Elections and Events 1930-1934


Pérez 1993: "In March 1930 a general strike organized by the outlawed [Confederación Nacional Obrera de Cuba] and supported by 200,000 workers paralysed the island; in September a student anti-government protest resulted in violence and the closing of the university...In November 1930, the government proclaimed a state of siege throughout the island" (page 61). In 1930, the "U.S. Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act reduces the Cuban share of the U.S. sugar market, exacerbating economic conditions on the island" (page 418).


August 1999: "In March 1930, the 'Confederación Nacional Obrera de Cuba' (CNOC), despite its illegality, organized a massive general strike. In confrontations with the state, many workers were killed" (page 127).


Pérez 1995: "Clashes increased...between the government and its political opponents. In May 1930, the Unión Nacionalista organized a political rally in Artemisa. Even before speakers addressed the assembled thousands, the army opened fire and moved in to disperse the panic-stricken crowd by force...Within twenty-four hours, virtually all ranking Unión Nacionalista leaders were either in jail or in exile" (page 255).


Munro 1974: "In July 1930 the president asked the Congress to make the proposed changes in the electoral law, in order to permit the 'unión nacionalista' to take part in the congressional election scheduled for November. The opposition leaders, however, publicly rejected this proposal and the president permitted its defeat when it came to a vote" (page 356).

November 1: midterm election

Enciclopedia de Cuba 1975: "1 noviembre, se celebran elecciones parciales en toda la República demostrando el electorado poco entusiasmo; el Partido Liberal elige 18 senadores y 28 representantes, el Partido Conservador 6 senadores y 23 representantes, y el Partido Popular Cubano solamente 8 representantes" (page 336).

Munro 1974: "The elections were held on November 1, 1930, with no more violence than was customary. They were of more than usual importance, for under the recent constitutional amendments two-thirds of the senators and half of the representatives were elected, for terms of ten years in the case of most of the senators and of seven years in the case of the representatives" (page 359).

Riera 1955: "En las elecciones de 1930 elígense 24 senadores, correspondiendo a 18 el plazo largo de 8 años, y a 6 el período corto del cuatrienio...En los comicios de 1930 quedan prohibidas las coaliciones de partidos" (page 363). "El Partido Liberal elige en los comicios referidos 18 senadores y 28 representantes; el Conservador 6 curules de la Alta Cámara y 23 escaños y el Popular Cubano 8 representantes" (page 366). "Elecciones de 1o de noviembre de 1930" (page 366-372). Gives results by province.

November 30

August 1999: "On November 30, Machado proclaimed a state of siege" (page 128).


Problems of the new Cuba: report of the Commission on Cuban Affairs 1935: "In December 1930 the President closed the University, the high schools and the normal schools throughout the country. These institutions remained closed until after Machado's overthrow" (page 10).


Aguilar 1993: "(T)he traditional politicians who combined forces with Mendieta and Menocal to fight Machado provoked the anger of the younger generation by keeping close contacts with the American Embassy and trying to obtain its open support. They were puzzled by Washington's new policy of caution. The era of direct intervention, the landing of the marines...was coming to an end" (pages 52-53).

Bonachea 1972: "When the DEU ranks split, its left wing became the Ala Izquierda Estudiantil (AIE) and its right wing formed the ABC. The AIE, which followed a Marxist though not necessarily communist line, emphasized the class struggle, whereas DEU had a generational outlook" (page 9).

Pérez 1995: The ABC Revolutionary Society is founded in 1931 and is "made up mainly of young men and women, intellectuals, professionals, and students, organized around underground cells. The ABC embraced armed struggle and responded to government violence with reprisal, committing itself to creating conditions of revolution through systematic use of force against the government. The Organización Celular Radical Revolucionaria (OCRR) also adopted a cellular structure and used armed struggle and sabotage as the means to overthrow Machado" (page 257). "What made the collapse of the Cuban economy between the late 1920s and early 1930s especially devastating was timing: it occurred just at the moment that the vast post-1898 baby-boom population was reaching the age of peak economic productivity. Nearly three-quarters of a million young Cubans...had recently entered the labor force...and most could not find work" (page 257).

Riera 1955: "En este año de 1931, en que el país es convulsionado por la protesta armada de la Oposición, se reorganizan los partidos políticos. Se hace un Censo de Población que dio a la República 3.962,344 habitantes y 710,593 electores. Las mujeres aún no disfrutan de las prerrogativas del sufragio. Los partidos Liberal, Conservador, Popular, Progresista y Renovación Nacionalista, reorganizados unos y creados otros, son las agrupaciones que participan de los actos de Asambleas e inscripción de afiliados" (pages 375-376). "En la sombra actúan los integrantes de los partidos revolucionarios 'Unión Nacionalista' y 'Comunista', asomando la fortaleza oposicionista de la congregación celular del ABC y la sigla combatiente del DEU" (page 377). "En la reorganización de 1931, activistas del feminismo como Ofelia Domínguez, de 'Unión Laborista de Mujeres'; María Gómez Carbonell, de 'Alianza Nacional Feminista' y...otras agrupaciones...reclaman el derecho de sufragio para la mujer cubana, sin éxito alguno" (page 381). "Reorganización de partidos en 1931" (pages 381-383). Gives voters registered for four parties by province.

Whitney 2001: The "Ala Izquierda Estudiantil existed for only a short period, from 1931 to 1935" (page 76). "The Ala was founded by a group of DEU dissidents" (page 77).


Pérez 1995: "In January 1931, Machado invoked an old colonial law of public order, never before used in the republic, to suspend the publication of some fifteen newspapers and periodicals and ordered the arrest of the editors" (page 256).


Aguilar 1993: "In August 1931...Mendieta and Menocal attempted an uprising in the interior of the island...(T)he two leaders were easily captured in...Pinar del Río...The failure of the old leaders allowed the younger generation to move to the forefront and radicalized the struggle. The ABC, a new secret revolutionary organization initially formed by middle-class professionals,...spread fear in government circles with bombs and terrorist attacks" (pages 52-53).

Pérez 1986: "An armed uprising in August 1931 involving the principal moderate political leaders, spluttered ingloriously to an end, resulting in the arrest of scores of Machado opponents, including Mendieta and Menocal. The ill-starred revolt of 1931 had far-reaching consequences. Most immediately, it announced the political bankruptcy of the nineteenth-century political class. The 'cooperativista' consensus had thoroughly discredited the traditional political parties; the depression revealed the traditional power holders unable to respond to the economic crisis. The 1931 debacle similarly showed the old political leadership incapable of resolving the national crisis. The arrests of Mendieta and Menocal eliminated the leading dissident members of the political class who, for all their differences with Machado, still shared the basic assumptions and attitudes that had given decisive shape to three decades of republican politics" (page 289).


Munro 1974: On December 22, 1931 Machado announces that he will remain in office until May 20, 1935 (page 366).


Munro 1974: "In 1932 the situation in Cuba grew very much worse. When Machado's enemies found that they could not oust the President by political pressure or by armed revolt, they resorted to terrorism. Several secret societies, of which the A.B.C. was the most important, joined with the students in a campaign of sabotage and destruction and in attempts to kill government officials" (page 366).

Pérez 1986: "New opposition organizations emerged after 1931" (page 289). Describes several of them (289-290).

Pérez 1995: "Open warfare broke out in Cuba after 1931. Repression by the regime increased, but so did reprisals by the opposition" (page 258).


Munro 1974: In May the "chief leaders of the 'unión nacionalista'" are arrested (page 366).


Stoner 1991: "On June 8, 1932, the proposal for the franchise went before Congress. As before, congressmen debated the merits of women participating in politics and rejected the bill…Although a majority of congressmen supported the franchise, there was not the two-thirds majority required to pass the bill. The final vote was fifty-two in favor and forty-two opposed" (page 121).


Munro 1974: "Between July and September the chief of the secret police and the president of the Senate and four other prominent politicians were murdered. The army and the police responded with harsh measures of repression" (page 366).

November: midterm election

Enciclopedia de Cuba 1975: "1, noviembre, se celebran elecciones parciales en toda la República a fin de cubrir vacantes en el Congreso, en los consejos provinciales y en los municipios; concurren a ellas los partidos tradicionales afines al gobierno y el Partido Progresista de escasa significación; como en las elecciones provinciales anteriores, los liberales eligen gobernadores en todas las provincias excepto Pinar del Río, donde triunfan los conservadores; además los liberales eligen 35 representantes, los conservadores 25, y los populares 9; en dos elecciones especiales son electos un liberal y un conservador al Senado" (page 349).

Riera 1955: "Para las elecciones de 1932 existen 737,778 electores. En esos comicios pierde el derecho de sufragio la Policía Municipal, por su incorporación a las Milicias Nacionales" (page 387). "Los fraudes cometidos en los comicios de 1932, determinan la nulidad de 162 colegios en provincias" (page 388). "En los comicios de 1932 debutó el 'Partido Progresista'" (page 389). "En los comicios de 1932, el Partido Liberal elige la senaduría de Céspedes, 5 gobernadores, 35 representantes, 28 consejeros y 84 alcaldes; el Conservador la senaduría vacante de Cabada, el gobernador de Pinar del Río, 25 actas de la Cámara, 18 consejeros y 33 alcaldías, y el Progresista los alcaldes de Jovellanos y Florida y 1 consejero por Camaghey" (page 392). "Elecciones parciales de 1o de noviembre de 1932" (pages 392-405). Gives results by province.


Whitney 2001: "By the spring of 1933, Cubans were living through a political and economic crisis where numerous bombings, kidnappings, mysterious seizures of weapons and munitions, and urban and rural protest were daily occurrences...Women's organizations took to the street, protesting the high cost of living and political repression, as well as demanding the right to vote" (page 82).

February: election

Riera 1955: "El 28 de febrero de 1933, celébranse elecciones complementarias, en 21 colegios de la provincia de Matanzas" (page 389).


Whitney 2001: "Cuban exiles...returned to Cuba expecting to play a role in bringing down the dictatorship...The exiles were divided into five main groups: the Conservatives, led by former president Mario Menocal; the Liberals under Miguel Gómez; the Unión Nacionalista, led by Carlos Mendieta; the DEU group...; and the recently founded ABC Society...In April these five factions formed a united 'Junta'" (pages 82-83).


Aguilar 1993: "Committed to a policy of non-intervention in Latin American affairs, President Roosevelt decided to send a special envoy to solve the Cuban crisis. In May 1933, Benjamin Sumner Welles...arrived in Havana as Ambassador Extraordinary" (page 53).

June 2

Gellman 1973: "To placate the opposition and work within the existing order, on June 2 Welles proposed to Machado his plan for a settlement, urging immediate reform of the electoral code so that the various factions could form political parties. Under such a proposal, the Cuban people would be assured the opportunity of choosing an acceptable executive. Welles thought that a preliminary step for national elections would be the restoration of the office of vice-president and the selection of a man to fill it who would have the support of all groups and would supervise the elections. Welles also favored shortening the terms of the future president and the incumbent congressmen...Machado assured him that he would cooperate in carrying out these proposals" (pages 18-19).

June 7

Gellman 1973: "While the Machado administration was testing Welles's strength in Washington, Machado moved closer to mediation talks, announcing to the press on June 7 that he favored constitutional reforms and proposing the appointment of a vice-president who could not be a presidential candidate in the 1934 elections. While the vice-president was being selected, political parties would be reorganized, and general elections would be held on November 1, 1934" (page 20).


August 1999: "The recruitment of the ABC into this coalition is a prime example of the use made of parties 'on the fringe of illegality' to compose the continuously transforming multi-party competition and alliances. The ABC was basically a provocateur, fascist outfit with no support. It supposedly stood against corruption and for clean government, but was meticulously building planks in their platform which were designed to oppose communism. The PCC and the unions were not invited to the coalition talks" (page 130).

Pérez 1995: "Not all sectors of the opposition were compatible with U.S. interests, and hence not all were invited to participate. Students in the DEU denounced the mediations, as did the PCC and the CNOC. Groups opposing mediations protested foreign intermeddling in Cuban internal affairs, and vowed to seek a Cuban solution independent of the United States. Representatives from the mainstream opposition, including the Unión Nacionalista, agreed to participate. So did the ABC, the OCRR, university professors, women's opposition groups, and normal school teachers. The government representatives included leaders of the Liberal, Conservative, and Popular parties...The mediations began on July 1, and pressure on the government for reform began immediately" (page 261). "In mid-July, Welles prepared to deliver the final blow: a suggestion that Machado appoint a vice president satisfactory to all parties and forthwith resign, thereby shortening his term by one year. Machado responded first with incredulity, and then rage. He convened a special session of congress to repudiate publicly the proposal, vowing to remain in power through his full term of office" (page 262).


Alexander 1973: "In August 1933 a general strike of students and workers, with the support of most of the country's entrepreneurs and with the help of the U.S. ambassador, Sumner Welles, finally forced the resignation of Machado…Carlos Manuel de Cespedes [became] provisional president" (page 280).

Duff 1985: "Céspedes was a colorless politician with no following in the country save Welles, and he had been installed almost at the direction of the Ambassador. The country by this time, however, was almost totally in a state of anarchy, with the strikes that had contributed to the toppling of Machado continuing. In addition, in Havana people were taking personal vengeance against the agents of the former Machado regime, with lynchings in the streets on some occasions" (page 106).

Farber 1976: "Machado's departure was received with widespread enthusiasm and followed by a massive upheaval. The army officers, with the support of Welles and the conservative opponents of Machado, established a conservative provisional government headed by the patrician Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. The ABC organization, taking one step further in its decline as a revolutionary organization, agreed to participate in this provisional government. The situation was very unstable. Welles and the Cuban conservatives acted as if there had been a mere palace revolt, while in fact a mass upheaval was taking place in the country, encouraged, ironically enough, by Welles's actions, which had undermined the apparent solidity of Machado's regime. The Céspedes administration ended only the most blatant brutality and suppression of elementary democratic rights but instituted no social reforms. Even in the strictly political field, the Céspedes regime moved with great caution and legalistic timidity, particularly when it came to dissolving Machado's undemocratically elected, rubber-stamp Congress… Finally, Congress was dissolved by the Céspedes cabinet and the 1928 Machado Constitution was abolished, but nothing else was done in the way of reform" (pages 37-38).

Gellman 1973: "Once Machado departed, his cabinet resigned, except for [General Alberto] Herrera. According to a constitutional amendment of 1928, he automatically became provisional president. Although the military men and the political opposition had originally supported him, now they suddenly decided that the general was too closely associated with the previous administration. A new man would have to be selected. Herrera remained in office only long enough to appoint Dr. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes secretary of state; then he resigned...Less than twenty-four hours after the dictator left the island, Céspedes became president ad interim. Since he succeeded to the presidency through Cuba's constitutional process, the United States automatically extended recognition to him" (pages 31-32). "Until the removal of Machado, the army had played a secondary role in political affairs, depending on the United States to preven instability. They were satisfied with the lavish privileges that the dictator had bestowed upon them...When the officers decided to oust the tyrant, they also, unknowingly, ended their tradition of political neutrality" (page 42).

Halperin 1970: "On August 11 Machado lost his last pillar of support. The Armed Forces, which he had always favored, constantly increasing their budget, expanding them and equipping them with new weapons, turned against him...Never before had the Cuban army intervened in the political struggle...Machado had been the first Cuban President to rule as a dictator. He had maintained himself in power by brute force, by police terror. By this he discredited not only himself, but the entire state apparatus which was his instrument. With his downfall, a total crisis of state authority came to its climax" (pages 5-6).

Hargrove 1979: "The American ambassador, Sumner Welles, in collaboration with army officers, put Carlos Manuel de Céspedes in charge of the government. Céspedes' provisional government, however, did not enjoy the complete support of the anti-Machado groups. The student opposition...saw the Céspedes government as the creature and the creation of Welles and a clique of army officers" (page 10).

McDonald 1989: "Important groups within the anti-Machado uprising of 1933 included the radical Student Directorate, the middle-class ABC party, and the Cuban Communist party" (page 24).

Munro 1974: On "August 11 the army turned against Machado and compelled him to resign. Before he left, Machado named Carlos Manuel de Céspedes…as secretary of state and thus as his constitutional successor" (page 369).

Pérez 1986: "Plans to have Herrera assume the presidency encountered strong opposition from the army, and instead Carlos Manuel de Céspedes was appointed. Under the new regime, the political class hoped to renew its lease over the state. Machado was removed and the cabinet replaced, but congress remained virtually unchanged, the bureaucracy untouched, and the army unaffected" (page 317).

August 24

Fitzgibbon 1936: "The first step in the direction of political reconstruction was the action of the Céspedes administration August 24, 1933, in repealing the constitutional 'reforms' of 1928. The decree restored in its entirety the original constitution of 1901, dissolved the Congress, removed some appointive and many elective officials, and provided for the appointment of a consultative commission" (page 725).

Problems of the new Cuba: report of the Commission on Cuban Affairs 1935: "(T)he Céspedes government issued a decree on August 24 annulling the constitutional amendments of 1928 and restoring in full force the Constitution of 1901. The decree also removed existing congressmen, Supreme Court judges appointed after May 20, 1929, and all elected officials and provided that elections would be held in the following February. These provisions aroused the fear the Céspedes régime intended to perpetuate its existence at the polls" (page 12).

September 4

De Lima-Dantas 1987: "On September 4, 1933, at an army base in Havana called Camp Columbia, noncommissioned officers unexpectedly arrested their superiors and took over command of the island's military forces. The 'Sergeants' Revolt' had been skillfully organized by Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar, the son of poor cane cutters from Oriente of mixed racial ancestry, who in time would become the caudillo of all Cuba" (page 30).

Enciclopedia de Cuba 1975: "La Comisión Ejecutiva (Pentarquía) (1933)" (pages 434-444).

Farber 1976: On "September 4 a group of army sergeants, led by an unknown Sergeant Fulgencio Batista, among others, rebelled against their officers. More successful than they apparently had expected to be, they ended up with full state power in their hands. Then, realizing that they desperately needed civilian support to hold and administer this newly acquired power, the sergeants called on the Student Directorate and other revolutionary elements, who agreed to constitute themselves as a revolutionary government with the support of the successful army rebels" (page 40). "Before long, ideological differences became apparent within the Grau government: Interior Minister Antonio Guiteras y Holmes was on the Left, Batista was on the Right, and Grau himself held the center. Opposing the government from the Right were the ABC organization and almost all Cuban conservatives. Opposing the government from the Left…was the Communist party" (page 41). The U.S. did not recognize this government.

Gellman 1973: "The alliance between the sergeants and the Student Directorate necessitated the formation of a new government. After the actual revolt, nineteen leaders met to determine an acceptable form of government while preparations for the election were being made. The conference resulted in the selection of a five-man revolutionary junta whose members had not served in the previous administration" (pages 45-46). "After only three days in power, the junta decided to establish a presidential form of government with the participation of the opposition...On September 10 representatives from all factions were summoned to the presidential palace and informed of the 'fait accompli.' The opposition leaders were astounded and angry because they had been led to believe that the new president would be chosen by mutual agreement. Frustrated and humiliated, the opposition leadership announced that it would not join the newly formed government" (pages 55-56).

Hargrove 1979: "On 4 September 1933, the army rebelled. Batista masterminded a revolt within the army in which noncommissioned officers arrested their superiors and took command of the military forces...The army rebellion was not directly inspired by or connected with any of the political factions...Batista invited the Directorio Estudiantil to name a five man junta to run the government, but the junta was ineffective because of internal dissensions. As a consequence, Batista along with some members of the Directorio Estudiantil appointed Ramón Grau San Martín...provisional president...The United States feared that Grau and his followers were leftists who threatened the status quo in Cuba" (pages 10-11).

Langley 1989: "The revolutionary junta-it was called The Pentarchy-denounced the old order and proclaimed economic and social rehabilitation within the framework of the democratic process" (page 126).

Pérez 1995: "On September 5, 1933, a political manifesto announced the establishment of a new provisional revolutionary government and proclaimed the affirmation of national sovereignty, the establishment of a modern democracy, and the 'march toward the creation of a new Cuba.' Within a week, the pentarchy dissolved in favor of an executive form of government under Grau San Martín" (page 267). Describes the decrees of the provisional government, which included dissolving the traditional political parties and giving women the right to vote (pages 268-269).

Problems of the new Cuba: report of the Commission on Cuban Affairs 1935: "On the night of September 4, 1933 a revolt in the army was caused largely by the fact that the officers were still Machado supporters. Led by Sergeant Fulgencio Batista, the sergeants and enlisted men forced out about 500 officers. Sergeant Batista now became Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Army, with the title of Colonel" (page 13).

September 9

Duff 1985: "By September 9, there was increasing evidence that the Pentarchy and Batista were no longer on good terms. Soldiers had been acting without orders from anyone but Batista, and Batista had gone to the deposed president Cespedes to indicate that he, Batista, would support him for president once again if Cespedes would confirm him as Army Chief of Staff. On the evening of the 9th, beset by an inability to act to control the situation, by increasing opposition from a variety of sectors, and by internal dissension, the Pentarchy was informed by the students that Grau San Martín should be named President. Grau thereupon became President of Cuba by acclamation" (page 107).

September 10

Bonachea 1972: "The revolutionary bent of the Grau administration was due mainly to [Antonio] Guiteras, who favored agrarian reform, industrialization, housing reform, and the curtailment of North American influence" (page 12).

Gellman 1973: "On the afternoon of September 10, Ramón Grau San Martín became provisional president of Cuba...Although he never participated in politics, his close association with the students precipitated his arrest in 1930 for conspiring against the Machado regime...When he received his appointment to the pentarchy and later to the presidency, there was no doubt that the students had selected him...A cheering crowd assembled for the inauguration, but no diplomatic representatives attended the ceremony; all were waiting to see how the United States would respond" (page 56). "While five men still held supreme authority in the government, Grau and Guiteras emerged as the dominant personalities...Guiteras became the most radical and powerful cabinet member, drawing his support from leftist sympathizers" (page 57).

September 11

Gellman 1973: "After the Roosevelt administration announced its policy, the Cuban political factions responded. On September 11 the most prominent political parties declared their repugnance toward the new regime and openly called for a coalition government" (page 60).

September 14

Aguilar 1993: "Though lasting only four months, this revolutionary government...
abrogated the Platt Amendment, proclaimed an agrarian reform, encouraged labour unions, gave the vote to women, [and] curbed the power of American companies...But it lacked a political party which could organize mass support, and had to face too many enemies...Sumner Welles used all his influence in Washington to convince President Roosevelt not to recognize the revolutionary government because it was too leftist and could not guarantee public order" (page 54).

Fitzgibbon 1936: "One of the first acts of Grau, who inclined toward the Left, was to issue statutes on September 14, 1933, which in effect abrogated the 1901 constitution as restored by Céspedes less than a month before. These new statutes…promised the early summoning of a constitutional convention" (page 726).

Gellman 1973: Grau "decided that elections for delegates to a new constitutional convention would be held in April 1934" (pages 60-61).

Stoner 1991: "Among [Grau's] most dramatic reforms were abrogating the Platt Amendment, establishing the eight-hour workday, redistributing land, nationalizing the labor force, and granting women the vote" (page 124).


Aguilar 1993: "By December, Batista, who had been in close contact with Sumner Welles, was openly conspiring against the government" (pages 54-55).

Paterson 1994: "U.S. officials recoiled from Grau's ardent economic nationalism and from his effrontery in unilaterally abrogating the Platt amendment. Boldly asserting that no Cuban government could long survive without U.S. recognition, Ambassador Sumner Welles began to plot with Army Chief of Staff Batista to overthrow the Grau regime" (page 16).



Aguilar 1993: "On 15 January 1934...Batista had mustered enough political backing to demand Grau's resignation. On 17 January, while Grau...and many student leaders went into exile, Carlos Mendieta...was proclaimed president" (page 55).

Alexander 1973: "The U.S. State Department…refused to recognize the Grau San Martín government…and sought to persuade Batista to overthrow Grau San Martín…(O)n January 14, 1934, Batista finally moved, forcing Grau San Martín's resignation and installing in his place Colonel Carlos Mendieta. From then until 1940, when he became president, Batista functioned as the power behind the throne" (page 281).

Domínguez 1978: "In January 1934, Carlos Hevia and Manuel Márquez Sterling served as President for only a few hours each. They were replaced by Carlos Mendieta" (page 78).

Farber 1976: "Grau's exit in January 1934 left Batista and his conservative Cuban and foreign allies as the undisputed bosses of Cuba. To replace Grau, Batista installed in the presidency a traditional politician who had been an opponent of the Machado regime and who was safely conservative, Carlos Mendieta. The latter was supported, initially at least, by the ABC organization, by most of the traditional politicians and parties, and by Spanish, Cuban, and North American business interests. This regime was promptly recognized by the United States government" (page 45).

Halperin 1970: Batista "carried a double burden. In a society in which personal relations were of vital importance for upward mobility, he was discriminated against as a member of that lower, proletarian sector which has no family or close friendship ties with anyone connected, however remotely, with those who wield political or economic power. He was also discriminated against as being what the Cubans call 'colored'" (page 7). "For the next six years Batista ruled Cuba through a succession of puppet presidents from the ranks of the old politicos, each of whom was removed as soon as he tried to assert any degree of independence. Batista needed these men because he had no civilian political base. In a country as resentful of the military as Cuba, his control of the army, though absolute at this stage, did not give him the moral authority he would have needed in order to step forward openly as the head of the government" (page 17).

Hargrove 1979: "Mendieta increasingly relied on Batista to restore law and order. He in effect helped Batista to consolidate his control of the army and, thus, of the government" (pages 12-13). "Throughout the first several months of 1934, Batista used thousands of soldiers to break strikes""(page 14).

Langley 1989: "Batista wanted Carlos Mendieta as provisional president, but the other plotters insisted on Carlos Hevia, Grau's secretary of agriculture. Batista acquiesced, but when Hevia suddenly confronted new public disturbances, the junta reassembled at Camp Columbia, deposed him, and on 17 January named Mendieta as provisional president. Five days later the United States extended diplomatic recognition" (page 130).

Problems of the new Cuba: report of the Commission on Cuban Affairs 1935: "In January 1934 the army and other elements finally turned against Grau, who was forced to resign. A new government now took office, headed by Colonel Carlos Mendieta as Provisional President. The Cabinet contained representatives of the leading political sectors, such as the ABC, the 'Unión Nacionalista,' the 'Menocalistas' and the 'Marianistas.' In contrast to the refusal to recognize the previous régime, the United States announced its recognition of President Mendieta five days after he took office" (page 15).

Sims 1992: "When in January 1934 ex-Sergeant Fulgencio Batista removed the revolutionary government weakened by U.S. nonrecognition, organized labor responded with a concerted effort to bring down the new dictatorship through the general strike, a weapon that had proven effective against Machado" (page 219).

February 3

Fitzgibbon 1936: "One of Mendieta's early steps was the promulgation, on February 3, 1934, of a constitutional law which supplanted the Grau statutes and revoked the 1901 constitution as well as the amendments of 1928. This provisional constitution vested the legislative function in the President; it also created a presidentially appointed advisory Council of State. The first of numerous electoral delays came at this time in the provision that elections for the choice of delegates to a constituent convention should be held not later than December 31, 1934" (page 726).

Mujeres latinoamericanas en cifras: Cuba 1992: "Las mujeres cubanas obtuvieron tempranamente el derecho a voto, en 1934, el que fue otorgado mediante decreto presidencial y luego confirmado en la Constitución de 1940" (page 95).

Problems of the new Cuba: report of the Commission on Cuban Affairs 1935: "Although the new government repealed few of the Grau decrees, it promulgated a Provisional Constitution on February 3, 1934…Legislative power is vested in the President's Cabinent, called the Council of Secretaries…Full power remains concentrated in the Executive…The Provisional Constitution expressly enjoined on the government the task of preparing elections for a new constitutional convention before December 31, 1934. The new Constitution must be completed by June 1935, following which elections will be held and a regular government installed" (page 15). Note indicates that elections were later postponed to March 3, 1935.

Stoner 1991: "A coalition of political groups called the Commission of Oppositionist Sectors passed a provisional constitution on February 3, 1934, which formally extended the vote to women…Women's voting rights were obtained via presidential decrees during a revolutionary period and not through normal democratic procedures. Presidents Machado, Grau, and Carlos Mendieta, interested in legitimizing their administrations, used suffrage to bolster support and moral approval for their policies…It took one insincere resolution from Machado, a decree law from Grau, and an interim constitution from Carlos Mendieta to affirm that women could vote and hold public office" (page 125).

February 8

Alexander 1973: "After his overthrow by Batista, Grau San Martín became the most bitter opponent of the military dictatorship. He took the lead in founding a political party, the Partido Revolucionario Cubano (Auténtico), which until 1944 constituted the major opposition party" (page 281).

Del Aguila 1993: "The contrast to Batista's populist authoritarianism was provided by the reentry of reformist elements into the system. Founded in 1934 by democratic, nationalist but nonsectarian forces opposed to Batista's virtual dictatorship, the Partido Revolucionario Cubano-Auténtico (PRC-A) aggregated middle-class, professional, working-class, and rural interests around Ramón Grau, building on the programmatic and ideological legacy of the deposed revolutionary government" (page 26).

Farber 1976: "In February 1934, while in exile, Grau founded a new political party with most of the leaders of the Student Directorate, who had by now ceased being students. Significantly, they named it Partido Revolucionario Cubano (Auténtico), after the political party Martí had founded in his fight for Cuban independence" (page 61). "Not all members of the deposed Grau regime joined with him in forming the Auténtico party. Antonio Guiteras y Holmes…founded the Joven Cuba (Young Cuba) organization. This group was more militant than the Auténticos, ready to engage in illegal and armed activity" (page 62).

Hargrove 1979: "The most important political party to come into existence in the post Machado era was the (PRC) which was organized 8 February 1934 by two groups, the Bloque Septembrista, so named because of its adherence to the program of the so-called 'authentic revolution' of 4 September 1933, and the National Revolutionary Coalition" (page 23).

Pérez 1993: "(T)he reform program of the short-lived provisional government acquired institutional vitality with the organization in 1934 of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano (PRC/Auténtico), while...radicals formed a clandestine revolutionary organization, Joven Cuba [see May 1934]. Eschewing electoral politics, Joven Cuba adopted armed struggle as the principal means to combat the Batista-Mendieta government" (page 73).


Hargrove 1979: "Mendieta, reacting to strong pressure from Batista, signed a decree on 7 March suspending constitutional guarantees which in effect put the army in control of the country. It was already clear that Batista was the real center of power in Cuba" (page 15).


Gellman 1973: "On April 17 the government decided to hold elections for a constituent assembly before the end of 1934" (page 92).


Bonachea 1972: "Guiteras created Joven Cuba in order to coordinate a national uprising, establish socialism, and end Cuba's colonial status…(I)ts primary target was the ABC" (page 14).

De Lima-Dantas 1987: "In May 1934 Mendieta signed the Treaty of Relations, which modified the terms of the treaty of May 1903 and also abrogated the Platt Amendment, even though it allowed the United States to continue to lease its naval base at Guantanamo Bay" (page 31).

Hargrove 1979: "A treaty was signed in May 1934 abrogating the Platt Amendment...but the United States retained in perpetuity the Guantanamo naval station" (page 20).

Problems of the new Cuba: report of the Commission on Cuban Affairs 1935: The "Platt Amendment served indirectly to underwrite the worst features in Cuban political life. For, in effect, this Amendment denied to an independent Cuba the right of revolution which the Cuban colony had exercised to correct the abuses of Spanish rule. As a result the Cuban politicians had little fear of popular revolt, which in the absence of free elections is the only effective restraint on irresponsibility and corruption. The abrogation of the Platt Amendment in the agreement of May 1934 between Cuba and the United States undoubtedly removed an outstanding obstacle to the development of better government in Cuba" (page 5).

Whitney 2001: "In late May 1934 Guiteras formed the political-military organization Joven Cuba to keep the militant struggle against Batista and the Cuban right wing alive" (page 144).


Problems of the new Cuba: report of the Commission on Cuban Affairs 1935: After attacks on ABC members, the "ABC now withdrew its three members from the Cabinet, charging the government with failure to maintain order and to carry out a reconstruction program…After a prolonged political crisis, the Cabinet finally came to be dominated by the 'Nacionalista' party. Meanwhile, President Mendieta reiterated his determination to resign if the elections were not held in December" (page 18).


Gellman 1973: "On July 10 after almost three additional months of discussions between the council of state and the cabinet, the members approved a law extending suffrage to women and announcing that all Cubans over twenty years of age should register with the electoral census. In order to carry out the decree's provisions, a superior electoral tribunal was established to conduct the census and the elections" (pages 92-93).


De Lima-Dantas 1987: In August 1934, Cuba and the U.S. "signed the commercial Treaty of Reciprocity, which gave preferential treatment to United States exports to Cuba and guaranteed Cuba 22 percent of the United States sugar market" (pages 31-32).

Gellman 1973: "To the electorate which totaled 1,650,598, the government announced in late August that elections for a constituent assembly were scheduled for December 30, 1934. With this declaration, the government began to set up the necessary machinery to take the electoral census, and the enumerators started work in late September" (page 93).


Fitzgibbon 1936: The Supreme Electoral Tribunal "had been created by an electoral decree of October, 1934, promulgated with a view to the election of delegates to a constitutional convention. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal was designed to supplant the 'Junta Central Electoral' created by the Crowder electoral code of 1919" (page 727).

Gellman 1973: "In spite of constant delays, the government reported [in October] that nine-tenths of the eligible Cubans had been inscribed on the rolls" (page 93).


Fitzgibbon 1936: "Elections were repeatedly postponed. After having been set for December 31, 1934, for the choice of delegates to a constituent convention, they were in November delayed to March 3, 1935" (page 727).