Fidel Castro 2011

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					Castro y Cuba

Castro‟s Cuba is at once radical and
reactionary. Fidel has ignited ideals, proved
they were “feasible” and defeated Goliath.
At the same time, he has gradually assumed
the powers and abuses of the very regimes
he spoke and fought against. He is both the
best thing to happen to Cuba and the worst
Jose’ Marti
"He is for Cuba what George
Washington is for the United States:
the Number One patriot."
 U.S. Influence over Cuba

USA helped Cuba achieve independence
from the Spanish in 1898
            Platt Amendment

• United States controlled the Cuban economy:
   – USA held controlling stake in all Cuban industries
   – Owned:
       •   Half of the land
       •   3/5 of the railway system
       •   The electricity production
       •   The telephone system
   – USA was Cuba‟s main market

•  Domination did not result in efficient country;
       therefore resentment in Cuba.
         Economy Continued
• Extremely dependent on
• Wealth unevenly

• Unemployment:
   – 8% thru five month of sugar
   – 30% rest of year
•  High social tensions
Fulgencio Batista
   Sept 1933 Revolt of the Sergeants
      Became head of military
      Havana becomes U.S. resort

   March 1952
     Suspended constitution
          Suspends political parties
     Pro-American with economics
            Fidel Castro Ruiz
• Son of a farmer in NW
    Cuba, born 1926
•   Father fought in
    Sp-Am war

• Was involved with violent politics in
    law school
    Partido Ortodoxos, Orthodox Party
•   Wanted to end U.S. control over Cuba
    – Importance of NATIONALISM!!!!
                Initial Revolution
After Batista takes control, makes political parties illegal
        Castro believes this will end his political career

July 1953, Castro attacked Moncada military barracks
      - hope of sparking revolution w/ lower-middle-
              class and working-class rebels
           Attack Failed
- Most killed, others imprisoned and tortured
    Castro was captured, 7 days later put on trial
    Defense speech ("History will Absolve me")
          - made him a national hero
    Castro went to prison for 19 months
          - His popularity grew while he was there

     Like Hitler
     Revolutionary Success!
            The July Movement

• Castro gathers
  support in Mexico and

• In Mexico he
El Che Guevara
Nov. 1956 return to Cuba
                   The Process
With Ideology from Che:
  Sneaks back into Cuba
  Attack force decimated
  Develops support from
      the peasants
  Battles Batista forces
      in the hills
  Walks out of the woods
      the victor!

           Look at the color of the shirt!
        Revolution in Power
Ideology: Jan. 1959
   Educational reform
   Agricultural
   End to corruption in
   Income redistribution
   End the Platt
 Elimination of Opposition/End
        of “Democracy”
• Public Trials and executions of Batista
  supporters (lynchings)
• Crowd Manipulation (conformity)
• End of “Free Press”
   – State paper “Granma”

• 250,000 Cubans Flee
   – Professionals, Landowners, Clergy
• Remaining dissidents
   – 75,000 interned
   – Torture common
     Restructuring a Success?
• Peasants and workers support regime
   – Wages up 40% in first 3 years

   – Living conditions improve dramatically
       •   Food distributed to the poor
       •   Housing built for needy                           Public
       •   Unemployment nearly eliminated                    Works
       •   Free Medical Care and Social Security
       •   Free schooling and educational ops.
             – Illiteracy rate from 20% to 12% in 2 years

   – Rationing occurs frequently as productive resources
So How Bout Them U.S. Relations???
Castro wanted U.S. owned refineries to process Soviet Oil
       Soviet oil was cheaper then U.S. oil
        Texaco, Standard Oil and Shell refused
              U.S. gov‟t backed this
        Castro nationalized refineries in June „60
U.S. Relations Con’t- The EMBARGO
  Nationalism sparked a series of hostile actions
        1. Ike ended purchase of Cuban sugar
        2. Castro Nationalized everything else
        3. Ike banned all exports to Cuba Oct „60
     Bay of Pigs, April 15th 1961

CIA began to train exiled Cubans in Guatemala, ‟60
       JFK had just taken office and was forced into
        giving the go-ahead for this invasion
       Castro was ready. DISASTER for invaders
Consequences of the Pigs…

– Castro proclaims allegiance
to Communism w/in one month
– USSR pledges to defend Cuba
    • US essentially pushes
     Castro towards Soviets
Cuban Missile Crisis-Oct 1962
• Soviets put medium
    range nukes in Cuba
•   JFK finds using U-2
•   JFK blockades, issues

• Khrushchev backs down
• CMC puts Cuba firmly
    w/in Soviet influence
Revolutionary State?- Economy

    Goal end dependence on Sugar

Not successful !!!
   •No Capital        No $
   •US Embargo        No resources
   •Lost “know-how”   BRAIN DRAIN
 Sugar- Is it Sweet? 1963-1970

     Ten Million Ton
   – Re-emphasis on Sugar as staple crop
   – Becomes symbol of Castro‟s new “Plan”
   – Seeks global control of sugar market

• Government Intervention Increases
   – 90% of all farms owned by Government
Failures and Reassessment
• “Ten Million Tons”- FAILURE
  – Castro admits failure in 1970- Only grew 1/2
  – Obsession badly damages structure of
   Cuban Communism
Moving Right   • Post-1970
                 – Move to new econ/poly
               models

                 – Material incentives
                 – Pay differentials,
                   bonuses and quotas

                 – 1976- New Constitution,
                   Castro makes ALL
Why Still in Power?
  Why is Castro Still in Power???
• In Cuba
  –   Lowest Unemployment in L.A.
  –   = distribution of wealth
  –   Public Health
  –   Complete control over media
  –   Education
  –   Standard of Living is reasonable
       • Lower classes DRAMATICALLY improved over Batista
• Other than US, Cuba has good international
  relations with rest of world

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