1933 - 1944" (2006). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.