Cuban politics essay sample

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“The imperialists cannot forgive us for having made a revolution, a socialist revolution here, under the very noses of the United States.”
In this way, on April 16, 1961, the Cuban people and the whole world received from Fidel Castro the definition of the socialist character of the Revolution, made explicit during the mass funeral of the victims of the bombings of the previous days, prologue Bloody invasion of the Bay of Pigs.
This dramatic definition was the culmination of the process unleashed in Cuba since Effulgence Batista’s flight on 1 January 1959 and Fidel’s triumphal entry into Havana and his column of guerrillas 7 days later, a process marked out by political, economic and social events Which would culminate in “the socialist definition”.
At first the revolutionary government enjoyed the support of the Cuban bourgeoisie, the Catholic Church, large influential circles in the United States, and Latin American governments (some of which had helped to arm the Sierra Maestro guerrillas). But the social and economic measures that he began to take were cooling this support, while growing his prestige among the peasants, the workers, and the masses hitherto deferred.
In March 1959 the government reduced urban rents by up to 50%. This measure, obviously very popular, affected only one sector, although significant, of the Cuban bourgeoisie, since US capital did not intervene mainly in the housing construction sector. Following this measure, Castro continued to encourage capitalists to invest, stating that the products of Cuban industry would contribute to the growth of the nation, in contrast to “the parasites that invested in the housing market.”
In May 1959, Fidel defined the revolution as “neither capitalist nor communist,” because if one had to choose between “capitalism that hungers the people, and communism that solves the economic problem but suppresses liberties … our revolution Not red, but olive green, the color of the rebel army that arose from the heart of Sierra Maestro. ” However, the virtual “united front” of early 1959 gradually cracked. The nationalist orientation of the new government inevitably collided with the resistance of American interests, and the reaction of the Cuban bourgeoisie, dependent on US trade and investment, was in line with that of its masters. In opposition to the revolutionary measures resigned the Prime minister Mire Cardamon, replaced by Fidel, and soon it followed to him the president Uremia. At the same time, the 26th of July Movement suffered the first desertions by sectors dissatisfied with the radical course of the revolution. That same month of May is promulgated the first Law of Agrarian Reform. By which almost all the properties of more than thirty caballeros (about 402 hectares) were confiscated. Among the affected owners were the US-owned sugar companies. Part of the land was given to tenants, sharecroppers and landless peasants, who then formed the bulk of the private agricultural sector, consisting of some 166,000 farms ranging in size from “less than 67 hectares” to “more Of 402 hectares “and occupied 4.451 million hectares. The rest of the lands, especially those coming from the large landowners, became property of the state, organized in “farms of the town” or “cooperatives” that in fact did not differ from state farms. Altogether, the lands administered by the State represented 44% of the cultivated area. The agrarian reform was an old vindication very felt in Cuba, that even had been included in the Constitution of 1940, although with clauses that made it impracticable, and of course it appeared in the program of the manifesto I will absolve history, written by Fidel in 1953 Already in the first two months of the revolutionary government there were some spontaneous landings. These few shots were officially condemned: “We oppose the anarchic distribution of land. We have proposed a law which stipulates that those who engage in land distributions without waiting for the new agrarian law will lose the right to benefit from the new reform. Those who have appropriated land from January 1 to date are not entitled to them. Any provocation to distribute land despising the revolutionaries and the agrarian law is criminal. ”
The American Foreign Power Company was also forced to reduce the electricity rate.

Committed flights of harassment to the island from Florida and sabotage actions began, while the US government pressured Europeans not to sell weapons to Cuba. In January 1960, Cuba expropriated new sugar estates, as well as pastures and forests belonging to the United Fruit Company, and rejected official US protests. In February, a trade agreement was signed between Cuba and the USSR for the first time, exchanging sugar for oil, cereals and machinery. In April, Fidel visited the United States. Trying to reach an agreement with the US government, but would fail. In June the Cuban government nationalized Shell, Gestapo and Texaco refineries for refusing to refine Soviet oil. In July, President Eisenhower canceled the sugar quota that would be bought from Cuba that year, as the first “economic sanction” to be followed by others.
In September, the “First Declaration of Havana” responded to the OAS Declaration of San Jose, condemning “the attempt of the Sion-Soviet powers to take advantage of the political, economic or social situation of any American state.” That same month, the Bank of Boston, the City Bank, the Chase Manhattan, and the rest of the bank were nationalized.
In those days, Cuba had already become a rising star in the “non-aligned countries” movement. During a short tour of Fidel Castro to New York for the opening of the United Nations Assembly, the movement was interviewed by the main leaders: Jawaharlal Nehru, Gama Nasser, and Kama Nkrumah.
At the end of September, in the wake of the upsurge of terrorist attacks and sabotage, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) were created, of which there were almost one per block in Havana and the main Cuban cities.
On October 14, the Law of Urban Reform was enacted, ending the private ownership of buildings destined to rent of dwellings. The old tenants went to pay to the State, instead of the rent, much smaller sums that would allow them to acquire its house after a certain amount of years. All major industrial, commercial and transportation companies were nationalized. The same month, Cuba was withdrawing from the World Bank because the country’s economic policy “is far from being effective” for the process of development and expansion of the Cuban economy, which was being prosecuted by its government “according to a plan definite”.
In late October, in response to the partial embargo enacted by the US, the remaining US private companies were nationalized. Two months later, before the definitive annulment of the Cuban sugar quota by the US, Castro announced that the socialist countries had ordered orders for 4 million tons.
The year 1961 was born with the launch of the National Literacy Campaign, with the aim of reducing the illiteracy rate from 25% to less than 4% in one year. The literacy squads, made up of tens of thousands of young enthusiasts, went to the mountains to teach and live with the saguaros.
Thus, by the Cuban spring of 1961, Cuba, according to its economic structure, political allies, trade patterns and social priorities, was already “DE fact” what was then defined as “a socialist society.” At the time the Socialist Revolution was declared, all strategic sectors of the industry were nationalized: sugar, oil refining, telephones, electricity and cement; The state sector produced 90% of exports; State farms and cooperatives controlled the main land; The whole of foreign trade had shifted from the United States to the socialist countries. At the same time, the vast disparities between rich and poor, between the city and the countryside, were being drastically reduced. [3]

At the same time, massive support for political and economic measures was accompanied by a largely spontaneous growth of anti-imperialist sentiment in the population. Liberal explanations of the “mistakes” of the well-intention Americans ceased to be accepted by an overwhelming majority of Cubans. The rejection of requests for financial support, the demand for payment of a high price for confiscated lands, political support for Batista’s refugees and more reactionary Cubans, refusal to prevent pirate air raids, and other brazenly imperialist measures Government of General Eisenhower, awakened or further heightened the consciousness of the Cubans of their former subjugation to the imperial power of the north. In a few months, the anti-imperialist spirit of the 1933 revolution had regained its strength, but unlike then, the Cuban government and people were in a better position to fight against Yankee imperialism than any other country in the history of Latin America . The old state institutions, particularly the traditional army, had been swept away. There was neither a “Platte Amendment” that legitimized the intervention of the Marines, nor a traditional army that could be used as it was the one of Guatemala a few years before, to overthrow the government of Jacob Arena.


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