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Fidel Castros Maintenance of Power Treatment of the Opposition And his Social Policies

I. Castros Maintenance of power

A. Castro became Prime Minister and first secretary 1. Most important man in the state 2. Controlled the President and VP a. President Urrutia and Jose Miro Resigned due to lack of power 3. Fidel was commander-in-chief of the armed forces 4. Created a drama of the revolution that led him to have control over everything 5. In 1959 Castro visited the U.N., which turned into a political win because he projected himself as a strong nationalist, but not a Communist. B. Establishment of authoritarian regime 1. Created an authoritarian regime assembled more like the Soviet bloc 2. Created a Suppressive regime 3. Suppressed freedom of speech in order to quite tin dissenting voices, especially on his communist ideology and leaning, particularly the press. 4. Showed trials and held public executions of Batista supporters. Done in order to show an example of the counter revolutionaries punishment and create fear as well as remove what he felt were the principal threats to his position of power. 5. Exiled and impressments of counterrevolutionaries 6. Stalinist-style repression a. For example Major Hubert Matos one of Fidels political allies was imprisoned due to writing a letter about growth of communist influence. C. Mobilization was the Inexorable theme 1. Mobilization against invades and against social and economic problems 2. Militia created of 500,000 members in order to achieve these goals

3. The Government created the CDRs for civil defense against counterrevolutionaries. a. CDR was locally based citizen groups organized primarily for civil defense, and task of monitoring population for counterrevolutionary behavior. 4. Used the failed C.I.A. backed Bay of Pigs invasion to increase his prestige and make him a global force for change and revolution. a. Claimed that the U.S use of ant-Castro exiles as trying to Turn the clock backwards in order to restore the country to Batista like rule. b. Gained great support for Fidel Castro.

D. Castro allied himself and his administration with the Popular Socialist party. 1. Skillfully kept only distant contact with the U.S. 2. Eliminated all political parties except the Communist party. a. Considered anti-communist as counterrevolutionary and only punishment was death. b. Created great oppression and minimized the risk of any political party rising against him 3. Gained power to appoint judges at will. 4. Created the Fundamental Law of the Republic 2/1959 in order to gain more power and enlist fear on the people a. Reinstating but modifying the Constitution of 1940 which Batista had suspended in 1952. It declared the death penalty to be the only punishment applicable to counter-revolutionary crimes. 5. 1971 Crackdown on Opposition a. In 1971, a tough standard of political loyalty now expected out of all artists and the police were used to enforce political conformity and crack down on opposition of Revolutionary Cuba