The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love Historical Context

Oscar Hijuelos
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Recent Cuban History

After Cuba gained its independence from Spain at the turn of the century, the Cuban government was marred by political instability, incompetence, and corruption. Throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, the most powerful politician was Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar. Batista served as elected president from 1940 to 1944, and then, as the 1952 election was underway, led a military coup that seized power, suspending the constitution and declaring himself president. Under his control, rich politicians became increasingly richer, while poverty grew among Cuba's poor. Social services were ignored: disease and illiteracy ran rampant. Resistance to the government, in the form of labor strikes and demonstrations, grew. In 1956, Fidel Castro, a young lawyer who had been exiled to Mexico for participating in a failed revolt after Batista's coup, returned to Cuba, and under his direction, the people's discontent grew into an uprising. With few soldiers supporting him...

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This section contains 1,027 words
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Buy The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love Study Guide
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Gale
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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