Cuba Before the Revolution: Were they better off?

22 May

Before the rise of Communist leader Fidel Castro, the country of Cuba was a very different island. People were allowed to operate their own businesses, and flourish independently.

However, there were also many problems with the infratrustuure of the country. For example, 91% of homes did not have electricity. Another example would be how there was only 1 doctor per every 2000 people in rural areas. Finally, 44% of the people had never attended a school.

With all of these statistics being taken into consideration, it must also be known that Cuba was even more of a tourist destination than it is today. The island attracted many foreign and American tourists that brought good, clean money to the nations economy. In fact, Cuba was considered as the top gambling destinations in the world, as at the time Las Vegas was just developing.

Here are some other facts to consider when thinking about Cuba before its revolution:

  • 27% of urban children, not to speak of 61% of rural children, were not attending school.
  • Racial discrimination was widespread.
  • The public school system had deteriorated badly.
  • Corruption was endemic; anyone could be bought, from a Supreme Court judge to a cop.
  • Police brutality and torture were common.
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Che, The Man

22 May

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was a Marxist revolutionary who helped Fidel with the initial revolution of Cuba. 

Born in Rosario, Argentina, on June 14, 1928, Ernesto R. Guevara de la Serna studied medicine before traveling around South America, observing conditions that spurred his Marxist beliefs. He aided Fidel in overturning the Cuban government and then worked in a political post.

Guevara first earned his medical degree at The University of Buenos Aries. It is obvious that Che was an extremely educated man, contrary to what many people may think. 

After meeting the Castro brothers in Mexico, Guevara became part of Fidel Castro’s efforts to overthrow the Batista government in Cuba. He served as a military advisor to Castro and led guerrilla troops in battles against Batista forces. When Castro took power in 1959, Guevara became in charge of La Cabana Fortress prison. It is estimated that between 156 and 550 people were executed on Guevara’s extra-judicial orders during that time. 

He was essential in shifting the countries relationships away from The United Sates and towards the Soviet Union. He was able to do this effectively when he became head of the Cuban National Bank. 

In the late 60’s, Che decided to bring the success of Cuba’s revolution to other countries, particularly Bolivia. Unfortunately, Che was captured and killed by the Bolivian military in 1967, as he only was accompanied by a small guerilla task force. 

Since his death, Che had been renowned for his commitment to the revolution and stands as an important political figure for the Cuban people. Image

 

The People of Cuba and Their Revolution

22 May

Prior to the revolution, Cuba was considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet the people of this island lived in poverty. People became influenced by the persuasiveness of fidel at a time where the people of Cuba desperately needed somebody to lead them through these hard times.

At first, one of the main changes that was brought to the people of Cuba was with the economy. The effect of the embargo with the United States caused many small business owners to forfeit their businesses as most of them becameImage government owned and controlled.

An important thing about the changes brought to the Cuban people’s economy is the effect that it has had on them for the past 60 years. For many North Americans, it would be hard to imagine what it wold be like if we were unable to have ownership of our own business. This could have given the Cuban working people a sense of dissatisfaction When they came home from work every day.

Were the changes that were made to the Cuban economy really good for the people? Or old it be a scheme to cover up corruption and the governments greed?

Fidel, The Man

16 Apr

We must get to know the man behind the Cuban Revolution.

A Native of Biran, Cuba, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926. Castro grew up as a privileged individual, and enjoyed healthier circumstances than most of Cuba’s people. He was educated in Jesuit boarding schools, and was very intellectually gifted. However, he was more interested in sports than studies. 

He attended El Colegio de Belen and pitched for the school’s baseball team. After his graduation in late 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana and became immersed in the political climate of Cuban nationalism, anti-imperialism and socialism.

Fidel always had a passion for reform, and this was evident for the first time in 1947 when he joined a group in the Dominican Republic that was trying to overthrow their own dictator. 

This part of Fidel’s history is very important to learn about, because it gives insight to why he was so obsessed with overthrowing dictator governments. In my opinion, I think that his education as a law student gave him a strong passion for fundamental justice. I think that Fidel carried this passion with him and used it in an effective way when he was becoming the leader of Cuba. This insight to Fidel’s education sheds light on the speculated issue of Fidel himself being a power hungry ruler, who only cares about his own interests. It is clear that Fidel had good, educated reasoning behind what he was doing, and really did care about the good of his people. 

This could also be proven with Fidel’s involvement in anti-goverment groups, as at the time Cuba’s government was very corrupt. Image

The Beginning of the Revolution

16 Apr

Everybody has their stereotypes about Cuba. Some say that it’s a third world country, and others say it sets a good example. But what about the history of Cuba? Don’t people wonder how Cuba has become the country it is today?

I do. In fact, the story of how Fidel Castro overthrew the dictator-styled government before him is actually quite fascinating.

The Revolution began with former president Fulgencio Batista cancelled the 1952 elections in fear that he was going to lose. At this point, the freedom and democracy of the people of Cuba had be stripped away, and the country was in a decline.

There was no Cuban more angry about the rise of a dictator than that of Fidel Castro. Fidel planned an attack on Bautista, intending to kill him. This event later became known as ” The Assault on Moncada”. When Fidel was unsuccessful in assassinating Bautista, he was sentenced to 15 years in jail. However, at this point Fidel became well liked among many Cubans, and a figure of the revolution. 

As a political prisoner, Fidel and others that were involved in the assassination attempt were sent to Mexico, where they met “Che” Guevera. There, Fidel, Che, and many other exiled Cubans planned a revolution, and headed back for Cuba in November of 1956. 

After two years of fighting in the hills and mountains of Cuba, Fidel Castro eventually defeated the Bautista regime. In january of 1959, Castro began making his way to Havana, delivering victory speeches before cheering crowds along the way. 

As he and his regime made their way to the top of the government, the Cuban people and other people from all over the world knew that this country would never be the same. Image

Ten Questions about the Cuban Revolution

15 Apr

1. What was Cuban society like before the revolution?

2. How did Fidel Castro come to power?

3. Why did Fidel Castro engage so many of the Cuban people in following him?

4. What kind of conflict was met with the Cuban Revolution? 

5. What was the transition like between pre and post revolutionary Cuba?

6. What has the relationship been like betwen Cuba and other countries eg United States, Russia.

7. What were the reasons for the conflict between the United States and Cuba?

8. How did the Revolution affect specific areas of Cuba eg economy, healthcare, education?

9. What has been the long term effects of the Cuban Revolution?

10. How has the Cuban revolution paved the way for communism in modern society?