The Cuban Revolution

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 greater status than he is born with, but then again that
status is no