Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


History (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Steve Stein

Second Committee Member

Kate Ramsey

Third Committee Member

Eduardo Elena

Fourth Committee Member

Luis Locay


Fulgencio Batista ruled Cuba from March 10, 1952 to December 31, 1958 and initiated the most ambitious and expensive government economic stimulus programs in the island’s history. He took power by military coup and overthrew the constitutionally elected Auténtico President Carlos Prío Soccorás. Batista immediately took credit for restoring security, order, progress, and honest government to the island. However, he lacked an official public mandate to rule acquired through an election, therefore, he sought acceptance by appealing to Cubans’ economic needs. In the months following the coup, Batista decided on a stimulus plan that in many ways followed the recommendations from international and domestic economists. It called for the restructure of existing government development finance agencies such as the Agricultural and Industrial Development Bank, and the creation of new ones. Batista’s approach to promote economic diversification and growth called for central management to provide low-cost credit and other assistance to non-sugar industries. Batista publicized his economic programs as national triumphs. Therefore, their performance in part determined his popular appeal. The study focuses examination on the dynamics, ideology, logic, efficiency, stakeholders and realized returns of Batista’s domestic economic development programs. This data is then employed to understand the links between his economic policies and Fidel Castro’s ability to acquire support, wage war, and eventually take over the island.


Cuba; Fulgencio; Batista; 1950s