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Carlos Márquez-Sterling (1898-1991) was a Cuban lawyer, professor, writer and statesman active in island politics from the 1930s to the 1950s, and whose stature and political clout made him a leader of the exile patriotic movement from the 1960s to the 1980s. Márquez-Sterling was a congressman in Cuba’s House of Representatives from 1936 to 1946, acting as president of that body in 1936 and 1941. In 1940, he presided over the constitutional convention that created a more progressive constitution for the country; the document was in effect until Fulgencio Batista’s 1952 coup d’état. Márquez-Sterling also worked as a professor of political economy at the University of Havana. Expanding on his political calling, he was appointed Minister of Labor and Minister of Education from 1941 to 1942, and would eventually become a presidential candidate in 1958 before the rise of Fidel Castro.
Early on Márquez-Sterling had qualms about Castro’s revolutionary movement, predicting it would lead to totalitarian rule: “Una revolución sólo podrá traer la anarquía y desembocar en una dictadura de tipo totalitario que Cuba nunca ha experimentado.”
Márquez-Sterling was an exile leader, founding the Movimiento Patriótico Cuba Libre in New York in the early 1960s, lobbying the United States for the establishment of a Cuban government in exile and organizing exile groups across the country. He moved to Miami in 1979, teaching and writing in his retirement.