Chibás, Eduardo (1907–1951)

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Chibás, Eduardo (1907–1951)

Eduardo Chibás (b. 26 August 1907; d. 5 August 1951), founder of the Cuban Orthodox Party. Born in Oriente, Chibás was one of the founders of the Directorio Estudiantil at the University of Havana in the mid-1920s. He studied law and then lived in exile in Miami, Florida (1927–1933), because of his sharp criticism of Gerardo Machado's government (1925–1933). Following Machado's downfall, Chibás returned to Cuba to support the candidacy of Ramón Grau San Martín, who became president on 10 September 1933. On 14 January 1934, Fulgencio Batista orchestrated Grau's removal from power. Chibás became strongly critical of the series of governments headed by puppet presidents, and particularly of Batista. In 1938, he joined the Authentic Party and in 1940 again backed Grau for the presidency. After Grau was elected president in 1944, Chibás became disillusioned with his nepotism and governmental corruption.

In 1947, Chibás broke away from the Authentic Party and founded the Orthodox Party. He was a candidate for the presidency in 1948, finishing third in the race. During Carlos Prío Socarrás's tenure (1948–1952), Chibás used weekly radio broadcasts to attack government policies and corruption.

Chibás committed suicide by shooting himself during an emotional radio broadcast on 5 August 1951. His death created a political vacuum and rift in the Orthodox Party, facilitating Batista's coup on 10 March 1952.

See alsoCuba, Political Parties: Cuban People's Party (Ortodoxos) .


Hugh Thomas, Cuba: The Pursuit of Happiness (1971).

Jaime Suchlicki, Historical Dictionary of Cuba (1988) and Cuba: From Columbus to Castro, 3d ed. (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Argote-Freyre, Frank. "The Political Afterlife of Eduardo Chibás: Evolution of a Symbol, 1951–1991." Cuban Studies/Estudios Cubanos 32 (2001): 74-79.

Alavez Martín, Elena. La ortodoxia en el ideario americano. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2002.

Rodríguez Salgado, Ramón. La ortodoxia chibasista: Nacimiento, liderazgo y acción política de un movimiento. Cuba: Editora Historia, 1998.

                                        Jaime Suchlicki