Revolution in Cuba

The revolution in Cuba was not a result of economic deprivation, nor because



of high expectations in the economy, it was the political factors and



expectations which evoked the civilians to revolt. The Cuban economy was



moving forward at the time before the rebellion but the dominant influence



of the sugar industry made the economy "assymetrical" and encouraged no



"dynamic industrial sector". Because of the dependance on sugar, the



unemployment rate ranged between 16 and 20% rising and falling with sugar



prices, ebbing and flowing as the season changed. The rural wage levels



were incredibly unsteady and unpredictable; the standard of living was low.



Dependance on the sugar industry did not retard the economy of Cuba, just



the wages of its workers. It was the leaders of the nation who reaped



profit from this dependance, and it was the leaders of the nation who



insisted on keeping the nation the way it was. By the mid 1950\'s, however,



the middle class had expanded to 33% of the population. Democracy, as we



know it, broke down: the large middle class did not assert democratic



leadership, there was no social militancy in the working class ranks, and



the people found order preferable to disarray. Batista could no longer



legitimize his regime . Failure in the elections of 1954 showed the



discontent of the people, and failure in communications with the United



States illustrated its discontent. Finally, opposing forces confronted



Batista\'s power: there were street protests, confrontations with the



police, assault, sabotage, and urban violence. This began the revolution



in Cuba.



 



America, with its stubborn ideas and misjudgements of character, forced



Castro to turn to the Soviets for alliance and aid. When Castro visited



the United States in April, 1959, there were different respected



individuals holding different views of him and his future actions. Nixon



believed Castro to be naive, some others thought him a welcome change from



Batista, still others called him an "immature but effective leader, without



a well formed view of how to lead a revolutionary movement and not overly



concerned with abstract of philosophical matters" (p. 55). Why, then, did



the United States impress nit-picky ideals like "there should not be



communists in the Army or in labor", or "Cuba\'s approach to the Batista



trials is totally unacceptable, too casual, too nonchalant" on this



"forming" leader? Castro was like an inexperienced murderer with a gun in



his hand: any rustle in the background could set off his nervous trigger



finger causing death, destruction, and liaisons with the U.S.S.R. When



America expressed dislike of the trial procedures Castro was holding, of



course he (Castro) would try to prove he was able to run his country by



himself and snub the U.S. ambassador. The United States had so much



invested in Cuba that it was stupid to think that Cuba could not retaliate



when the U.S. cut off sugar imports. America was just too sure of itself



thinking it could get away with criticism and acts like that when an



"immature" leader was in control. Cuba was not totally dependant on the



United States and proved itself so. If Cuba could not find help and



support in America, it sought elsewhere for those who smiled on its actions



and ideals. Castro found friends in Russia; the United States made this



so.



 



Succeeding and failing have alot to do with judgement. For the United



States, the revolution was a failure because the result was a communist



nation in the Carribean. For the revolutionarie s in Cuba, the revolution



accomplished many of their goals: capitalism was abolished and socialism



installed eroding class distinctions and eliminating private property, the



working conditions improved, women\'s rights improved, labor unions were



recogniz ed, the military became more modern and advanced, political order



was restored, the status of the country improved from dependant to



independant, and many more. For the people of Cuba, therefore, the



revolution can be viewed as a success (if communism ca n be seen as



acceptable), but for America, the result was a failure.



 



Latin America is one of the poorest and underdeveloped sections of the



world. Because of this fact, it is difficult for its nations to compete and



thrive in the world market with modern nations as they struggle to



industrialize and improve their status. Capitalism, as a basis for an



economy, means that each man has to struggle to make a living, that each



man may fail and starve, and that each man may get a lucky break and



thrive. We saw this struggle of the lower classes clearly in Mexico during



their industrialization. With communism, a man may not become of