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Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar was born in Cubas Oriente Province in 1902 Sierra 1 In 1921 he joined the army as a private and in 1932 he became a military tribunal stenographer with the rank of sergeant Sierra 1 His involvement in the Cuban military foreshadowed his army-dependant rule He took over the country with the help of gangsters guns and violence Though Batista rose to power in Cuba his reign was littered with corruption and dishonesty On September 4 1933 Batista took over the Cuban government in an uprising known as Revolt of the Sergeants Sierra 1 The coup overthrew the liberal government of Gerardo Machado and marked the beginning of the armys influence as an organized force in the running of the government Suchlicki 149 It also signaled Batistas emergence as self-appointed chief of the armed forces king-maker and favored US strong man Sierra 1 After meeting with Batista in April of 1933 US Ambassador Benjamin Sumner Welles told him Youre the only individual in Cuba today who represents authority I will lay down no specific terms the matter of your government is a Cuban matter and it is for you to decide what you will do about it Sierra 1 Batista saw this as an invitation to rule Sierra 2 On January 14 1934 Batista forced provisional president Ramon Grau San Martin to resign He appointed Carlos Mendieta to the presidency Ward 67 For the next 10 years Batista ruled Cuba using puppet presidents Carlos Mendieta 1934-35 Jose A Barnet 1935-36 Miguel Mariano Gomez 1936 and Federuco Laredo Bru 1936-40 Del Aguila 147 This set-up enabled him to continue a thirty-year tradition of corruption Sierra 2 During this time period Batista formed a renowned friendship and business relationship with gangster Meyer Lanksy which lasted over three decades Suchlicki 150 Through Lansky the Mafia knew they had a friend in Cuba Sierra 2 Many of Batistas enemies were killed Government forces
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