Cuba before Fidel was the Latin American country with the highest budget for educationin 1958, with 23% of the total budget earmarked for this expense. It was followed byCosta Rica (20%). Today Cuba is ruled by the corrupt Castro Dynasty, which has brought political repression and economic misery to Cuba the last 53 years! I talk of theRevolution and life in Cuba in my book "Memories a from the Land of the IntolerantTyrant"2.Can you tell us a little more about your background?a)Worked as aerospace engineer for over 32 years at NASA's Kennedy Space Center indesign & development and project management for ground systems for the Shuttle,Space Station, Atlas V, and Delta IV. b)Currently aspiring author. Published "Memories of the Land of the Intolerant Tyrant",a book about the Cuban Revolution and life in Cuba.c)Have performed volunteer work in jails, psychiatric wards, half-way houses and drugrehab centers. Working on book on addiction and recovery.3.Could you give a brief summary of the Cuban Revolution and how Castro went aboutconsolidating power after the Revolution?After the Batista coup that ended 50 years of the constitutional republic in
, Fidelformed the 26th of July Movement- where he was joined by one of my older cousins (mymother's youngest brother joined the Revolutionary Directorate- led by the deceased JoseAntonio Echeverria). During the struggle against Batista, Castro received money,weapons, and recruits (including former second in command Camilo Cienfuegos-deceased in 59) from the Cuban exile community in the US. During the summer of 1958,Castro is elected leader of all of Batista's opposition groups (e.g. 26th of July Movement,Revolutionary Directorate, Authentic Party, Orthodox Party, Labor representatives, etc.)in what is called "The Pact of Caracas."…
After the triumph of the Revolution in Januaryof
, the first thing Fidel does to to suppress the rights of Cubans to bear arms. Bymid-1960, he cancelled multi-party elections, freedom of expression, independent labor unions, etc. By then he had formed an alliance of convenience with the USSR- which became a subject of debate during the 1960 US Presidential debate, where JFK accusesthe Republicans of dropping the ball in Cuba. By mid-1961, my two older kin that foughtfor the Revolution had both been sentenced to several years in jail … Kicking out foreign business and nationalizing/socializing the remainder were a core part of the Castroregime's economic policies during his first few years in power in Cuba. The economy became stagnant under the management of the incompetent Castro's cronies- who knewnothing of how to manage Cuban businesses, including most agricultural activitiesoutside the production of cigars and rum. Total collapse of the Cuban economy occurredafter Soviet subsidies (exceeding that of the combined foreign aid by the US to Pakistan,Egypt, and Israel) at the end of the Cold War circa 1990. The Cuban economy todaydepends largely on tourism, cash/medicines from exiles to kin and friends, andVenezuelan oil subsidies. Today Cuba, a former food exporter in the 50's, imports 80% of its food- mainly from Brazil and the US (despite the so-called "embargo). What a disaster for a country that in the 50's had a higher standard of living than the bulk of its LatinAmerican neighbors and a few countries in Southern Europe!
I give more details of howFidel consolidated power in Chapters 1, 4, and 5 in my book.3