HAVANA, Jan. 3, 1959 (UPI) Manuel Urrutia Lleo, 58-year-old provisional president of Cuba, is strongly anti-Communist and pro-American.
Compared to the romantic chief of the revolutionary forces, Fidel Castro, Urrutia is a personality that can be drawn only in shaded grays.
Until 1957 he was not identified with the rebel movement that brought him to power today.
Dark, stocky, moustachioed, Urrutia is a native of Las Villas province and a graduate in law at the University of Havana.
At 26 he was named to the bench in Oriente Province, which was to become the heartland of Castro's movement.
There, a little more than a year ago, after 31 uneventful years as a judge, Urrutia handed down an opinion that shocked the Batista government and caused rejoicing throughout rebellious Cuba.
As chairman of a three-judge panel sitting in Santiago, he stated that 150 youths brought to court on charges of rebellious action should be released since there was no peaceful means left to Cuban citizens to defend their constitutional rights.
He was overruled by two other judges, but he had established himself as a champion of liberty.
The government soon forced Urrutia to resign from the bench.
In November, 1957, he and his wife and their two sons fled to New York, where he set up a Castro headquarters.
Castro later announced that Urrutia was his choice for the presidency of Cuba, a choice ratified by other revolutionary groups in Cuba.