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Fidel Castro


• Circumstances for Rise • Ways to Stay in Power • Impact of his Rule • Economic • Social • Ideology

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Cuba and US Relations • The Platt Amendments • Cuba could not enter into an agreement with a third power • The US had the right to intervene militarily in Cuba • Guantanamo on the eastern tip of Cuba was leased to the US • Limit movement to independence or self-determination


Batista’s Regime • Mono Culture (Based on Sugar) • Head of Cuban army originally • held power legitimately in 1940s • Wanted to social and economic policies to limit the privileges of the landowners and reduce poverty • Seizes power with Military Coup • embarks on repressive methods aimed at gaining the islands privileged elites support • Corruption worsened, Batista allowed this to go on • Us brought dollars, alcohol, gambling, • Cubans sent children to be educated in US


Opposition to Batista • Opposition • Student organizations • rural agricultural workers • The Communist party • Support: • Army • Labour unions • US • Support decreases • looses favor in US, even in congress


Castro’s Challenges • Early Politics • 1947 Leaves cuba

! The Granma Attack 1956 • The party barely survived the crossing • defenders prepared • Castro brothers and Guevara found sanctuary in Sierra Maestra • Raul Castros marxism got the Communist Party to support Castro • Castros revolutionary theory was unimportant at this stage .! ! • Tries uprising in dominican Republic • Tried uprising in Colombia • 1950s considered standing for election • 1952 Baptista destroyed constitution by becoming presidential dictator • Became anti-Batista rebel • aim to unite all opposition Moncada Barracks Attack • 1st Major Move • Castro and Raul caught Castro Trial and Imprisonment • Trial for defending himself as a committed Cuban patriot for liberty of Cuban People • Ideas: • Restore constitution • redistribute land • extend education • end corruption in politics and business • grant 30% of profits to workers • cut wasteful arms expenditure • Treated leniently • Sentenced to 15 years • served for 2 years ! 26 July Movement • Went to mexico • Met argentinian doctor Ernesto (Che) Guevara • Guevara joins • ! ! Guevara’s Influence • becomes rebel • Guevara impressed these points on Castro • Remove military government. avoid direct conflict • guerrilla warfare would undermine the government’s superior strength • effective guerrilla warfare. depended make common cause with ordinary people • The US was a malign force that would back reactionary and repressive governments in any country where it had dealings.

75% boycotted him • Raul Castro control of Sierra Cristal region • Guevara dominant in Escambray region • Fidel master of Oriente region • 26 July movement appeared unstoppable. many executed • Communist Party invited. in Oriente • Castro’s autumn offensive • An election called by Batista in attempt to gain popular backing and government failed. joined by all other opposition groups • Catholic Church starts openly condemning Batista’s rule and actions • 1959 Castro takes over • ! Castro’s Establishment of an Authoritarian state ! ! Consolidation • Fundamental Law of the Republic • Authority in ministers.! Castro’s Propaganda • Sympathetic US reporters • Castro projected himself as the patriotic freedom fighter desperately struggling to defend the poor and oppressed people against Batista’s corrupt regime • US and Europe • Impressed by his message • Appeal of heroic quality (the rebel’s youth) ! Batista’s Overthrow • 1957-1959 • Riots and protests. suppressed by brutal government forces • Castro better weapons • Batista’s army had mutinous people • disrupted by guerilla attacks • Withdrawal of US • CIA suggested to support Castro instead of Batista • Batista dispirited. Castro’s effort intensified • 1958 • resisted atempt of encirclement by government easily. provide officials • Huber Matos imprisoned • Moderate leaders of labour unions replaced by pro-Castro communists • Relations with USA • Importance of Trade • People under Batista leave . he was prime minister • Restricted press freedom • Universities under Government control • Public show trials held of ministers etc.

coca cola) 1961 Bay of Pigs • US made secret training in Guatemala in hope of creating another uprising in Cuba to topple the Communist Cuba • Killed and captured all of them • Mortgaged its sugar crop to USSR • Cuba became totally reliant on USSR • Khrushchev promised to defend Cuba against any further aggression by USA Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) • Soviet Nuclear Missiles.! ! ! • Castro says poverty of Cuba was a result of US imperialism • Take over of Refineries of major companies (e.The DGI (Dept. anti-communist and are traditionally Republican voting ! ! Opposition Weakness ! -opposition never united.Castro justifies for imposing surveillance and controls on people ! -Many are conservative. organized body and the disaffected groups were unable to ! concert their efforts. capable of striking any part of uSA • ! Emigres ! -1968: nearly 5% of the population had left the island ! . of Intelligence) was a highly effective means of detecting his enemies in Cuba and outside ! Assassination attempts ! ! ! -Castro excited either affection for his attempts to elevate the poor. even had they ever seriously planned to challenge Castro ! -Castro’s status as the embodiment of Cuban aspirations Uprisings were never popular (also the harsh treatment of uprisings) ! ! .g. or profound dislike for the way he was prepared to destroy rights and liberties 683 assassination attempts (exaggerated by Castro) -The CIA was thought to have been behind most of the attempts . shell.

but delegate more ! The Cuban Constitution. an elected body of 600 members -Council of Ministers was to be drawn from the National Assembly Political and Administrative Changes ! -Ministers had greater freedom to act on their own initiative ! -Police force was made part of the armed services ! -26 July Movement and Communist Party were merged ! -Legal system was streamlined to make court procedures simpler ! ! -Trade unions were entitled to sit on tribunals concerned with workers’ rights and to make recommendations regarding economic planning Rectification -Political & administrative alterations would be mere tinkering unless they were accompanied by genuinely productive economic changes .Castro’s Treatment of Opposition ! ! -initially made little effort to stop people leaving -encouraged criminals. were to provide delegates for the National Assembly. drawn from members of the Communist Party. 1975 ! -Cuba was a socialist state with the Communist Party as the only recognized ! ! -Local assemblies. the insane and anti-social types to go -Castro grew concerned that Cuba was losing too many of the skilled personnel it needed -Regulations were introduced forbidding Cubans to leave without acceptable reason ! -Intentions was to show the overwhelming mass of the population backed the revolution ! Changes in Castro’s Style of Government.Retain ultimate authority. 1970-90 ! How did Castro Modify his style of Governing? -Increasing political repression -Adjust the organization of the government -Admitting that the failed 970 harvest program had revealed the limitations of the previous approach -Decided on a policy of depersonalizing the revolution .

laying down targets to be achieved in designated areas of production ! Effects of Rectification ! -1971-1976: Cuba’s GNP grew each year by 10%.! ! ! ! -“Rectification” was an approach intended to combine revolutionary idealism with hard practical realism -Enabled cuba to keep pace with modern technology. which would reduce need for expensive imports. susceptible to changes in world sugar prices (Monoculture problems) -all Cuba’s oil purchases were from USSR -Cuba in debt to USSR by some 7 billion dollars -Owed 35 billion dollars to international banks ! -Castro response = more austerity ! ! -“Moral appeal” urging them to consume less. computers were introduced into factories and offices -Incentives reintroduced into the workplace. and work for lower pay or for no financial return at all -Could be soaked up by increasing the size of the army & encourage young revolutionaries to go abroad but the basic answer lay in the Cuban people settling for less . Productive workers and managers were to be rewarded with pay increases and bonuses -Quota system introduced. which compared favorably with less than 4% annually in the preceding 5 years ! -1976-1981: the growth figure fell back to 4% annually ! Austerity ! -Economic decline in late 1970s led Castro’s government to reappraise its policies for the 1980s ! -Major difficulty = little room for maneuver commercially ! ! ! -Early 1980s.Cuba’s trade balance always in deficit -Sugar = main export. Cuba was in predicament: -US trade embargo restricted outlets for Cuban products to a limited number of countries -.

in material terms ! -Castro was not an orthodox Marxist ! -1974: modify Marx’s maxim ‘from each according to his ability.Castro could no longer rely on the purchase of his sugar or the financial subventions he had hitherto enjoyed Impact on Cuba of the USSR’s Collapse .Consistent refusal to embrace orthodox Marxism stood him in good stead ! ! ! ! . to each according his ! needs’ to read ‘each Cuban should receive according to the work effort he applies’ ! -Desire to improve conditions were genuine but believe improvement had to be achieved ! not by government handouts but by individual and communal effort ! -Hence severity with which slackers and saboteurs were treated by the regime (or ! disabled) ! Why did collapse of communism in the USSR prove so significant for Castro’s Cuba? ! .In desperate bid to save energy.Castro quick to assert Cuba’s revolutionary aims remained unaltered ! .New Russia that emerged from the old USSR maintained contacts. power supplies to homes and factories cut or rationed ! Castro’s Response .Cuban income dropped by nearly 50% between 1989 and 1992 ! .Cuba’s annual supply of oil from Russia dropped from 13 million tons to under 2 million ! .Consequence increasing strain in the Cuban economy ! . but felt no obligation to honor the Cuban-Soviet agreements ! ! .Era of hardship was dubbed ‘the Special Period’: ! .Fall of Eastern bloc and disintegration of USSR left communism a broken system ! .

98% literacy rate .National Service .6% of GDP spent on education .intolerance of dissent .6% . second best in South America .historians say Castro did this more to humiliate the USA ! ! Totalitarianism . Imprisonment without trial.Military units to aid production (UMAP) .one party state .racial discrimination outlawed (on paper however the segregation was still there in the black communities life) .more housing .530:10000 Doctor to people ratio. free welfare service .g.Better living conditions .Reputation for making you work.HRW in 2008 .Average life expectancy is 77.13.control of legal system .2000s . brutality .Fierce reputation.Limited internet access (government controlled) . 200 labour camps . summary executions.Hallmarks .Guilty of violations of basic human rights (e.Cuba second to china in Journalists imprisoned . denial of free expression etc) .persecution of minorities . in e.Since 1959 .less hunger . suppression of political dissent.70 prisons.Infant mortality at 7/1000 best in South America .strict censorship .centralized control of main institutions of society and state ! Role of the Military in imposing conformity .Castro’s Cuba ! . harvest .Totalitarianism was not Castro’s aim .free education became available .Universal.GDP annual growth by unemployment .g.No free movement .6 years .A developing nation .extensive prison camp system .

! The Role of Women .retraining farmer domestic servants for industrial work .raising health standards b promoting hygiene programs .train women and girls in domestic skills .Organizing day-care centers for women and infants .Implement Cuba’s literary drive .enlisting unemployed women for voluntary work on the land .