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In 1959 a rebel Fidel Castro overthrew the reign of Fulgencia Batista in Cuba a small island 90 miles off the Florida coast There have been many coups and changes of government in the world since then Few if any have had the effect on Americans and American foreign policy as this one In 1952 Sergeant Fulgencia Batista staged a successful bloodless coup in Cuba Batista never really had any cooperation and rarely garnered much support His reign was marked by continual dissension After waiting to see if Batista would be seriously opposed Washington recognized his government Batista had already broken ties with the Soviet Union and became an ally to the US throughout the cold war He was continually friendly and helpful to American business interest But he failed to bring democracy to Cuba or secure the broad popular support that might have legitimized his rape of the 1940 Constitution As the people of Cuba grew increasingly dissatisfied with his gangster style politics the tiny rebellions that had sprouted began to grow Meanwhile the US government was aware of and shared the distaste for a regime increasingly nauseating to most public opinion It became clear that Batista regime was an odious type of government It killed its own citizens it stifled dissent At this time Fidel Castro appeared as leader of the growing rebellion Educated in America he was a proponent of the Marxist-Leninist philosophy He conducted a brilliant guerilla campaign from the hills of Cuba against Batista On January 1959 he prevailed and overthrew the Batista government Castro promised to restore democracy in Cuba a feat Batista had failed to accomplish This promise was looked upon benevolently but watchfully by Washington Castro was believed to be too much in the hands of the people to stretch the rules of politics very far The US government supported
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