Marta Fernandez Miranda De Batista - First Lady

First Lady

Fulgencio Batista had already been Cuban President once, from 1940 to 1944, when he married Marta Fernández de Batista. The couple moved to the United States during the 1940s after Batista's choice for his successor lost the presidential election in 1944. They had originally wanted to live in Palm Beach, Florida, but were shunned by the Palm Beach community. They rented a car and began driving north on U.S. Route 1 along the Florida coast. After arriving in Daytona Beach at the end of the day, they liked the reception they received there. They hired a real estate agent the next day and purchased a large riverfront house, where they lived on and off while continuing to influence Cuban politics.

Batista ran for and won a seat in the Cuban Senate in absentia in 1948. On March 10, 1952, Batista staged his second coup and once again became president of Cuba. This made Marta Fernández de Batista the new First Lady of the country.

Marta Fernández de Batista became an important matron of the Cuban arts as First Lady. She convinced her husband to build the National Gallery, which is now known as the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana (National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana). The couple started acquiring colonial era Cuban and modern paintings for the Gallery.

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