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Cuban Revolution Cuban Revolution. Background to Revolution with American support Fulgencio Batista became an influential player in Cuban politics, indirectly.

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Presentation on theme: "Cuban Revolution Cuban Revolution. Background to Revolution with American support Fulgencio Batista became an influential player in Cuban politics, indirectly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cuban Revolution Cuban Revolution

2 Background to Revolution with American support Fulgencio Batista became an influential player in Cuban politics, indirectly from 1934-1940, and then as president from1940-1944 he later returned as dictator in 1952 and would remain in power until his overthrow by Fidel Castro in 1959

3 Cuba shared similar economic characteristics with other Latin American countries, particularly its dependence on the export of a single crop sugar, produced for export, fundamentally shaped the Cuban economy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

4 related to the development of the sugar industry was the growth of the latifundio and the “impoverishment of the rural masses” - the farmers or colonos large-scale U.S. investment in the sugar industry - one-fifth of all American investment in Latin America in 1913

5 following WWI the sugar industry prospered and became increasingly American-owned; however, with the agricultural depression of the 1920’s sugar prices plummeted and the industry declined prices, with the exception of some short boom periods, remained low the predominance of sugar in the Cuban economy had deleterious effects on Cuban agriculture and industry

6 agriculture was not diversified; land was concentrated in a few hands - twenty-two companies held one-fifth of the island’s farmland likewise, there was little in the way of Cuban industry. This was a result of the particular trade agreements between Cuba and the U.S. American consumer and agricultural goods had ready access to the Cuban market

7 the emphasis on sugar production also contributed to high levels of seasonal unemployment lastly, more than any other Latin American country Cuba was dominated by U.S. economic and political interests rooted in the provisions of the Platt Amendment these economic and political factors would contribute to the Castro- led revolution of 1959

8 Fidel Castro Fidel Castro Fidel Castro continued a Cuban revolutionary tradition - its most famous representative Jose Marti Castro, however, wished to avoid the shortcomings associated with earlier “revolutions”

9 educated by the Jesuits, Castro was involved in student politics while attending university in 1953 he was associated with the failed attack on the Moncada army barracks in hopes of toppling the Batista regime their program supported the reforms contained in the constitution of 1940 - land reform, educational reform and an end to government waste and corruption

10 Castro was taken captive after the attack, but the subsequent trial helped to turn him into a national hero - famous speech “History Will Absolve Me” during his imprisonment he continued to plan for the overthrow of Batista following imprisonment Castro went to Mexico where he gained further support and had his first meeting with Ernesto (Che) Guevara

11 determined to return to Cuba, Castro together with his brother Raul, Che Guevara and a group of eighty used a yacht - the Granma - to land on the coast betrayed, Castro and a small band of followers escaped into the Sierra Maestra mountains their guerrila group successfully defended itself against attacks by government forces

12 a February 1957 interview with the New York Times helped to publicize Castro and his “26th of July Movement” peasants in the region of Oriente began to provide the Castro guerrillas with intelligence and supplies unrest was growing in other parts of Cuba; in Havana violence broke out; an uprising by naval officers was crushed by Batista

13 unhappy with Batista’s action the U.S. cut off arms supplies some elements in the church supported Castro; the middle class abandoned Batista Batista’s last military campaign against the Castro forces failed; his efforts to hold elections (rigged) were halted when the rebels moved on Havana Batista fled Havana, January 1959, for Miami

14 a week later Castro entered Havana in triumph Castro victory due to the disciplined nature of their campaign, their idealistic ideology, and the support of peasants, workers and middle class Batista was corrupt and his army incompetent

15 Castro quickly moved to consolidate power former supporters of the Batista regime were imprisoned or executed Fundamental Law of February 1959 permitted the executive to have legislative powers - Castro held executive posts Cuba 1959-1995 Cuba 1959-1995

16 increasingly leftist, Castro sought to address key economic and social questions - land reform, agricultural diversification and an end to economic dependence on the U.S. these policies lost him support among the middle class while eradicating moderate elements in the revolution Castro met with the Soviet Union’s deputy premier Mikoyan and signed a deal for sugar purchases by the Soviets

17 U.S./Cuban relations quickly deteriorated - American oil companies refused to process Soviet oil, so Castro expropriated the refineries Eisenhower retaliated and introduced trade embargo; Castro responded with further expropriations CIA began to fund Cuban exiles

18 in April, 1961 the new Kennedy administration supported an invasion at the Bay of Pigs; a total failure, it helped to further radicalize the Castro regime the Soviet Union now began to increase its arms supplies to Cuba and pledged to defend Cuba’s sovereignty

19 by October 1962 the Soviets had built a number of missile sites in Cuba in response Kennedy placed a quarantine around Cuba to stop further supplies reaching Cuba from the Soviet Union

20 Khrushchev “blinked”; deal done U.S., however, continued its attempts to destabilize Cuban regime assassination attempts against Castro failed!

21 Cuba enjoyed certain advantages - infrastructure, transportation system, proletarianized agricultural work force and support of socialist countries; but also faced challenges - American embargo, loss of expertise - in building a socialist state early success in redistributing income among urban and rural workers unemployment was ended Cuba - Building Socialism

22 in May 1959 the first Law of Agrarian Reform led to the expropriation of large landholdings - land was distributed among peasants and state farms (granjas del pueblo) were formed the regime also took over American-owned refineries, factories, utilities and sugar mills banks were nationalized and later native businesses

23 problems and failed projects characterized the early economic planning of the Castro government - lack of resources and expertise undercut progress with industrialization Castro now focused on sugar production - 10 million tons to be harvested by 1970; but the sugar industry also had its difficulties. Failures in management and technical expertise

24 between 1962 and 1969, agricultural production fell 7 percent in response the government decreed the second Agrarian Law - 1963 thousands of medium-size farms were expropriated- state farms now dominated the agricultural sector failure to reach the 1970 quota was the most serious setback suffered by the regime

25 in ‘63 and ‘64 Castro visited Moscow and signed important trade deals in the mid-1960’s Castro increasingly centralized the economy and set as his goal the creation of a communist society Castro also supported revolutionary struggles in other Latin American countries - policy ended with the death of Che Guevara in Bolivia in 1967 Castro and Government


27 in the early 70’s Castro institutionalized the revolution: authority was delegated to a Council of Ministers; major organs of government - bureaucracy, executive, military and judiciary - were separated greater participation by workers through trade unions was encouraged incentives were provided for workers and managers and this led to increased productivity

28 in 1975 the Communist party congress adopted Cuba’s first socialist constitution the constitution attempted to build a system which would allow participation through local municipal assemblies, provincial assemblies and National Assembly Castro held positions of First Secretary of the Communist Party and Head of State

29 major reforms to the constitution in 1992 allowed for direct, secret elections to the National Assembly candidates no longer needed approval by the Communist party protection was also accorded to all religious faiths

30 the Cuban economy continued to be inefficient, with low productivity in September 1980, following a demand by Cubans taking refuge in the Peruvian embassy, Castro gave permission for all those who wished to leave to do so 125,000 Cubans left, most from the port of Mariel

31 U.S. economic pressure was increased against Cuba in 1992 with the passage of the Torricelli Act. trade embargo was extended against subsidiaries of U.S. companies and third party ships doing business with Cuba the general embargo against Cuba has been condemned by the U.N. and the European Union, but all American administrations have maintained it

32 the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 dealt a major blow to the Cuban economy a fall in oil imports from the S.U., together with poor weather contributed to a sharp decline in the sugar harvest balance of trade was adversely affected; foreign exchange earnings lower; greater difficulty in meeting health and education needs

33 mixed economic performance of Cuba since revolution achievements, however, in the areas of health care, education, child care, mortality rates, employment and more equitable distribution of income Cuba superior to all other Latin American countries in these social and economic spheres

34 Cuba has a history of involvement with independence movements in developing countries - Algeria, Zaire,Ethiopia and Angola Cuban soldiers played a crucial role in helping defeat South African-backed rebels in Angola Cuba provides international aid to poor countries through the service of doctors, engineers, teachers and other specialists

35 the Cuban economy since the 1990’s has turned to tourism as a source of foreign exchange the development of a biotechnology industry also aids Cuba’s earnings in the agriculture sector large state farms have been replaced by autonomous cooperatives in the industrial sector new reforms authorize self-employment in certain occupations

36 today Cuba continues along its socialist path today Cuba continues along its socialist path calls for an end to the embargo are increasingly heard in the U.S. an ailing Castro has handed over power to his brother Raul after Castro?

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