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Osvaldo Dorticos (1919-1983)

osdorticosOsvaldo Dorticós served as the first President of Cuba after the Revolution of 1959.  He was born in 1919.

Dorticós had not played much of a role in the Revolution.  He was made President afterwards, with Fidel Castro serving as Prime Minister.

During his term, he always acted in accordance with Castro's policies.  When Castro wanted to establish trade with the US, Dorticós told the people that diplomacy could solve the problems Cuba was having with the US.

Later, Castro and Dorticós decided that an agreement with the United States could not be reached.  That same day Eisenhower gave the CIA permission to begin planning an invasion of Cuba to topple the revolutionary government.

As President, Dorticós made a trip to Belgrade in order to attend a meeting of neutral countries.  He also made visits to the Soviet Union and one to China.

On June 16, 1962, demonstrations in Cárdenas began.  The demonstrations consisted mainly of housewives in the streets, protesting the poor economic situation.  The demonstrations were ended, and Dorticós denounced the protests.  He blamed the poor economic conditions on the "imperalist blockade."

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cuba was threatened by an American invasion.  As a result, the Soviets had installed nuclear weapons, but kept the program secret.  While giving a speech at the UN, Dorticós announced that Cuba now had weapons which "it had not wanted and hoped it would not have to use." 

Dorticós remained President of Cuba until 1976, when Prime Minister Castro took over the job.  Dorticós died in 1983.

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