Cuba The Plight Of A Nation And
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
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 ) ,
5Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,
6Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,
7Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,
8Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,
9Terrance Cannon, Revolutionary Cuba ( Toronto: Fitzhenry & A ; Whiteside Limited, 1981 ) ,
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, ( www.closeup.org/cuba, 1997 ) .
22World Wide Web, Boston Globe & # 8211 ; CubaNet News, Inc. , ( www.cubanetnews.com, 2000 ) .
23World Wide Web, China Helps Cuba Get Current on Communications Technology,
( www.cubanetnews.com, 2000 ) .
24World Wide Web, Despite Guarantess, Homelessnes Creeps Into Cuba,
( www.cubanetnews.com, 2000 ) .
25World Wide Web, Government and Politics of Cuba, ( www.cubapolidata.com, 2000 ) .