s first voyage in 1492.
The Spanish are ousted by the US in the war of 1898. The island is then
effectively annexed by the US. American business interests flourish but the
domestic political process is seriously compromised by US interference.
1933 sees the entry of Fulgencio Batista y Zaldvar onto the political
scene when the then army sergeant leads a military revolt that installs a
new revolutionary government.
In January 1934 Batista topples the new government and installs himself as
dictator, ruling until 1940 when he is legitimately elected as president.
Finding himself out of power in 1944, Batista, now a general, bides his
time until 10 March 1952, when he overthrows the government in a bloodless
coup and cancels planned elections. The US recognises the Batista
government on 27 March. Batista rules by decree and presides over a corrupt
regime with links to US business and organised crime. More background.
Mini biography: Born on 14 June 1928 in Rosario, Argentina, into a liberal,
He is the first of five children. As a child he suffers
from asthma, and will do so for the rest of his life.
1947 – He begins studying for a degree in medicine at the University of
Buenos Aires. He spends his leave on motorcycle tours with his friend
Alberto Granado, who runs a dispensary at the leper colony of San Francisco
del Chanar near Cordoba in Argentina.
In journeys undertaken in 1951 and 1952, Guevara travels first in
Argentina, where he meets the lepers at Cordoba, then heads west into Chile
and then north through Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and onto Miami in the US,
where he is turned back by the immigration authorities.
While in Peru he works in the San Pablo leprosarium.
His experiences with
the lepers and the poor and underprivileged during his travels have a key
impact on the development of his political thought. He becomes convinced
that genuine equality can only be achieved through socialism.
Guevara’s experiences on the road are later described in his book
‘Motorcycle Diaries’ .