Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was sergeant in the Cuban army who joined with several other officials to launch a coup in 1933. He then served as the unofficial power of the country, ruling through puppets until 1940, when he was actually elected President of Cuba, serving from 1940 to 1944. He left Cuba for the United States, but returned in 1952 and ran again for the presidency. When it was clear that he would lose, Batista launched another coup and seized power. While he'd been progressive in his first term, his second term was ruthless and oppressive. His harsh rule prompted a rebellion which saw his ouster, and the eventual installation of a communist regime under Fidel Castro.
Although Fulgencio Batista had declared war on the Axis in 1942, the fact that he'd been an army officer and came to office by way of a coup led Ernest Hemingway to conclude that Batista (whose military rank was misremembered by Hemingway) was made of the "same cheap metal" as Francisco Franco. It didn't surprise Hemingway that there were so many Fascist sympathizers in Cuba.