Fulgencio Batista ruled Cuba twice once as a rather effective leader, then later as a brutal dictator. Batista first led Cuba in 1933 and strengthened his rule through patronage by sponsoring a number of public-works programs and cultivating the army and civil service. In 1944, after his term expired, he left Cuba and traveled abroad. Eight years later, he led a bloodless coup in 1952 and forced his way back into power. He then set out to control virtually all sectors of the country and its economy the press, the university, Congress while enriching himself. He held illegitimate elections twice before he was finally ousted by the dramatic Marxist rebellion led by Fidel Castro and his rebel forces in 1959.
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