CUBA: Strongman's Round

Cuba's fanatic, poorly armed rebels last week tried to smash President Fulgencio Batista with the ultimate weapon of civilian revolutions: the general strike. But Batista, a tough, wilier strongman than such fallen dictators as Argentina's Perón or Venezuela's Pérez Jiménez, saw the blow coming, prepared well, warded it off with hardly a bruise.

Fulgencio Batista got ready for the strike by offering immunity to anyone who killed a striker and by threatening to jail any employer who closed shop. He marshaled 4,000 soldiers. His labor lieutenant, Eusebio Mujal, Hoffa-style boss of the...

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