Gerardo Machado y Morales
Gerardo Machado y Morales was born in 1871. He became involved in Cuban politics, eventually becoming its dictator until his government was overthrown. In the 1916 election, Machado supported Alfredo Zayas. He led the Unionist section of the Liberal party at the time. Machado was a member of the cabinet of President Jose Gómez. He continued to support Gómez in the 1917 revolution, but stopped in 1921. Machado became involved in business, first running a sugar plant and then joining a very large electric company. In 1924, he ran for the presidency. Receiving the support of the exiting President Zayas, he campaigned all over Cuba. Machado opposed the Platt Amendment and claimed to want to improve education, among other things. He gained the support of both sides, and won without much difficulty.
In May of 1925, he was installed in office. During his term, many of Machado's opponents were killed. He outlawed new parties and took over most of those in existence. He also bribed high-level military figures into siding with him, and it was from there that much of his power came. Machado also controlled the Congress. It had been bribed into compliance, and in April of 1927 changed the Constitution to serve Machado. The presidential term was extended to six years, Machado would have two more years in office without any elections being held. In April of 1928, Machado assembled another constitutional convention. He was granted another presidency, also lasting six years. This would have extended his term until May of 1935. By the early 1930s Cuba was becoming quite poor. People did not have enough to eat and many workers went on strike. Machado had no choice in 1933 but to resign and leave the country. He died in 1939.