Political Change as a result of The Cuban Revolution

Craig, Alexandra

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Cover of album of collectable picture cards documenting the Cuban Revolution and its leaders

The Cuban Revolution was a revolt against the regime of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. From 1953 to 1959, Fidel Castro led this revolution and established Communist rule in Cuba. This revolution not only changed Cuba’s political structure, but also reconstructed Cuba’s society and relations with the United States.

The Revolution began with the Cuban people’s dissatisfaction with Batista’s corrupt government. He ignored popular concerns of Cuba’s citizens and made Cuba effectively a “hedonistic playground for the world’s elite”, by creating an industry around prostitution, gambling, and drugs for American gangsters and corrupt police and government officials. Fidel Castro offered reform of the disgustingly corrupt government, equality, and overall a better way of life to the Cuban people, gaining their support.

Castro began guerrilla war against Batista’s government in 1956, aided by Argentinian Marxist Ernesto Guevara and a group of rebels called the ‘26th of July Movement’. In December of 1958, after a series of defeats, Batista panicked and fled from Cuba. In February 1959, Castro was sworn in as prime minister and declared Cuba a socialist state (later in 1965, after some reform, Cuba would become part of the Communist party).  Castro introduced laws for equality of black Cubans and more rights for women. Health, housing, and education were all improved. Art exhibitions, concerts, and theaters were also made available. All Cuban children were receiving some education by the end of the 1960s, in contrast with less than half before 1959. Unemployment and corruption were also greatly reduced (Mastering Modern World History).

However, tensions increased between the United States and Cuba as the U.S. began to fear the increasing communist state and as Castro’s resentments increased because of the United States support of Batista during the Revolution. The Soviet Union and Cuba became close allies, including the Soviet union stationing nuclear weapons in Cuba, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis. After this and the defeat of American troops at the Bay of Pigs attack, the feud increased between the U.S. and Cuba, and is still somewhat active today. The U.S. embargo against Cuba is the longest-lasting single foreign policy in American history (Washington and Cuban Revolution), and is still in force as of 2014, although there have been some efforts to loosen it recently (Cuba receives first US shipment).

The Cuban Revolution caused major political changes within Cuba, as well as in the United States. It is still known as one of the most famous revolutions throughout the world and it’s affects can be seen across the world today.

References:

BBC History – Fidel Castro. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ people/ fidel_castro

Cuba receives first US shipment in 50 years – Americas – Al Jazeera English. (2012, July 14). Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/ 2012/07/20127147196482238.html

Lowe, Norman. Mastering Modern World History. 2nd ed

Nahem, Ike. “Washington and the Cuban Revolution Today: Ballad of a Never-Ending Policy.” Dissident Voice RSS. N.p., 22 June 2012. Web. <http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/06/washington-and-the-cuban-revolution-today-ballad-of-a-never-ending-policy-2/>.

Image Reference:

Programming Librarian | Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ozzie.ala.org/pa/models/lets-talk-about-it-picturing-americaland-of- opportunity/dreaming-in-cuban-by-cristina-garcia.html#.VCScxCtYSz4

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