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In 1936, Fulgencio Batista, the head of the Cuban military (and the de facto ruler of Cuba), founded the National Tuberculosis Council (CNT) to lead a state-directed anti-tuberculosis campaign. While most national and colonial governments neglected tuberculosis until the postwar period, populist politics pushed Batista to prioritize a disease of poverty by the mid-1930s. However, national politics also undermined efforts to control the disease in Cuba. Authoritarianism facilitated Batista’s considerable influence over tuberculosis policy, and he and his advisors pursued political objectives rather than following the technical advice offered by professional groups. As a result, the administration of the campaign was inefficient, nowhere more notably than in the CNT’s premiere project, the Topes de Collantes National Sanatorium. Citizen and physician discontent with this project, the anti-tuberculosis campaign, and the state health sector fed into processes of political delegitimation and regime change in the 1950s.