Democratic Socialist Coalition

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Democratic Socialist Coalition

The Democratic Socialist Coalition was a broad alliance organized and controlled by Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar in the 1940s. The coalition consisted of Batista supporters, liberals, labor leaders, and the Cuban Communist Party. Formed in 1940, the coalition sought broad-based support for the election of Batista. In exchange for membership in the coalition, leftists received many favors from the Batista regime, including the appointment in 1942 of Communist Party member Juan Marinello as minister without portfolio in the Batista government. Marinello was the first member of a Communist organization in any Latin American country to become a government minister.

The coalition was used again in the elections of 1944, and again a Batista supporter ran for the presidency. But the opposition, led by Ramón Grau San Martín and his Auténtico Party, defeated the Batista candidate. Grau San Martín then turned on the leftists of the coalition who dominated organized labor, ousting its members from government positions. Those who participated in the Batista-controlled coalition were largely discredited among Cubans seeking sweeping reforms.

While leftist leaders in the coalition cynically lined up behind Batista, a revolutionary force, Fidel Castro's Twenty-sixth of July Movement, was formed with neither the knowledge nor the support of the Democratic Socialist Coalition, thus ensuring the coalition's isolation after the Cuban Revolution of 1959. The coalition members' lack of public credibility allowed Castro to dominate Cuba's labor unions, the Cuban Communist Party, and other organizations that comprised the Democratic Socialist Coalition.

See alsoBatista y Zaldívar, Fulgencioxml .


Aguiar Rodríguez, Raúl. El bonchismo y el gangsterismo en Cuba. Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2001.

Argote-Freyre, Frank. Fulgencio Batista: From Revolutionary to Strongman. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2006.

Farber, Samuel. Revolution and Reaction in Cuba, 1933–1960 (1976).

Pérez-Stable, Marifeli. The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy (1993).

Ruiz, Ramón Eduardo. Cuba: The Making of a Revolution (1970).

Woodward, Ralph Lee, Jr. "Urban Labor and Communism: Cuba," in Caribbean Studies 3, no. 3 (1963): 17-50.

                                 Michael Powelson

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Democratic Socialist Coalition

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