Journal of Latin American Studies



US Diplomacy and the Downfall of a Cuban Dictator: Machado in 1933


PHILIP  DUR  a1 and CHRISTOPHER  GILCREASE  a1
a1 Philip Dur is Jefferson Caffery Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of Louisiana–Lafayette. Christopher Gilcrease is Instructor of Library Science in the Edith Garland Dupré Library at the University of Louisiana–Lafayette.

Abstract

In 1933 the US ambassador to Cuba, Sumner Welles, overthrew President Machado, Cuba's first dictator, with the threat, but not the use, of US force. This diplomatic achievement was unprecedented in Cuban history. Under cover of mediation Welles had encouraged disaffection among politicians and army officers. Machado then succumbed to a popular uprising brought on by a decade of depression and oppression. The insubordination of the officers, however, soon led to a mutiny of the soldiers, whose leader, Fulgencio Batista, eventually seized the presidency and was recognised by the United States.