Miami, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–April 26, 2005–The University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection has received the Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar Collection, consisting of thousands of documents – correspondence, memorabilia, photographs, and books – owned by the former Cuban President. This invaluable part of Cuban history was donated by Batista Zaldivar’s widow Martha Batista and his children. The Cuban Heritage Collection, at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion in the University’s Otto G. Richter Library, is the largest repository of Cuban historical, literary and cultural materials outside the island.
The Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar Collection contains documents dating from 1958 to 1973. The materials include an unfinished autobiography, original manuscripts, and correspondence with Cuban government and military officials prior to 1959, as well as letters from Cuban political and literary figures and foreign dignitaries. Additionally, there are manuscripts of several books written by Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar; books and pamphlets on Cuban and Latin American history and politics, periodicals published before and after 1959, and photographs, posters, and memorabilia.
On September 4, 1933, Batista led the “Sargeant’s Revolt”, taking control of the Cuban Army under the Cuban Provisional Government who had just ousted President Gerardo Machado’s government. For the next seven years, Batista was the Army’s Chief of Staff. In October 1940, Batista became the first president of Cuba in free elections under the new constitution.
In the 1944 elections, the opposition candidate Grau San Martin won and became president. Batista left Cuba visiting several Latin American countries and finally settling in the United States. While living in the U.S., Batista ran for public office in Cuba in 1948. He was elected a senator, representing the province of Las Villas and returned to Cuba. On March 10, 1952, Batista staged a military coup, overthrowing Carlos Prio Socarras, who had been elected to the presidency in 1948.
In attempt to oust Batista, Fidel Castro led an unsuccessful attack on the Cuban government’s army installation, the Moncada Barracks, in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953. One year later, Batista was re-elected president for a second term. In 1958, Castro’s rebel forces scored a series of victories against the government, resulting in many army officials deserting Batista’s military. On January 1, 1959, as Castro’s forces marched toward the capital city of Havana, Batista resigned the presidency and went to the Dominican Republic. In August 1959, he moved to Portugal. Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar died in Marbella, Spain on August 6, 1973.
Today, UM’s Cuban Heritage Collection is an internationally recognized collection that houses thousands of books, periodical publications and archival materials that memorialize the daily lives of the Cuban and Cuban American experience. The Collection includes: historical and literary manuscripts, collections of personal and corporate papers, maps, posters, and photographs, which span over 400 years.
For more information, call 305-284-4900 or visit http://www.library.miami.edu/umcuban/cuban.html
To read the full news release, visit http://www.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/1,1770,2593-1;37251-3,00.html
Photos are available by calling 305-284-5500.
University of Miami, Miami
Barbara Gutierrez / Margot Winick