Cuba The Plight Of A Nation And

9 September 2017

Cuba: The Plight Of A Nation And Its Revolution Essay, Research Paper

Cuba: The Plight of a Nation and its Revolution

While the isle of Cuba was ab initio discovered on October 27, 1492 during one of

Columbus? first ocean trips, it wasn? Ts really claimed by Spain until the 16th century.

However, it? s disruptive beginnings as a Spanish sugar settlement provides an insightful background

into the really kernel of the state? s political and economic agitation. From it? s early

radical yearss to the insurrectionary challenge of the Marxist-leninist theories emerged the

totalitarian government under Fidel Castro in present twenty-four hours Cuba.

Cuban colonial society was distinguished by the features of colonial societies in

general, viz. a graded, inegalitarian category system ; a ill differentiated agricultural

economic system ; a dominant political category made up of colonial officers, the clergy, and the armed forces ; an

exclusionary and elitist instruction system controlled by the clergy ; and a permeant spiritual

system.1 Cuba? s agricultural monocultural character, economically dependent upon sugar

cultivation, production and export badly restricted its possible for growing as a state, thereby

steadfastly engrafting its freshly sprouted roots steadfastly in the trenches of poorness from the really

beginning of the state? s being.

In 1868, Cuba entered in to The Ten Old ages? War against Spain in a battle for

independency, but to no help. Ten old ages of acrimonious and destructive struggle ensued, but the end of

independency was non achieved. Political divisions among patriot forces, personal wrangles

among rebel military leaders, and the failure of the Rebels to derive the backup of the United

States, coupled with stiff opposition from Spain and the Cubans? inability to transport the war in

earnest to the western states, produced a military deadlock in the concluding stages.2 The war had

a annihilating consequence on an already weak economic and political substructure.

The licking, nevertheless, did non impede the declaration of the Cuban labor for an

independent state. In the words of one writer,

The Cubans? ability to pay a dearly-won, drawn-out battle against

Spain demonstrated that proindependence sentiment was strong

and could be manifested militarily. On the other manus, before any

attempt to end Spanish control could win, differences over

bondage, political organisation, leading, and military scheme had

to be resolved. In short, the really inconclusiveness of the war left a

experiencing that the Cubans could and would restart their battle

until their legitimate political aims of independency and

sovereignty were attained.3

The old ages following the Ten Old ages? War were rough and severe. The countryside,

ravaged and abandon, bankrupted Spanish sugar involvements in Cuba, virtually destructing the

industry. The Spanish proprietors sold out to North American involvements, a procedure accelerated by the

concluding abolishment of bondage in Cuba in 1886.4 The terminal of bondage, of course, meant the terminal of free

labour. The sugar agriculturists, hence, began to import machinery from the United States.

Basically, Cuba deferred its economic dependance from Spain straight to the U.S. What

became known as the American Sugar Refining Company supplied from 70 to ninety

per centum of all sugar consumed by the United States, therefore mandating the way of the Cuban

agricultural industry and thereby commanding its economic system.

Furthermore, the United States? interventionism in the Cuban-Spanish war in 1898,

motivated chiefly by involvements in the Cuban market, led the resignation of the Spanish ground forces

straight to the United States, non Cuba. This war subsequently became known as the Spanish-American

War. The leader and organiser of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, Jose Marti? s, end of true

independency was buried without award in 1898.5

In the old ages from 1902 to 1959, following the establishment of the Platt Amendment, which

was an amendment to the Cuban fundamental law, that stated that the United States had the right to

intervene in Cuba at any clip, a period which came to be termed the? Pseudo Republic? ensued.

In the words of General Wood:

Of class, Cuba has been left with small or no independency by the

Platt Amendment & # 8230 ; The Cuban Government can non come in into

certain pacts without our consent, nor unafraid loans above certain

bounds, and it must keep the healthful conditions that have been

indicated. With the control that we have over Cuba, a control

which, without uncertainty, will shortly turn her into our ownership, shortly

we will practically command the sugar market in the universe. I believe

that it is a really desirable acquisition for the United States. The

island will bit by bit be? Americanized, ? and in the due class we

will hold one of the most rich and desirable ownerships bing in

the full universe & # 8230 ; 6

The Great Depression nevertheless, had a huge impact on United States? retentions of the

Cuban sugar industry. In the summer and autumn of 1920 when the monetary value of sugar fell from

22 cents a lb to three cents a lb, Cubans were left poorness stricken and starvation,

as their sugar market was wholly dependent upon the United States. Additionally, America

began to withdraw itself from the strangulating clasp it had over the Cuban economic system by immensely

decreasing the sum of its imports from 40 per centum in old old ages to eighteen per centum. In

the aftermath of this monolithic pecuniary pull-out, a vacuity formed in which a fundamentally leaderless

Cuba ( its current leader, President Machado, had lost the ability to regulate after his promise of

? repose of the authorities and the state? had non been delivered ) became mature for extremist

pupil rebellions and the debut of Marxist thoughts. Thus was formed the Cuban Communist

Party, led by Julio Mella and Carlos Balino, the former an 18 twelvemonth old university hoops

participant and the latter, a seasoned socialist and companion of Jose Marti.

In 1933, President Roosevelt sent Cuban embassador, Sumner Wells, to Havana in an

effort to halt the? political vortex in which an estimated $ 1,500,000,000 in U.S.

investings was likely to submerge? .7 Welles proposed the assignment of Carlos Manuel de

Cespedes, former Cuban embassador to Washington, as president. Shortly thenceforth, leaders of

a extremist pupil organisation? transformed their rebellion into a rebellion? , and informed President

Cespedes that he had been deposed. Cespedes abandoned the presidential castle as

inconspicuously as he had arrived.8

From 1930 to 1935, Antonio Guiteras led the island on a? radical way? and formed

a authorities that was? for the people, but non by the people or of the people? 9, which the U.S.

refused to acknowledge. In 1935 Guiteras was assassinated by Fulgencio Batista who proceeded to

run Cuban personal businesss for the following decennary. It was a authorities that the United States recognized as

the? merely legitimate authorization on the island? .10 Then in 1944, Batista, the? American favorite? ,

lost the presidential election to Grau San Martin, who had late returned from expatriate. The

Grau presidential term has been described as such:

The Autentico disposals of Grau ( 1944-1948 ) and Prio

( 1948-52 ) had failed to control the political corruptness and the

associated gangster force ; more significantly they had failed to

satisfy popular aspirations for independency and societal advancement.

here were still riotous protests against U.S. control and

development of the Cuban economic system ; and when Prio agreed to direct

Cuban military personnels to back up the U.S. invasion of Korea in 1950, the

offer was backed by a successful run around the motto, ? No

cannon fresh fish for Yankee imperialists? . The general political

instability, the turning unpopularity of the Autenticos, the

rampant corruptness and force & # 8211 ; all were once more puting the scene

for political upheaval.11

On January 1, 1959 unable to defy the load of both a politically and economically

neglecting state, and under force per unit area from the Cuban Communist Party led by Fidel Castro and his

Marxist-leninist radical followings, Batista fled Cuba. Paradoxically, the dislocation of

the autocratic government in Cuba illustrates the breakability of presumptively dependable clientelistic

agreements, in so far as these can non replace for strong cardinal authority.12 Foreign

investing in the economic system was significant one time once more in the late fiftiess, with U.S. capital

dominant in the agricultural sectors.13

Having gained a significant sum of support from the Cuban people, Fidel Castro was

quick to travel into power as the state? s most outstanding leader. Shortly thenceforth, Castro

allied his state with the Soviet Union and denounced the United States as an imperialistic and

capitalist aggression. In kernel, the U.S.S.R. became Cuba? s new? line of life? . Naturally, the

Cuban relationship with the Soviet Union made for inevitable tensenesss with its neighbor.14 The

United States? belief that the? Cuban leader had allowed his state to go a Soviet orbiter,

and that Castro? s government might bring forth a batch of revolutions throughout Latin America? 15 led

straight to the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, a failed effort to subvert Castro. The Bay of

Pigs invasion combined with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 sufficiently set the phase for the

present twenty-four hours political tensenesss between the United States and Cuba.

Due to the isolationist temper in the United States in the old ages following the failed Cuban

Missile Crisis and so the Vietnam War, Fidel Castro was free to lift to power and make the

communist island he so urgently endeavored to accomplish. Without the U.S. to interfere, Castro

could be likened to a? child in a confect shop? . Because Cuba had historically ever been in

political convulsion, it was non hard for Castro, for all his appeal and personal appeal, to win the

popular ballot of the people. Traditionally, in a state every bit oppressed as Cuba had been, citizens

tend to fall easy quarry to totalitarian or autocratic regulation due to their demand to be led by a

authorities, any authorities, that may perchance ease any sort of economic growing. The terminal

of the Cold War, nevertheless, left Cuba isolated when it lost its Soviet Patron.16 It has been argued

that there are two schools of idea on how to cover with Castro in the station Cold War epoch:

One school, championed chiefly by the exiled Cuban community

and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jesse Helms, wanted a full

tribunal imperativeness to convey Castro down. They assumed farther economic

want would force the Cuban people to lift up and free

themselves of the Castro absolutism at last. The United States,

with new Torahs punishing states, corporations, or individuals making

concern with Cuba, would oblige the international community to

articulation in the choking. This scheme received no international


The 2nd school wanted to wheedle Cuba out of its shell without

seeking to subvert Castro. For all his ferociousness and repression,

Castro provided instruction, occupations, wellness attention, and equality for

Cuban? s larg

e lower category, many of whom are of African descent.

They appreciated it so, and some still support Castro now. With

the sudden terminal of Soviet subsidies ( estimated at $ 5 billion a twelvemonth ) ,

Cuban life conditions went from bad to worse. From 1990 to

1993, Cuba? s GDP declined by 40 per centum. Many Cubans went

hungry. Castro, reading the despairing temper of the multitudes,

discovered his nearing obsolescence and gave indicants that

he might reform. The Cuban people, hankering for reform, began to

hope for a new day.17

It is apparent that the political temperament of the state, as in most states, has been

influenced by its economic position which, for Cuba, dates back to the 16th century. Cuba? s

predicament as a 3rd universe state is straight kindred to its historical inability to interrupt away from its

dependance on a individual export economic system. This fact, confounded by that of other, larger states

functioning merely their ain national involvements by promoting this type of economic system, has held Cuba in

ironss of need for decennaries.

Cuba does, nevertheless, despite its low domestic life criterions, have extended overseas

committednesss. The inquiry has been raised so, as to why Cuba, with such a limited domestic

resource base, would spread out its abroad civilian and military commitments.18 A peculiarly

feasible account could be viewed as the followers:

The Cuban authorities asserts that it aids other Third World

states because it is committed to internationalist solidarity.

While official positions may hide underlying motivations, if the island

chiefly supports abroad activities for moral and ideological

grounds, Cuban should have no regular British pound pro for its

aid, and it should restrict its assistance to ideologically sympathetic

states. If Cuba additions materially from its engagement, the

benefits should be minor and they should hold been unforeseen

at the clip the assistance was extended. The island should put on the line having

no economic pay-offs & # 8230 ;

The Castro government has a long history of helping radical and

national release motions, and the authoritiess to which they

hold given rise, perchance because its ain societal transmutation

depended on the aid of other socialist states. yet its

individuality with progressive, anti-imperialist provinces has non been

contingent on the acceptance of a Marxist-leninist theoretical account or

rank in the socialist camp.19

Why would Castro travel to all the problem so, when his ain people were hungering in the

streets? Possibly it was merely due to the fact that Third World states viewed Cuba as helpful

and influential and that abroad activities have enhanced the island? s stature in the lupus erythematosus

developed universe. Apparently, this theory would impart support to the banal images of

? strength in Numberss? or the? large fish in a small pool? platitudes. This is, of class, theory

nevertheless, and non fact.

Despite these and many other inquiries which could be asked of Castro? s regulating

manner, there are, in fact, many positive transmutations that the socialist leader has brought about

for his state. Though unlike most other socialist states, Cuba has been noted for its

far-reaching societal and economic equality that has resulted from the Cuban Revolution.

Additionally, Cuba, by no means a affluent state, has achieved a certain sum of important

success in the countries of instruction, wellness attention and its economic system in comparing to the Cuba of

old ages by.

However, even a really favourable reading of these constructions would hold to indicate out

their restrictions ( and one should non disregard the significance of their formal similarity to Soviet

constructions ) . Organized resistance is non allowed & # 8230 ; .the Cuban authorities would non digest

attempts to set up an independent brotherhood motion, and there is no inquiry of via media on

the political hegemony of the Cuban Communist Party.20

Soon, tensenesss between Cuba and the United States, nevertheless, are still high as the

U.S. continues to keep its policy of diplomatic and economic isolation. It has been noted


& # 8230 ; .years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the terminal of the

Cold War, Cuba continues to command the attending of U.S.

policymakers. Although Russia and the former eastern axis

states have undergone widespread democratic and free-market

economic reform, Cuba remains one of the lone Communist

absolutisms in the universe. Removing Castro from power and

implementing reform in Cuba are top U.S. foreign policy precedences,

but lawgivers disagree on the best class of action. While some

argue that the U.S. trade trade stoppage has proved uneffective and

inhumane, others respond that the United States should go on to

use force per unit area on Castro until he is toppled from power. As the

lawgivers argument, the wretchedness in Cuba is declining, and some

states are now get downing to fault U.S. policy. Time will state

whether the United States continues its present class or revises a

policy that is progressively unpopular with even its most loyal


Every now and once more Castro allows a melt in dealingss, but when the United States gets

excessively friendly he arranges a aggravation, such as the drowning of two little planes piloted by

Cuban expatriates in 1996, which led to the transition by the United States Congress of the

Helms-Burton Act a month later.22

Soon, Cuba is in the procedure of developing an advanced telecommunications system

with the aid of communist ally China. Cuba was visited late by Chinese delegate Wu

Jichuan and Fidel Castro claims that dealingss between Cuba and China have ne’er been better.

Additionally, Cuba is seeking to stop the 40-year United States trade trade stoppage against the island.

Should this occur, it would greatly heighten the state? s presently drooping economic system. There is

increasing force per unit area from United States concern and agricultural communities to get down brisk

trade with Cuba and take advantage of a new and potentially extremely profitable market.23 If Cuba

is successful at spread outing its monocultural economic system the state should see unusually

auspicious consequences in the event of a lifting of the U.S. trade stoppage. More significantly, Castro would

no longer hold an alibi for the lacks in the Cuban economic system.

Additionally, lodging for Cubans, which is guaranteed in the fundamental law, or the recent

deficiency thereof, has reached epidemic proportions in Havana, the island? s capital. Reportedly, the

authorities admits the state does non hold about plenty edifice stuffs or manpower to

give everyone the place they have been promised.24 For a socialist society dedicated to taking

attention of its people, the state seems to hold fallen short in this sphere, every bit good.

Another recent political Cuban event dominating most other of import Cuban

political events, if merely due to the extended media coverage than the existent quality of

newsworthy content, is the? tragicomedy? of the detention conflict of close Cuban deserter, Elian

Gonzalez. In what should hold been nil more than an international detention conflict over the

six twelvemonth old Cuban kid, an all out political conflict between the United States and Cuba ensued.

In my sentiment, the incident had been apparently spawned chiefly from harbored bitterness by

Cuban-Americans over the failed Bay of Pigs event, in add-on to their hatred of the

autocratic leader. Again, they fought and lost to Castro. This clip, nevertheless, Fidel Castro

was legitimate in his reproach and used the state of affairs to portray the United States in an highly

unfavourable visible radiation. He succeeded, as the remainder of the universe looked on inquiring what all the ballyhoo

was approximately.

What is extraordinary about Fidel Castro, nevertheless, is that he is still here at all. More

than 40 old ages after coming to power, he survives. He survives in the face of the unremitting

ill will of a world power merely 90 stat mis off. He survives in malice of the fact that his chief

frequenter, the Soviet Union, has disappeared, his political orientation, Marxist-Leninism, is discredited, and his

economic system is less than perfect. Despite the fact that an excessive figure of common citizens

prefer to opportunity decease at sea instead than stay in his state, Fidel survives.25


1Juan M. del Aguila, Cuba: Dilemmas of a Revolution ( Colorado: Westview Press, Inc. ,

1984 ) , p. 9.

2Juan M. del Aguila, Cuba: Dilemmas of a Revolution ( Colorado: Westview Press, Inc. ,

1984 ) , p. 12.

3Juan M. del Aguila, Cuba: Dilemmas of a Revolution ( Colorado: Westview Press, Inc. ,

1984 ) , p. 13.

4Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,

p. 30.

5Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,

p. 37.

6Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,

p. 38.

7Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,

p. 44.

8Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,

p. 46.

9Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,

p. 46.

10Geoff St. simons, Cuba: From Conquistador to Castro ( New York: St. Martin? s Press,

1996 ) , p. 254.

11Geoff St. simons, Cuba: From Conquistador to Castro ( New York: St. Martin? s Press,

1996 ) , p. 257.

12Juan M. del Aguila, Cuba: Dilemmas of a Revolution ( Colorado: Westview Press, Inc. ,

1984 ) , p. 38.

13Juan M. del Aguila, Cuba: Dilemmas of a Revolution ( Colorado: Westview Press, Inc. ,

1984 ) , p. 40.

14Sandor Halebsky and John M. Kirk, Cuba: Twenty-five Old ages of Revolution, 1959 to

1984 ( New York: Praeger Publishers, 1985 ) , p. 358.

15Mark J. White, Missles in Cuba: Kennedy, Khrushchev, Castro and the 1962 Crisis

( Chicago: Mark J. White, 1977 ) , p. 12.

16Michael G. Roskin and Nicholas O. Berry, The New World of International Relations

( New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc. , 1999 ) , p. 190.

17Michael G. Roskin and Nicholas O. Berry, The New World of International Relations

( New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc. , 1999 ) , p. 190.

18Sandor Halebsky and John M. Kirk, Cuba: Twenty-five Old ages of Revolution, 1959 to

1984 ( New York: Praeger Publishers, 1985 ) , p. 375.

19Sandor Halebsky and John M. Kirk, Cuba: Twenty-five Old ages of Revolution, 1959 to

1984 ( New York: Praeger Publishers, 1985 ) , p. 375.

20Sandor Halebsky and John M. Kirk, Cuba: Twenty-five Old ages of Revolution, 1959 to

1984 ( New York: Praeger Publishers, 1985 ) , p. 421.

21World Wide Web, U.S. Policy Towards Cuba, (, 1997 ) .

22World Wide Web, Boston Globe & # 8211 ; CubaNet News, Inc. , (, 2000 ) .

23World Wide Web, China Helps Cuba Get Current on Communications Technology,

(, 2000 ) .

24World Wide Web, Despite Guarantess, Homelessnes Creeps Into Cuba,

(, 2000 ) .

25World Wide Web, Government and Politics of Cuba, (, 2000 ) .

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