Dictatorships a brief Look at Reign & Rule

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  • A Brief Look at Reign & Rule:

  • Haiti

  • Nicaragua

  • Cuba


  • Years of Oppression

Haiti Time Line

  • 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered Haiti

  • Spanish territory

  • Early 1500's to late 1600's African slaves covered the island of Haiti

  • First black republic in the world


  • 1957- Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier elected President of Haiti

  • Papa Doc was Haiti's famous doctor before presidency

  • Began study of voodoo, Haiti's native religion, later plays significant role in political profit


  • Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier died 1971

  • Ruled Haiti for 14 years

  • Papa Doc passed his lifetime presidency down to his son

  • Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier, became youngest president, age 19


  • Political parties were banned, curfews introduced, army sizes reduced, military academy closed

  • Manipulated elections extending his term and provided himself with life-long presidency so he couldn't be overthrown or elected out

  • Stole millions of dollars from US aid therefore US aid stopped all political relations


  • Papa Doc realized he needed allies after being isolated for so long

  • “You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours”--a deal The Dominican Republic and Haiti made

  • Next, became allies with Cuba

  • Manipulated U.S. by saying Papa Doc would help US dispose of Castro

Haiti Today

  • In 2006, Rene Preval elected President of Haiti

  • Has a new constitution and is a republican government

  • Haiti is still affected from the Duvalier dictatorship with lack of jobs, housing, and proper education

  • Rene Preval is still the President of Haiti as of 2009

Nicaragua: Somoza Dynasty

  • 1937-1979

Anastasio Somoza Garcia 1937 - 1956

  • Appointed Commander of National Guard at 35 years old.

  • Ordered his men to capture and execute Augusto Cesar Sandino.

  • Killed hundreds of men, women and children.

  • Staged an election, in which he inevitably won.

  • Overthrew former president, Juan B. Sacasa.

Anastasio Somoza Garcia 1937-1956

  • Nickname - “Tacho”

  • Derived power from: ownership of control of large portions of the Nicaraguan economy, the military support of the National Guard, and his acceptance of support from the United States.

  • Family and close friends were given key positions in the government and military.

  • He controlled the liberal party (PLN), which controlled the legislature and judicial systems, thus giving him absolute power.

Anastasio Somoza Garcia 1937-1956

  • The guards loyalty was assured by keeping it in the family.

  • The guard controlled gambling, prosecution, and smuggling.

  • Any citizen who wanted to have a business had to bribe or give kickbacks to guardsmen.

  • The Nicaraguan National Guard was compared to the Mafia at that time.

Anastasio Somoza Garcia 1937-1956

  • He was fatally wounded at a party celebrating his nomination for presidency, by twenty- seven year old Rigoberto Lopez Perez. He was transported to the Panama Canal Zone, he died eight days later.

Luis Somoza Debayle & Anastasio Somoza Debayle (1957-1967) (1967-1979)

  • After his father was assassinated, Luis took over.

  • His brother, Anastasio, took over the leadership of the National Guard.

  • A major political repression campaign followed the assassination.

  • In 1957, Luis Somoza Debayle was formally elected president.

Luis Somoza Debayle (1957-1967)

  • In 1959, Nicaraguan was among the first to condemn the Cuban Revolution, and played a leading role the Bay of Pigs invasion.

  • In 1960, Nicaragua joined El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in the establishment of the Central American Common Market.

  • In 1962, a new opposition group formed, the Sandinista National Liberation Front.

  • In the international political sphere, Luis’s anti-communism stance won government favor and support from the US.

Anastasio Somoza Debayle (1967-1979)

  • He took money from a natural disaster relief fund and built the National Guard officers luxury homes.

  • A group of the Sandinista Liberation Front held a group of Managua’s elite partygoers hostage.

  • Demanded a large ransom, and to let 14 prisoners free and transport them to Cuba.


  • New Ideas

  • Different People

  • Endless Disappointment


  • Main Export

  • Allows government to control all revenue while generating extra money from illegal racketing

  • Created the highest number of jobs

    • “Wage Slaves”
  • Terrible working conditions

  • U.S. was Cuba’s biggest customer

  • Created enormous working class vs. the small group of elite

    • No funds were put back into the economy for Cuba’s benefit

A New Cuba: Fulgencio Batista

  • 1933: “Revolt of the Sergeants”

    • Helps to overthrow Machado
    • Begins military influence within the government
    • Batista’s first action in the politics of Cuba
    • Cuba’s president from 1940-44
    • Promoted social welfare, developed economy, and increased worker wages

Batista 1952-1959

  • Afro-Cuban family

  • Former Cuban sergeant

    • Joined in 1921
    • Stenographer
  • Backed by the Communist party & labor unions

  • Military-style dictatorship

Batista Brutality

  • Batista’s police and security forces turned increasingly to torture and murder in an effort to root out the rebellion. The universities, traditional centers of unrest, were closed.

Fidel Castro vs. Fulgencio Batista

  • After the Castro brothers and their followers were caught trying to ambush Batista they were sentenced to 15 years, only serving 2, and being exiled to Mexico.

  • In Mexico, they plotted another attempt to overthrow Batista, where they met many Cubans willing to fight for their cause

  • November 1956, they returned on a yacht, raging guerilla war against Batista for years

  • Eventually Castro gained control of a large section of Cuba and led his Cuban Revolutionaries to run Batista out of office in late 1958

  • Batista fled Cuba to Portugal eventually moving to Spain where his life ended from a natural death


  • Younger Years:

    • Became a lawyer from Havana University
    • Extremely passionate about social and political justice
    • Hate towards U.S.’s involvement in Cuban affairs
    • Multiple violent movements towards removing Batista
    • Created “The Revolution”
    • Jailed for 2 years

Castro Catastrophe & Compensation

  • Placed homosexuals in concentration camps in the 60’s for “re-education”

  • Announced major political policies without consultation of anyone

  • Totalitarian regime

  • Brutal government social injustices

  • Closed independent newspapers

  • Religious institutions being harassed

  • Suspended habeas corpus

Cuba & Castro Today…

  • After 49 years of control, Fidel passed the power to his younger brother last year

  • Cuba remains in extreme economic status

  • Just recently Cuba has opened its land to tourism

  • The hope for a change still holds strong for Cubans

  • The Cuban Missal Crisis has continued to strain the relationship between Cuba and the U.S.

  • The dictatorships ruling the past century has left Cuba angry and fearful with little gain from before the century began

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