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[[caption-width-right:220: Before he was formally president.]]
Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973) was a former president of UsefulNotes/{{Cuba}}, best known for being "the guy who was president before the CubanRevolution and FidelCastro." He was born Ruben Zaldivar in Banes, Oriente Province, to parents who were canecutters on a sugar plantation. Batista's father, Belisario, fought in the Spanish-American War or Cuban War of Independence and when he was 8, his mother, Carmela, died, forcing him to leave school and work in the canefields.

However, he eventually managed to get a job as a railroad brakeman which enabled him to attend night classes at a Quaker-run school. He joined the Cuban army, and in 1933 he was a participant in the Sergeants' Revolt, overthrowing Gerardo Machedo's corrupt government and installing a series of puppet presidents. Appears as a character in productions involving the CubanRevolution, including ''TheGodfather''.


!!The following tropes are related to him:
* AffablyEvil: Had a very charismatic personality and was described as nice and friendly by those who met and knew him.
* BananaRepublic: Cuba became an even more obvious example of this during his second term.
* {{Bishonen}}: One of his nicknames (which he ''hated'') was "El Mulato Lindo," meaning "The Pretty Mulatto."
* ButNotTooBlack: Batista was of mixed African, Spanish, American Indian and Chinese descent. He had relatively dark skin which was lightened in later photos.
* CorruptPolitician: Became this during his second term in 1952, when he and his Mafia friends got kickbacks from the Cuban national lottery and pocketed money from gambling and the sex trade.
* DadTheVeteran: His father, Belisario Batista Palermo, was a veteran of the Cuban War of Independence (Spanish-American War).
* EmbarrassingNickname: "El Mulato Lindo."
* FamilyValuesVillain: Was devoted to his second wife and all his children.
* FreudianExcuse: His impoverished upbringing may have been a factor in his later corruption and furtherance of his own interests.
* FullCircleRevolution: Was a participant in the 1933 revolution to overthrow Gerardo Machedo, but became corrupt himself. During his second term, Havana was prosperous, with the most modern technology for the period, while everywhere else, especially the rural areas, were desperately poor. For example, according to the UN report in 1953, two-thirds of houses in rural areas had dirt floors and people lacked access to running water and electricity.
* TheGeneralissimo: Western media portrays him as this.
* HappilyMarried: To his second wife, Marta Fernandez Miranda.
* LaResistance: He was one of the leaders of a group of soldiers opposed to Machedo.
* MayDecemberRomance: With Marta.
* TheMafia: Batista was close friends with Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Before and after his second term, he pulled strings to get his puppet candidates elected.
* ParentalAbandonment: His mother died when he was 8.
* RagsToRiches: He couldn't even afford shoes and then eventually became president of Cuba.
* SwissBankAccount: Had one where he hid all his money.
* VoteEarlyVoteOften: A common part of Cuban politics pre-Revolution. Now they don't even have elections. Batista often employed this method to get his candidates into power.
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!!In media:

* The movie The Lost City shows his Committee for the Suppression of Communist Activities shooting a wounded dissident.
* TheGodfather TV series shows him and his family leaving Havana on boats with the rest of the city's rich.
* The 1979 movie ''[=Cuba=]'' is about a British soldier who meets him and helps him train Cuban military troops in a counter-insurrection against FidelCastro.
* The 1954 book A Sergeant Named Batista was written by his friend and speechwriter Edmund Chester.
* He's the last boss in the original version of the videogame GuerrillaWar.